Shame-aholic

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Imfree, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    I have posted a lot in the "pornography addiction" section and a few one-offs in the journal section, but I think that the only healthy use for the forum for me these days would be regular updates to a continuous thread here.

    I've been all over the map lately, going through phases of successful moderation, then semi-respectable streaks, then extreme binges (8 hours!).

    I'm at a good spot now. My greatest trigger is the sense that porn was unavailable for a while, and then suddenly became available. In these situations, I feel like I have to stock up. Counterintuitively, my greatest opportunities are times when I have theoretically unrestricted access. I just got into my own apartment and got the Internet hooked up. Within hours I was going to the most extreme genres, but my heart wasn't in the session.

    Several days later, I went out on the town and experienced extreme interest from a woman. After that, I felt like everything that came before was hell and I kept telling myself "I'm never going back to hell". Now I'm on 14 days no fap, no porn, intending to keep myself pure in hopes (quite likely) of seeing her again and having some physical contact before she goes traveling. I have been meditating nightly, with a focus on romantic involvement with this woman. My only contact with her at the moment is through intermediaries.

    Sometimes I feel like I am on the cusp of a major transformation, other times I feel like my shame and isolation are progressive conditions. I am ashamed of my failures, of who I am, of my successes, of absolutely everything. I am around people during the day, working in an office environment. Once every 2-3 months or so I have a satisfactory social outing with people I like. The rest of the time I hang out with people who depress me or I go through (very uncommon) periods of isolation (ie., several weeks with no social interaction outside of customer service, where I won't look at the service provider).

    Today I had a boner, and possibly pre-cum driving home. I had a shower after walking in the door, thinking that something auto-erotic might happen. I thought that I was on the edge of relapse. I stood naked in front of the mirror for a few minutes, but I held to my intention of not forcing anything and made it through the danger zone.

    After that moment, I the best I can do is to drink two beers and engage in pseudo-social online activity (checking Facebook, Meetup, POF). This is honestly the best I have been able to do so far this evening and I feel like anything that doesn't involve touching myself is a major success. After my last relapse, I kept repeating words and images from "Where the Wild Things Are" to myself, and I have taken great solace in this. In my last relapse, this connection started as the line "he went to bed without his supper" was reverberating in my head. I was indeed so compelled to rush to rock bottom, that all other considerations, like feeding myself where abandoned. Furthermore, in my dreams eating symbolizes where I direct my libido. For example, I dreampt that I ate my own hand after a binge. This ties into the symbolism of bread in the bible and the lord's prayer (which is also with me these days). I take "bread" as meaning "that which truly sustains me". Tonight I am again without my supper, as I was paralyzed, but it's not too late. The line "it was still warm" hints at the possibility of redemption.

    I'm getting teary writing this, so I think that I'll make it another night. Some days are easy. Last night and today were really hard.
     
  2. ItsPossible

    ItsPossible Active Member

    Hi Imfree,

    Thanks for sharing, and congrats on staying committed. I find it interesting how your subconscious mind is trying to help you stop through dreaming. You are doing great and keep up the good work.

    Your post reminded me about this video.



    I feel like you truly winning on conquering the 5 second mind-space to make the right decision to make yourself better. I have to do better about remembering this 5 second rule, when the urge comes, countdown, 5,4,3,2,1… then walk away and go do something else.
     
  3. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    ItsPossible, Thanks for the video. I wrote a long reply a couple days ago, but lost my Internet connection before I could post.
     
  4. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    I'm at day 17 now no MO, no PMO, daily meditation.

    When I started this streak, I told myself "Remember MO is not nearly as bad as PMO. Know when overwhelmingly intense cravings are coming up and accept that you need to MO as the lesser evil." So far I haven't gotten cravings strong enough that I had to apply this.

    I could probably start a heated debate posting the following in the "pornography addiction" forum:
    I am of the opinion that the ideal amount of masturbation in one's lifetime would be none, or perhaps 10 times or so at the start of puberty. I don't think that there is any benefit to masturbation on it's own, but that it is many orders of magnitude less harmful than masturbation with porn. After becoming accustomed to masturbation with porn, it is very difficult to be enticed by a much weaker form of stimulation (masturbation without porn). I feel like "what's the point of something which offers so little pleasure". It's like a former crackhead trying to get excited about light beer. Some people on the forum would think that it would be good to get into semi-regular masturbation without porn to weaken the association between porn and masturbation. Such people take the mainstream view that masturbation is either beneficial; or that the idea that abstention is possible could only be conceived by somebody who is mentally ill ("you will masturbate, so no sense beating yourself up about it"). I feel like (as a former porn addict vs. "healthy" masturbator) I am in a unique position to give up both porn and masturbation at the same time. Is it really desireable to get into a masturbation only routine? Personally, I think that anybody who says that giving up both porn and masturbation is not the best possible outcome is deluding themselves.

