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

  1. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Staff party. Dragged myself out. Painfully uncomfortable for the first half hour. After I started getting into some conversations I thought "Thank god I didn't PMO, I would have felt as bad as at the start all night."Got dragged on the dancefloor, then when I was up stayed there. Hot young latina driving me crazy, thought might have been into me, but could have been all in my head. When I don't PMO people probably are more likely to notice that I find her attractive, but it is always much more appropriate and innocent. Drunk now, urges leaving me alone 'till sleep. Went all right overall. Turned down an invite to go downtown. Leave on a high note is always the best strategy. None of those drunken stupor 4am after parties fighting four other guys for some skank, nothing happening and ruining the rest of my weekend. Been thinking about begging my ex to take me back, maybe mailing her a christmas present. Sleep now. Might do quick masturbation lying in bed with the light off or might just crash. Doesn't really matter at this point.

    Waiting for the bus going to the party, I was realizing how most of the day I was able to look at people. Looked at a 50 year old woman, not attractive at all, but she smiled at me and I smiled back. That's what got me so horny earlier. That's when I realized how long the side effects of porn last. I can't look anybody in the eye ever unless I am well over a month no PMO. Gotta stay clean. Then some women will give me a positive resoponse. I'm not at all picky with who I would hook up with, but who to settle down with and introduce to all the people I most respect, that's another story. If I'm clean and I look a woman and she gives me that look of contempt, I will think "ah fuck her, who does she think she is anyway. She's not really that hot and I wan't doing anything wrong to begin with". If I'm using, I might think that but I will vicerally act like I don't belive it for a second.
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Well done one staying away from porn, posting here and going to that party. Respect! Have a good night rest!
  3. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Thanks. I'm out of the danger zone for now.
  4. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I've been beating myself up constantly about the relationship ending. I can't stop obsessing about how I could have made things go differently. I just keep telling myself "what was the point of that?", "what was I thinking?", "that was just really dumb", etc. Towards the end of the relationship, I was really intensely looking at other women, but now I am thinking "where are all these women that were supposed to be better?". I don't have much desire to try to get started with somebody new at this point and I've been really mopey. The second I wake up every day the first thought is "what have I done!?". I miss the sex, but I have been thinking just as much about good times we had and sweet things she said. It feels quite wholesome.

    I am stopping the porn flashbacks pretty quickly and never going into extended replaying scenes in my head. The porn just feels wrong and empty now. I felt that to a large extent in the last month of the relationship when I started getting into occasional relapses, but it didn't stop me from relapsing. I'm thinking that I can't relapse now because I couldn't live with myself if I harmed myself and her in that way. That's definitely learning a lesson the hard way, but maybe it was inevitable and couldn't have happened any other way. I do certainly feel more motivated to stay off of it that at any other time in my life, but I am nervous that repentance might not be a long term motivator. When the relationship started, I was visualizing how I wanted things to go during nightly meditation and things worked out exactly as I imagined them. In the last several years I have proven many times that thoughts do have an impact on what happens in your life. The problem is that I stopped this practice once the relationship got going, mostly because I couldn't picture what might come next. I had reached an endpoint. Another thing that was coming up in the mediations was that I kept picturing myself having a semi-public celebration of staying off porn for a full year. I may have pictured my ex there, I'm not sure. So, the stakes are really high for me this time. If I fail, I will believe that the universe is completely random and pointless. So this streak is a spiritual endeavor in more ways than one.

