Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by sameer, Jun 1, 2019.
This is the beginning of documenting my recovery from porn addiction and reclaiming my true power.
June 2, 2019
Don't want to count days. Spent good time with family outside after a long time so exhausted. I am amazed at how reconnecting with family members make forget about problems and remind you that you are loved and supported irrespective of whatever happens. I have had a few glimpses and a few flashes imagining stuff but I was able to avoid it. I think I am gonna adopt an approach of total avoidance of triggers, as recommended by someone here at least for 90 days. Let's see how it goes! Gonna keep it short and sweet today as not really in the mood to overthink stuff and enjoy time with family.
June 8, 2019
I turn 27 today. Call it the sense of a new beginning on birthdays or past few days with family, I am more optimistic in this battle against addiction now. For the past 7-8 years, I have struggled against porn addiction with little or no success. Yes, it has not had a very drastic effect as I still managed to achieve whatever I wanted in past 2-3 years. However, I know what I am capable of which is so much more and I understand that this is one thing that is holding me back in a way. Ever since I started therapy for depression and this addiction 6 months back, I have had managed to gain few insights into this problem.
First and foremost is the value of the sense of connection and belonging to others. As Johann Harry says in his popular study and book that opposite of addiction is not sobriety; it is connection. Just like the soldiers from Vietnam war did not feel the need to go back to opium when they returned home to their family from wars, it is the lack of feeling of authentic connection which might be the root cause of addiction. In past one week, my parents are staying with me and not once, I had even the slightest urge or any difficulty when they say first 3-4 days are the toughest. Yes, it might be temporary or just one factor in this particular case of mine since I have stayed with them for the majority of my life. But still, as I have often observed, I am most vulnerable when I am alone and kinda disconnected which has been a dominant feeling in these past few years. So, the importance of maintaining a sense of belonging and connection through authentic friendships and family time cannot be overstated in battling this or any other kind of addiction.
Secondly. of lately, I have begun to delve deep into the root causes of this addiction instead of just trying to abstain and get stuck into the recovery-relapse-recovery cycle. During this period of self-introspection, I came across the concept of inner child which has resonated with me the most. They say any codependent behaviour including addiction is often the result of suppressed emotions and not dealing with them and finding alternate ways to reduce pain. When we were children, we did not know how to deal with emotions or feel our feelings and many small incidents increasingly lead to pain which might find outlet in other activities. As I look back at my own childhood, I have realized how often this was the case with me. I can find correlation in beginning of my porn behaviour to particular phases in my life which in retrospect were quite traumatic from the perspective of a 6-8 year old child. During many meditations, I have found myself weeping uncontrollably when I acknowledged the pain of that younger self of mine and can feel his pain. I think this reconnection with that inner child is going to be a crucial component in the permanent recovery.
As I gain the above few insights, I am more inspired and motivated to follow through this abstination phase. This is because I know once I stop this behaviour completely, old emotions and feelings are going to surface and now I know why is that. Instead of just fighting the urges and emotions or finding ways to soothe the pain, the idea is to go deep into the pain and feel all emotions with non-judgement and attachment to release them forever. This possibility of permanent release and recovery is what has filled me with hope and power like never before. I am already on 8th day and I have set the first benchmark of 45 days and see what happens. Whatever arise in this phase, I commit 100% to this journey and saying no to all triggers and behaviours. Let's hope for the best. Happy birthday to me!
June 11, 2019- First setback
I fought immensely strong urges for past 36 hours or so. It began with checking out profiles on dating sites even though I had thought of going for zero stimulation. However, I guess I justified in my head because I thought it was natural to feel all that sexual energy and I need to do something to deal with it. It ended up with me spending an unnecessary amount of money on premium profiles and new accounts on new dating websites. I was desperately looking for getting on with a real woman this time but one thing led to another. Though I did not watch porn, I ended up spending about half an hour on chat platform acting out my fantasies. Eventually, at night I gave up and had an O, though without any active aid of watching. Nevertheless, it is the first setback and based on my past experience, I need to wholeheartedly accept it and take full responsibility of it without judging myself or feeling shame or guilt about it. It is a part of the process.
Now, to look into it objectively, let's think about what I could have done differently. I was feeling extremely high on sexual energy and honestly, I did not know how to deal with it. Though I did think of posting my thoughts here and figure out ways to deal with it, I kinda procrastinated. I did manage to workout consistently and went to the gym even after feeling horny throughout the night before. That was a small victory in itself. Going forward, I need to establish certain practices to deal with the high sexual energy phases during this recovery journey. One could be the energy circulation meditations and practices that are there on a bi-weekly or tri-weekly basis. Next, I need to establish a regular practice of mindfulness meditation and journaling to keep a tab on how I am feeling. Feeling sexual energy is very normal and I need to come terms to it and cultivate it to higher purpose rather than finding ways to release. I understand that in order to heal the addicted brain, I need to give it enough time free from stimulation even if it means going 100% trigger-free most of the time. I know it can be tough but can be done. At times when triggers cannot be avoided, the mindfulness energy can be used to deal with the energy. Next, I also need to find other pursuits to engage with and find ways to connect with other people on a regular basis as it is the key to healing addiction. One is reading more books on a regular basis and going out on weekends consistently even though it is to the nearest coffee shop or meeting friends. I can devote time to cooking healthy food for myself which can aid me in regaining physical health in combination with physical exercise at the gym.
If I plan things properly and establish a certain schedule or routine, I know I can deal with this. First and foremost, I need to set and continue to sleep and wake up on time. Especially the late night binge-watching on a laptop or watching movies need to be controlled because often it leads to relapse. Then on a daily basis, I need to check into my emotions and feelings through meditation and journaling. I have in mind the inner child work I can do twice or thrice a week to heal the core issues surrounding the addiction. So for instance, meditation, after finishing the work or returning home from work in the evening, is the first thing I can do. It can simply involve a 5-minute mindfulness meditation or guided meditation which I usually do. Then on weekends such as Friday, Saturday/Sunday and one weekday, say Tuesday/Wednesday I can practice some energy circulation exercises as chances of having urges on those days are higher. Next is establishing a regular reading habit even if it is for half an hour or so. It can be done after dinner or going before sleep. Maybe I can associate it with journalling also before sleeping. The idea is to keep me engaged in other healthy pursuits and installing new habits and let the old coping habits fade away into the background.
It is a marathon and not a sprint. It is just a setback and there are chances many more would come. I have to be kind towards myself and practice self-compassion and love to the maximum. Only through self-love I can win this battle now I know. So, let the journey continue and I look forward to coming out of this as a hero finally defeating the tough villains.
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