    So, basically what I'm wondering is: am I better off continuing abstaining from both porn and masturbation as long as possible or would the long-term benefits be greater if I planned masturbation at regular intervals to reduce the likelihood of looking at porn.? Is the addict in me motivating me to go for a huge streak of no porn AND no masturbation only to make me feel better about returning to porn sooner? By this I mean: I would feel great about abstaining from both for a long time, but I might be able to keep a longer streak going with only No PMO. Perhaps abstaining from both for a respectable streak is an attempt to compromise between the addict and the perfectionist in me, but I would get more tangible benefits with MO, but No PMO? There are no clear answers here. Ideally, I would be able to keep up with this conviction that I don't want to do either (M or P) and allow cravings for both to gradually diminish. However, I have been through enough relapse cycles to know that I may not be able to avoid some form of release of sexual energy if I don't have actual sex with and attractive woman soon enough.

    I have had enough No PMO streaks of sufficient duration (on 1-4 months average for several years) to know what that feels like, but I can't say that I have had enough No PMO AND No MO streaks to really know what it feels like. With maybe 5 lifetime streaks of 2 weeks and 1 lifetime streak of a month, I was just white-knuckling through uncharted terrain and not inhabiting that space. I know that with my current experience with auto-erotic-celibacy I must be in the upper 1% with the experience of most men currently living worldwide. From this taste, I know that the greatest natural highs imaginable are achievable through this practice. I am achieving higher highs than most and also avoiding my previous experience of lower (and more prolonged) lows than most. In my 36 years on this planet I know that I will feel deeply ashamed most of the time in any ordinary circumstances and the only two methods I have found for avoiding shame are powerful drugs (not sustainable) and No PMO AND No MO. This streak has confirmed that the only thing different about the times in my life when I didn't feel ashamed was that I was not masturbating during those times. Right now I subjectively "feel" much better than the person I know as "me" can feel, constitutionally, and that these changes are manifested in ways which could be objectively measured. The objective outcomes include: more frequent open-hearted communication with other people and better responses to this communication, better organization and focus, cleaner house, higher bank balance, etc.

    Some people would say that I should be able to masturbate and not feel ashamed, but they don't understand me at all. You can't reason your way out of this. These emotions are felt at the deepest sub-conscious level. Maybe I am holding myself to a higher standard than other people, but this is my standard which cannot be changed. I really tried everything before, all the good habits which would change things for most people. The attacks of shame so severe that they mimic epilepsy, tourette's, and schizophrenia are gone. The nightmares which come every single night and involve people being horifically mutilated and wake me to a state of panic bordering on cardiac arrest are gone (sleep is now refreshing rather than terrifying and exhausting).

    The battle of mind over mind is turning. To live an authentic life involves a lot of loneliness. So many times I have been told "everybody knows that what you're trying to do is impossible", yet I'm still here. My survival proves them wrong. Really, no PMO and No MO does not entail a struggle. Just convince yourself that no struggle exists and that sense of building tension and inner war melts away. The thing to keep in mind is just "I want the best possible, and I won't settle for less. I won't settle for any cheap imitations. I want the real thing."
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  5. staythecourse

    staythecourse Well-Known Member

    I think if we keep thinking about this stuff, asking these types of questions, trying to figure it out etc, there is a problem. For example, most people drink socially, maybe enjoy some beers on their own. The alcoholic is freaking about how and when to drink, how much to drink and finding all sorts of ways to do it..Should I drink 3 beers every night? Just drink Friday and Saturday nights as much as I want? etc etc.

    With that said, when its a problem, the best bet is usually complete abstinence. Putting it ALL down. Experiencing an extended time away from it. And seeing how you feel from there. Keep up the good work.
     
  6. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    staythecourse, it looks like we're at a similar stage here. I'm just 2 days behind you.