    My motives for hesitating on commiting in the relationship were not all based on things which were illegitimate. I did feel like I was being pulled too much into the physical and concrete (the feminine) and that it wasn't the right time for that. I was craving more struggle and opportunities to transcend myself and these were outweighing desires for comfort, stability, and security at the time. I had reached a point where I had the option of not having to worry about any of the really big decisions any more, but I wasn't sure about my true potential. Later I was thinking that maybe I did need to be more realistic and grounded and that I had gone too far the other way. This was the first time that I really had to decide on a romantic commitment and I felt like it was appropriate to resist, at least the first time. It seemed like a game. I was getting very complacent. I was under the impression that the woman I was dating was extremely laid back and that I could be completely honest, even to the point of telling her that I would stuggle with the idea of long-term monagamy. If she had just talked about kids and living together, I would have been OK, but she mentioned marriage. I had always had a strong opposition to the institution. It wasn't all about selfishness and immaturity, there are real moral problems with marriage that most people never really think about. The institution is at odds with my values and philosophy, although I do think that settling down at some point is the right thing to do. I would rather have a more informal thing though, just taking it one day at a time rather than making an up-front commitment based on feelings which might change. I was greatly hurt by monogamy throughout my life and then it was time to switch allegiances (to join the "winning" side?). I did start thinking about things from the other perspective though and really starting to understand why some people value marriage so much. I got stuck in the realization that there can be no ideal actions after puberty. Sexuality is a problem that you can't get around any way and any action or non-action will have some negative consequences. It's just about choosing the lesser evil in every circumstance.

    The fact that I was overthinking things so much led me to assume that it meant that this was not the right time or the right person. I thought "people usually get into these commitment irratioinally. Love is a moment of temporary insanity."...but then again, I overthing everything. It would be out of character to jump in entirely based on feelings, but maybe it would have been a good idea. My gut was telling me not to commit at the time, but later my feelings shifted stronger and stronger in the other direction and this trend hasn't stopped now. Now I'm often feeling like I can't live without her, but earlier I was thinking "I'm strong. I've been through a lot. I'll be fine." It took some time apart to gain perspective and sort out my feelings.

    When the relationship troubles started, I had gotten complacent. I wasn't prepared for how quickly and intensely this commitment push came up and I couldn't take it seriously. I also didn't realize that we had moved into a stage where I could no longer be honest about my lingering attraction to other women, even talking in an abstract, appologetic, joking way "I'm sorry, this is the nature that I have to fight". This really brought home how white lies make the world go round. I think that one would never stop thinking "maybe I could do better", but at some point your concern for the other person drowns this out. I didn't aknowledge the difficult reality that women define the rules for the relationship. Whether or not you are into marriage and the like, you better go along with it because that's what she wants. You can have one woman or zero. This is where illusions were shattered, which were partly created by porn. Our society is so sexualized, but there are mixed messages. It's not just porn, but pop culture too. You can't get away from the fantasizes and images, even if it's nudity in a romantic commedy that you are watching with your girlfriend. Maybe it's different for women. They seems to be able to have just that very low-level fantasy and to have it not be uncomfortable that it can't go very far at all. Why would I want to look at super attractive people or picture myself in their shoes if it's only "allowed" at the level of something like a burlesque show? It's just torture. If I could really live in the kind of society I wanted, there would be a certain level of polyamory. Not in a sleazy or pornographic way, just being honest with yourself and wanting to have meaningful connections with more than one person and that you only live once and want to have a variety of experiences. The anthropological record proves that this can be done, that it can be associated with a gentler society, and that it is certainly not "unnatural". This is the hard bit of growing up that I am having to do now, though. It doesn't matter what my opinion is 99.5% of the population is in total agreement about how relationships should be organized. It's not just porn, but coming from other parts of society as well. I have been lied to. I was told that we have much more freedom in relationships and lifestyles than we actually do. As mentioned above though, sometimes I see the other side. But if you go down that road, how far to you go? The Islamic approach to sexuality is not just based on cruelty and opression. If you really think it through, you have to admit that the sole motive is not misogyny and that some of it is actually based on genuine love and respect for women (as some women in those cultures genuinely believe). It's one approach to trying to solve problems that are very difficult and never go away. Brutal, oppressive, and tragic, yet with a mysterious hidden glimmer of something good.
  5. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member there were a lot of factors involved in this breakup and it might have happened anyway.