    These days I am seeing cravings and flashbacks as entirely negative. Before, I suppose that when I started getting into PMO memories and porn-based fantasies, on some level I was still seeing this as pleasurable (porn-light). In reality these moments are wholly negative and only result in tension, discomfort, and dissatisfaction with the present moment. The addict thinks that this is a way to build the anticipation for a great "pay off" of PMO. At these times, the other character thinks that this is exhausting and overwhelming and that succumbing to PMO will be a way to satisfy the cravings and relax. The problem is that each relapse only increases the tension and dissatisfaction long term. When this happens, the craving-relapse cycle gets shorter. In extreme licentiousness and binging to the point of exhaustion on all levels, there is a brief moment of liberation from craving, but this is replaced with something much worse. The problem is, even if you instantly succumb to every craving, you still have to leave the house and deal with the basics necessary for survival. In these times you will be experiencing intense cravings and trying to get back to PMO land in your head. The hellish thing about PMO is that it never leads to satiation. Sex with a woman certainly leads to satiation and increasing interest in other areas of life afterwards. When sex is not available, riding out the cravings will inevitably lead to a reduction in tension and dissatisfaction at some point. Eventually, your brain accepts that there will be no PMO and no sex tonight and makes the best of the situation. When you watch porn, you always want more porn. There is no end to it. Essentially, I can only get the right "rush" the first time you watch any given scene/compilation. I'm in a god-like role, saying "next, next, next next, yawn, next, next clap clap, that was mildly amusing, next, next, next" These are human beings involved in making the scenes, which are one time use disposable. Even pro-porn people who think that porn serves a utilitarian purpose of keeping men docile and otherwise monogamous would have to admit when pressed that porn requires a class of sub-humans who only serve our masturbatory needs. I was researching the Kinsey Report based on something I read on this site the other day. Kinsey speaks about sexual "outlets". That's really a terrible thing to say. Who or what should be your "sexual outlet" and nothing more? This keeps with the liberal view of having orgasms as something akin to taking out the trash or going to the bathroom.

    Today I am feeling a deep emptiness. It is partly due to porn and cravings, but also do to a number of other factors in unknown proportions. Earlier I was usually looking at people I see when I'm out as superior to me. In recent days I have been more in tune to the advantages I have over some of them and the universal suffering that takes place. I am feeling more compassion and less self-pity, but I get overwhelmed by thoughts of "is this it?" The dramas of social hierarchy seem less important and I can take a more objective view of myself, but I am being attacked by extreme boredom and meaninglessness. I'm looking at the people who "have it all" and thinking that even these people don't have much and that "success" hasn't made them happy. It is sad to see people who seem to lead dull lives and to be unfortunate in terms of looks, money, etc. I feel the deepest sense of malaise when society (eg., advertising and the mainstream media) tries to sell me on the latest technology or pop culture. People seem to get really excited about these things, but it is just an empty shell. The news, even when apocalyptic bores me. I can't imagine any of it as being real. I used to secretly crave the chaos and conflict, but now I'm just like "meh" either way. Perhaps in some way it is good to not be mesmerized by the surface level of things and to not go with the crowd, but I am also less excited about things which used to have a deep personal significance. Traveling through various locations, occupations, sights, sounds, tastes...everything seems dull and homogenous. Everything has been done, everything is cliche, creative output has slowed. The world is no longer fresh and new. It doesn't arouse my curiosity.

    Then I think, is all this emptiness just from being extremely alone? Life looks boring everywhere from the outside, but if you are into having children and relationships it must seem very rich from the inside. I'm very abnormal in the lack of meaningful and consistent relationships which I have experienced. It's baffling how rare it is to see anybody by themselves, yet I am always that one person. I get tables for one at restaurants most days. I run all my errands, do my hobbies, alone. Occasionally a few words can be exchanged with somebody, but it doesn't seem to lead to ongoing friendship or romantic involvement. The communication is mechanical and doesn't lead to a sense that anything has changed from before I spoke. When I see people laughing and smiling with eachother, running down the street to hug a friend who has been absent, dancing, etc. I get the feeling like I have never experienced that and I can't imagine what they get out of it. Common advice is to join a club or something along those lines, but when I get into some forced and artificial social interaction like that I feel like it is just a bunch of people like me, who for whatever reason never developed deep, organic relationships based on genuine connections. Romantically and socially I get the sense that it is at the end of a game of musical chairs and it's just a bunch of dumbfounded people standing around awkwardly, in denial that they are on a level as low as the rest of the leftovers. I feel like my life and character are being continually diminished, while other people grow and evolve. It's a feeling of being much to late, not knowing where to begin, and being extremely confused. Most people's social circles are too large, their agendas too full, yet I am grateful for the tiniest scrap of acknoledgement, just to feel like somebody else notices that I exist. I worry that in perceiving people as boring is just a reflection of my boring qualities and that I am alone because people don't find me interesting or can't relate to my comments and observations (which are often about inner experiences of relating to world all alone). My life is very simple and free of drama relative to others, but it comes at a terrible price. I am an observer, a fly on the wall. I try to understand what I am seeing, but it can't be understood, only lived. I'm never in it. Not in this world. Things aren't as scary and all-encompassing for me as for others. I'm half-checked out already. Many years ago I felt ready to die, but not suicidal. Just indifferent. This indifference leads to passivity. I think "maybe I could become a pickup artist or get a lot of friends, talk to everybody I see, but I would just be playing a role". A sense of hollowness. A sense that I can't relate to even my closest friends or family. Like after all these years I'm hermetically sealed, a black hole. A glass wall of separation.

    I should be careful with this writing. Words are powerful things. I don't mean to say that I always feel like this or that this is accurate or appropriate. Just feelings and perceptions that come up. At other times I think that change is possible and that the odds are that I will break through this some time soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  7. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    Lately, shame and alienation are giving way to more confusion. I keep asking myself "what am I doing wrong?". Somebody reading the above post might assume that I have terrible social skills and/or severe cognitive and developmental disabilities. While there is a grain of truth to this, I am able to review how I behave in various situations and to say that I made a good, heartfelt effort and that I didn't behave in an abnormal manner. I sometimes think that that it's not that I'm doing anything wrong now, it's just that I'm too late. Most people have their significant other and social circle already. They hold no ill-will towards me, they just don't have the time or energy. I don't understand how I can take the time to call somebody up and say that I would like to see them and that they won't return the message. Maybe they just got distracted with other things, who knows? Sometimes they'll return the communication much later and defer social plans to some indeterminate time in the future. I just know that it is very rare for me to get a call or text from somebody besides my mother and that when this happens I am deeply moved that somebody thought that I was special enough that they wanted to see me. I imagine that a lot of these people receive social communication on an hourly basis and that meeting friends is completely routine. Most people seem to be able to find a friend or lover to accompany them for all of the most mundane aspects of daily life. I never understood that. People who need a new pair of pants and have somebody else who volunteers to accompany them. Every single time they go to the coffee shop, they have company. Maybe the issue is that I need to stop assuming that I need to be interesting. I overhear conversations at these places and they are often very boring. I get into trouble with the idea of communication being only used to communicate concrete information or provide information on things which were previously unknown. Most talking is simply saying "I'm here. You're here. Would you like to remain in my presence?". I think about all these dynamics which other people seem incapable of observing, being like water for a fish.
     
  8. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    Is there any point to typing here, or am I just reinforcing negative thought patterns and avoidant behaviours? Before turning on the computer, I said to myself in a mocking tone "I'm feeling sad. I know who will help me, strangers on the Internet!"
     
  9. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    100% morning wood this morning. Now I'm getting some intense cravings.
     
  10. staythecourse

    staythecourse Well-Known Member

    On the positive you're coming back to life, get out of bed and take a morning pee. Your cravings will decrease 50% right away.
     
  11. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    I did do well yesterday, actually. The morning wood was when I was half asleep. This morning I was driving 40 minutes and had a boner the whole time with my penis feeling very warm on my leg.

    I have been enjoying relatively low inner turmoil these last few days. While I'm awake I haven't slipped, but I have had dreams of relapsing. I suppose that it is a good sign that I was trying to stop myself from relapsing even in my dreams. I was saying to myself "oh no, don't get started with this now. Do you realize how important tomorrow is, who you might meet? Got to keep yourself pure"
     
  12. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    Went to get a pint this afternoon and I wanted to have sex with literally every woman in the place (all ages). It's weird how in a way you are more obvious about checking women out on No Fap, but you don't feel like a creeper and women don't react as if you're a creeper. I'm not necessarily saying that I have reason to believe that they wanted to have sex with me, just that we both seemed to think that my glances were totally acceptable and excusable. It's hard to describe. Sexual frustration is intensified and reduced at the same time. Something about the cycles of desire you go through is different. There are more of those moments where you feel like you are going to snap without release, but it is easier to disengage as well. Perhaps it is just that you're not looking for redemption from a woman. You're not trying to apologize for something from the get go and you're more in the moment, but you're also more willing to wait for the right situation.
     