    The hard thing is not knowing. Not knowing if it I was guided by my higher or lower nature, by free-will or servitude. Close to the end of the breakup my inner monologue got very honest at a few moments. It said "I miss being responsible only for myself" and "I don't want to go outside today. I just want to watch porn and hide from the world."

    I can't say for sure that I know who or what I want. Everything is cloudy and confused. I want to get clean so I can sort out my true sexuality and know what is reasonable to expect out of life.
  6. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    We quickly started moving in opposite directions.

    She got excited about moving into something seen as entirely positive, but also really nervous and impatient and wanting to cut her losses to avoid greater suffering at a later time if things weren't going to work out as she wanted them to.

    I got overwhelmed with life and into a wistful, nostalgic mood. Summer was ending. I was thinking back to our earlier dates, feeling like I was somehow losing her as we spent more time together. Now I realize that it was a lot of the mystique and excitement when everything was new and fresh. I had never gotten to the point before where it was time to abandon pretense, to say "this is who I really am". No more having to hide human flaws. In that sense, a huge relief. I was nervous though, because I knew that there were some limits and that I still had to present myself in the most favorable light in some areas and continue working to imporove myself. It felt very real and human, but I had never been in that situation before and I didn't know where the new boundaries would be drawn.

    I'm afraid that to a large extent I failed in moving intimacy to the next level. I was trying to loosen up on judging myself for things which I couldn't control, but still "uptight" in certain ways. I felt really guilty about it, but a lot of my feelings of having lost something with her were because she was being more honest about things that were stressing her out and troubling her (seeming less happy-go-lucky) and because she was often in her pjs with no makeup when I went to her house. On the other hand, after seeing her without makeup, it seemed a bit odd to want to see her any other way. I thought "what's the point of something phoney. I still like having sex with her either way".
  7. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Then there were the concerns about being forced to make major lifestyle changes. Wondering if I could give up certain ways I like to have things at home. Wondering if I really want to live in this area long term.

    I'm worried that I might be getting to set in my ways. That is a problem with my generation and younger generations: doing things a certain way for so long that you really struggle to adapt to living with somebody else (and the same person) long term. This has got me started thinking about a lot of problems with our society. A lot of things that I took for granted or though were good before, now I question.

    I'm 37 and only really starting to consider adult responsiblities, not sure if I can do it. On the other hand, there are some benefits to being on a team with managing the household. Some things are a lot harder to do living on your own. You have some help keeping things in order, but there is also somebody who will hold you accountable and not let you live like a slob. I was a bit of a latchkey kid and my father died when I was young, so I have quite a bit of trouble allowing other people to do my dishes, laundry, etc. I have to be willing to relinquish control and I have to learn how much service it is reasonable to accept and when you are expecting too much.
  8. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    ...all this sounds quite normal, like things that everybody deals with. I have always seen myself as a freak and a wierdo, so a first step for recovery would be admitting that I am much more ordinary than I assumed. Not as superior where I thought I was and not as inferior where I thought I was.
  9. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I would rather not be on the forum now. I'm not sure, this could be just an attempt to transfer the addiction, but I think that I am drawn on here daily since the start of the streak for good reasons. I feel like this is an act of repentence. With fucking up this relationship, I have done something genuinely bad a stupid. Feeling guilty feels much better than feeling ashamed though (research John Bradshaw for the difference). If I did something bad, I can fix it. If I am something bad, there's no way out.

    Yesterday home alone in my apartment, I was walking on my toes, putting my feet on stacks of books while sitting, stretching my arms, lifting my shoulders, anything to imagine myself being big. Some people would say that this is pathological, taking self-loathing to a new level, rather than accepting myself for who I am. People say that happy people are greatful. I always feel like I was given a shitty deal in life. I have a strong desire to be somebody else. It feels right to me in away though, like I could have been been anybody, why couldn't I have been somebody that society would hold in more esteem?