  13. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    I am getting cravings though. Picturing myself paying for a month's membership to a particular website. The danger is that I am starting to think of targets. "45 days. Significantly longer than the last No Fap record (30 days)." I have also been picturing myself throwing myself a party after 1 year of No PMO. I have only gotten to this point a few times before, where it seemed entirely possible that I could keep the streak going forever, but I still didn't know if I could trust myself. The last time I got there, it was kind of shocking how fast the relapse happened. I got really determined to relapse all of a sudden, jumping out of bed on a whim and saying to myself "OK, now its time to wank". Right now I'm really on the fence. Other times when I got a streak going and then got into intense cravings, I just kept going with the streak because I didn't want to feel like I had failed or broken a promise to my former self. Now I'm really on the fence. There are positive, active desires both to relapse and to keep the streak going just a bit longer. The abstinence side is not just a void of non-doing, but also an active pursual of feelings which are intense and uncomfortable, but also very rewarding and energizing.
     
  14. Sequel

    Sequel Member

    Hello -- I read through your posts and relate to your struggle -- the questions of MO vs PMO, the value of targets, the increased desire and eye for the real thing, feeling less like a creep, questioning the usefulness of using this site. I can't offer entirely reliable advice because I've been in the success/failure cycle for four years, but you sound like you're on the right path. Not being in a relationship already must make it more challenging, but I'd like to think you're going to continue to attract a higher caliber person the more you continue to wash away the shame that's dragging down your self-worth. Lots of times people end up in relationships with people who mirror or tolerate their own sense of self-worth. You have the opportunity now to see yourself and allow others to see you in a better light. And who knows what that will bring?

    Over the past three months I slid back into my old ways after long ago cutting back to only MO in moderation. I really wish I hadn't played the mind games with myself that convinced me I was strong enough to resist or moderate now. I am not strong enough to manage this addiction and now I'm forced to rebuild the willpower and momentum to get back on track. Keep your momentum going! It's really valuable and hard to get back.
     
  15. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    Sequel, thanks for reading.

    Yes, I'm trying to remember what it is like the day after PMO, when it is so difficult to climb out of that hole and there are often false starts before getting going with No PMO again. I rode out some incredibly strong cravings a couple hours ago. I get cravings for a particular genre/model/scene that grow to great intensity. If I resist for a while my brain thinks "hmm, I guess I can't get that, how about this". Then it will instantly flip to equally intense desires for a totally different genre/model/scene. At this point I think "if I felt like I would die without the first thing a minute ago, but now I don't care about it anymore, maybe the same thing will happen with what I am craving now?"
     
  16. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    I've got some massively huge balls now. I didn't think that the pants I was wearing today were particularly tight before, but today I was hanging down to the seam and waddling in them. My balls get bigger with no MO, but also somewhat less sensitive. Pants are a thing which they haven't really thought out the design of. Maybe we should all go to kilts. I don't think that women know the frequent discomfort that we experience. I'm wanting to do some surfing, but dreading trying to squeeze into a wetsuit now.
     
  17. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    I'm facing a very deep void. The No PMO thing is a good process because it gives me something uncommonly challenging to strive for. Like all challenges, extreme depression, meaninglessness, and emptiness can occur when you overcome it. It offers a lot of hope to believe that there is just one thing which is holding you back and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Now I'm being beat down by feelings of futility and stagnation. There's are very stark contrast between how rich and meaningful my experience is when I'm asleep and how banal frustrating, and pointless it is when I wake up. In my dreams I am fighting and winning epic battles, solving great mysteries, but when I wake up it's the same old shit. I often wonder if happiness exists or if it is just an illusion and there is only suffering and brief respites from suffering. In theory, it is physically possible to make connections with people, and with them always present it seems inevitable, yet I might and well be deaf and dumb because only the most utilitarian and impersonal transactions can be achieved (when indifference or hostility is not encountered). I'm being smothered by my immediate family and getting no response from anybody else. Now I'm really in a tight spot because I realize that even if life offers very little, porn offers even less. Porn was never so great. I just had an idea that there must be something to relieve my suffering. It seems plausible that there would be some temporary fix which would make me feel worse in the long run, but really porn never made me feel good at all. With all the rejection and humiliation I have experienced in interpersonal relationships, at least there were some tiny scraps offered. Porn never gave me anything. I am 100% guaranteed to get zero love and affection from porn. Porn doesn't care about me at all. It is physically impossible for porn to care for me less. Porn cares less about me than galaxies light years away.
     