    Last night I dreampt that I was on a roadtrip, stopped in a small town with my mother. She wanted to stay there for the night, but I wanted to keep pushing on to cover more distance. I could see her point of view in a way and felt a bit foolish, maybe I was a bit sad to leave, but I was really pulled to keep moving and frustrated with delays. In one scene in the dream I was driving round and round in a roundabout. As is usually the case with dreams, there are interpretations on several levels, which are interconnected:

    Quasi-Literal: I am planning on going on a roadtrip for the upcomming Christmas hollidays rather than staying with my mom and other family nearby. I am feeling a bit nervous/ foolish with this idea...not sure if I can afford it, if I will be able to visit many people or be mostly alone, If I'll get cold/bored, etc.
    Social/Biological: Driving represents personal growth and Darwinian evolution. I feel like I'm going around in circles, not progressing. This is the level that relates the most to porn addiction: Moving on to another town means moving away from porn addition and into starting a family, etc.
    Spiritual: I'm not happy in this incarnation. Driving represents the flow of Khundalini energy. My mother holding me back is being tied to this incarnation when I should be moving on to a better one (this relates to the second paragraph in this post).

    While in waking life and in dreams I have felt like I made a huge mistake not commiting to the relationship, I did find it interesting that the round about in the dream looked like the round about a few blocks from my ex's house. I suppose that this means that I am obsessing about her too much, but there is also a possibility that this breakup has motivated me to "deal with my shit" and possibly find a "better" (doesn't feel right to write that) relationhsip in the future.
  10. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Went to the couselling appointment today. Could be good.
  11. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Day 60. 16% towards my goal. Just need to do that six more times. Piece of cake. Can only get easier.
  12. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Life is change, but somehow the natural tendency is to resist to that change, often aided by the people around us. Building your own and new goals by imagination is a great and maybe tje only effective way to accomplish the changes that you want. To direct all the variables into the right direction. I have experienced the power of such imaginations in tje past and your posts remind me of picking it up again, because lately I feel unguided and need to give myself direction.

    Great thay you went to counselling!

    About your relationship, I don't think it was the addiction or your addictive side that made the break up happen. To me it just seems it was not the right person or time for you. You're just 37. The world is a place of abundance. All options are still open! I got my current relationship and children at later age. I was not ready for it before that (both relation and kids). Now I am. I am happy I have my current experience for raising my childeren. It would have been a mess if if all happened 10 years earlier......
  13. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Thanks. Most of the advice that I was getting was that I should stay with her, but a few people who had been in unsatisfactory relationships strongly advised against getting into something unless I was 100%. I still seel like I can do something to get her back. We had some really good times together and it's hard to let it go. One problem is: She had gotten this thermometer and app so we would know when it was safe to have sex without a condom. Shortly afterwards she started getting UTIs every time we had sex. Then she had to take preventative antibiotics, which I found really concerning. Maybe this seems like a minor thing, but I find it to be very important for the spiritual/emotional connection in the relationship to have "unprotected" sex at the right time. I wonder if her psychological uncertainties about the relationship were a factor.

    I've been in really rough shape, but feeling considerably better the last two days. Maybe the counselling helped. I don't want to get my hopes up too much, but it feels like maybe I am at least moving into another type of suffering, if not moving through a lot of it altogether. It was the same bullshit for so long. It got to be really boring. I was bored with myself. I would welcome anything different, even if it's not necessarily easier.

    A little while back, as I was drifting off to sleep, I tried to go as deeply into my suffering as possible, rather than running from it. I pictured myself in a bathysphere with a tiny light and constant panning views showing how, vast, black, and empty my surroundings were. Last night I had something simmilar. I got a new car which doesn't have an aux/usb hookup, so I've been listening to my old non-burned CDs and getting into a nostalgia trip. When I was coming out of heavy duty depression years back, I stopped listening to Pink Floyd because the lyrics are really bleak and depressing, but I brought it out in the car. As I was drifting off to sleep last night, in my mind's eye I pictured a limp body drifting deeper and deeper into the depths of the ocean while "don't leave me now" was looping as the soundtrack. Then images of being in a coffin with more and more shovelfuls of soil being thrown on top. After a while it shifted from something bleak and empty, to strangely cosy and welcoming.
  14. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I slept for a really long time on Friday night. Dreams were more enjoyable. I dreampt that I was in an apartment building (somehow related to the one I am actually living in). The landlord/lady said that I had to use a communal shower and that I couldn't use mine. I was really looking forward to having a shower and I didn't find the shower in the communal shower very satisfactory. I was thinking "this is bullshit. I'm paying the same rent and getting less". I couldn't rememeber why I couldn't use my shower anymore, so I walked towards the bathroom to jog my memory. There were tools on the floor in the hallway and the ordinary door had been replaced by a very luxurious set of wooden doors. I peaked inside and saw a TV on in there. "Yeah, they're just shriking my suite to get more rent money". Then I asked the landlady about it and she said "oh no, don't you remember, we're renovating your bathroom". Then I was taken on a tour of some common areas with facilitites that I didn't know about. There was a big lounge with a pool table and a room with a bunch of pianos that the tennenats could use. There were people practicing at some of them, but somehow they could hear themselves, but weren't distracted by the other people playing.

    As mentioned earlier, the house/apartment represents my current personality/psyche/incarnation and the "me" that inhabits it is my soul/ego/will/highest self. The bathroom represents a place where challenging tasks are undertaken to "cleanse" myself (become more moral/be able accomplish more things in life). The toilet represents dealing with the real dark/unpleasant/shameful aspects of myself. The shower is related to more pleasant general maintenence and fine-tuning/ self-improvment tasks which I am inherently motivated to pursue. Using the public shower relates to other recent dreams where I was told that I would need some assistance with what I am working on now and that it would be uncomfortable for me. This is only temporary though and then I can take more pleasure in keeping things up once I'm on the right path. The pool table represents an opportunity to socialize or a desire to do so. The piano means having the luxury of pleasant engagement with the most fullfilling, creative, sprititual aspects of life. I'm not sure what the other players represented. In real life I dowloaded some recording software which allows me to do overdubs, so it could have something to do with that.

    Today I smoked weed for the first time durig this streak. I was a bit nervous about this, because this can be a trigger for me. In the past I was more likely to indulge if I was stoned/burnt out. I was out in nature most of the day, but sure enough when I got home I flashed back to a particular scene and got a strong craving. I knew what needed to be done at that point. Drop everything and masturbate without porn as quickly as possible to orgasm. I did and my libido was brought back to a manageable level. I wasn't thinking about anything in particular when I started and I thought of my ex at the end. This really is the best thing to do in this situation. As long as you stay off porn, masturbating without it is not a big deal. It's just not that appealing, so it's not going to become a replacement addiction. Sure, in a perfect world it would be better to do neither, but it's definitely the lesser of two evils. Towards the start of the streak I was masturbating once a day, but you quickly realise that it is futile to think that this will give you the same kind of dopamine rush as PMO. It's something that just sorts it out and you don't do it excessively for any extended period of time.