  18. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    The scary thing is how tenacious porn is. It can go into a dormant phase for indefinite periods of time. Since I have been trying to cut back and quit, I have spent very little time watching porn relative to everything else in life. It has not been part of my everyday life for a very long time. Yet each relapse has a huge impact and I am still thinking about porn constantly. The odds are not in my favor. The chances of something good happening on a given day of my life, which actually makes life enjoyable rather than just something that I am obligated to endure, are very slim. Say, maybe 4 or 5 times a year something good will happen. That means that I would have to PMO only 3 times a year to tip the balance in favor of abstinence. If the balance is not tipped, then I will continue to be plagued by constant cravings.
     
  19. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    I have been using the "5,4,3,2,1" strategy now and then.

    I was perceiving things as if I had experienced multiple rejections recently and was really struggling to not get sucked into extreme depression after getting off work today. When I got home I got a response on online dating to a woman who's photos made me do a double take yesterday, so that is a positive development.
     
  20. Imfree

    Imfree Member

    It was a mistake to post about things which were frustrating me earlier and the perceptions of lack of progress. The idea was that I was using the journal for an outlet of my negativity. That's a dangerous thing, the idea of "outlets". That's the same thinking that is used to justify porn. Many porn apologists will say that porn is harmless outlet for dark fantasies and desires which would cause harm if acted out in real life. Really, all you are doing is feeding those dark forces and bringing more of that into your life. I don't mean that there is a one-to-one correspondence. You can watch a lot of videos of certain things without direct and obvious consequences, but some element or form of that energy will inevitably creep into other areas of life.

    It's very important to keep off porn. If you can't control your outward behaviour, there is little hope of changing your thoughts and beliefs. Whatever you are doing or thinking at any given moment is what you are feeding and encouraging more of in the future. "We are what we repeatedly do" applies to both inward/private and outward/public experiences. I still have a long way to go, but I did realize that my life improved when starting making a conscious attempt to not tell other people about my problems. You just have to focus on what you do want rather than what you don't want at all times.

    It is very far from easy. I used to go with the naive assumption that my thoughts and beliefs were a private matter that only existed in my head, that I had complete "freedom" in my thoughts and that if I tried my best in my outward/public behaviour, odds are things would work out for me eventually. The "luck" hypothesis would be the easier situation, but reality involves greater challenges and more responsibility. I can't just write things here, even with softer language like "this is how I feel at the moment" or "this is what I perceive". It's all about unequivocal behaviour. You say "this is what I want" and do your best to make every action in alignment with what you want.

    Writing that I have little or expect little is running in the wrong direction. Always outwardly acting in a positive way is just the first step. You still have to deal with everything that you are doing on a subconscious level. Taking an honest inventory of how much of the time I am actually aligning myself with good things, it is obvious why there is still work to do. I might be doing some very conscious efforts to manifest my desires at specific times and in specific situations, but there is a problem when huge amounts of time are spent consciously or unconsciously doing things which are counter to my stated desires.

    Obviously, everything that I do serves some purpose, but the harms usually outweigh the benefits when it comes to using defense mechanisms and anticipating possible disappointment. I have some very strong beliefs about how the world is and how I am that keep me isolated. I can identify the beliefs, but I have a lot of trouble accepting that they might be wrong. With No PMO and other good habits that I keep up I am working on the outward behaviour, but I need to be 100% consistent with this. OK, maybe not 100%, but 99% is a reasonable target. There is always something to be done. It doesn't have to be complicated. When I am too mentally tired to fight my demons, I can do something mindless, yet useful, like cleaning. When I am too physically tired I can sit in a chair and visualize the desired outcome.

    I used to be averse to visualizing and things like that because I thought that it was "just a fantasy". I thought that for some reason, something which I had (first) created in my head was of no value because it was entirely of my own making. Actually, it's the reverse. Having faith that things will work out in spite of challenges is the strongest position to be in. The process is of more value than the outcome (although if you do the process right the outcome will be there as well). If it was just a bunch of random physical forces operating independently of me, then there would be no value in good things which came. The belief in a positive outcome is a tangible thing in itself. You have the choice to experience what you want at any given time.
     

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