    Lately, I have definitely been a lot more organized and productive. I still feel like cleaning, cooking, and shopping takes up way more time than it should, but I am less likely to just give up and live in squalor. A problem that comes up is that as I get more productive, I tend to also get more irritable. I just have two modes, lazy and avoidant as fuck, or pissed off and hyper-focused. The problem is neither of these is going to lead to better social outcomes. I was getting intense at the gym and then running errands. The non-verbal message I was putting off is "don't talk to me and stay the fuck out of my way". My inner monolgue was saying "do you think this is a fucking game! Time is running out". People would respond to me better if I was less serious and if I smiled. I laughed all the time when I was a kid/teenager. Now I only really laugh a couple times a year. I see everything as a brutal survival of the fittest scenario and I think "nothing is really light or funny, people just pretend that they see things this way to portray an aura of extreme confidence. They're trying to say 'I'm so sure that I will succeed that I can pretend like I don't care and I'm not trying'". In previous long streaks I have found that I have become less self-centered and feeling more true emotions towards other people, but I haven't gotten to a point where I thought I could relax. While PMOing, I am dependent on society to get my fix, so I am more docile and meek. When I get off PMO I realize how sick the society is to bring me to that point and then I want to rebel against it/ fight the system/ go off the grid. While this other mode is genuine, empowering, and liberating, it's another path to disintegration. I need to get to a point where I am not only able to resist the most pathological aspects of society, but willing to have faith that I can get good things out of it, selecting and attracting the very best.
  15. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm now at my third-best lifetime streak (on day 64, did 75 days one time and about 100 days one time). I feel quite different about it this time. Like I'm just approaching the beginning, and not yet reaching any major milestone. I am starting to see some psychological benefits.

    Last night I had trouble sleeping and I did something similar as what I described above, going into a semi-conscious dream-like state and picturing what my emotions would "look" like. This time, I wasn't feeling shame, loneliness, and despair though. I was feeling anger. I kept saying "you did what to me?!" with ever increasing fury. I pictured a monster rising and delivering the most savage and gory vengence imaginable. Then I got a craving and pictured a scene. The monster killed or wounded all the men involved in making the porno and then saved the woman and gave her back her dignity. At that point the woman was liberated and became a bird or a butterfly. This came naturally for some scenes, then I started thinking of some of my old favorities and had to egg on the monster a bit more.
  16. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm thinking that maybe the most "irrational" approaches are the best for tackling these problems. Reasoning hasn't gotten me very far in the past. Fighting with fanciful tools seems to be working on the same level as the addict, speaking in a language that he can understand.
    Gil79 likes this.
  17. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    After intending to do so many times before and not keeping it up, I am really avoiding procrastination. Mostly the basics: Keeping my apartment uncluttered, having the dishes done, laundry folded or piled in the closet, keeping up on the dishes, cooking for myself at least several times a week. This doesn't sound like much, but it is really the base for accomplishing anything. A major factor which caused me to start relapsing and becoming overwhelmed with the relationship and life in general was the absolute chaos in my living space. I can do a bit of work on it when I get home every evening and enjoy the space, or do way more work later and never feel like I am able to do what I want to do. That's the worst, when things get so messy that I don't even know where to begin. I do have some chores to do on top of basic upkeep, but I am gradually chipping away at these.

    Last night I was very productive with creative work. I got into a flow state with the recording project mentioned earlier and didn't want to go to bed last night. In spite of being up a bit later, I slept much better than I have in the past couple days. I fell asleep without masturbating and had dreams of idealized versions of some of my ex-girlfriends. Another element which re-appeared in my dreams was some kind of wooden temple on a hilltop or partially floating in the air. Last night there was some hippie couple living in it.

    I've been trying for quite a while to cut back on drinking alone. I never drink to excess, but I have been leaning towards being a functional alcoholic in the last couple years. I actually prefer drinking alone and I do it for different reasons than most people. I just like to have 2-4 drinks and contemplate. I find that it helps me think. My tolerance has increased quite a bit though and I really can't afford all the beer I'm buying. I managed only 2 beers in the last 4 days (one didn't count because it was at lunch with co-workers). I felt better in a lot of ways. I'm constantly dehydrated with the alcohol. I've been drinking some water which I filtered from a local creek, which feeels very cleansing. Tonight it really could have gone either way (hesitating before turning at the store), but I just finished a 650ml beer. Taking a bit of time off made me enjoy it more, but I'm always watching the level in the bottle go down and wishing I had more. Easier to avoid the whole ordeal, at least when staying home on a weekday. I have 45 minute commute. When I was leaving work, I was thinking "Going to the liquor store sounds like work, I would rather just have more time to relax", but as the drive went on I started craving beer more. This is quite minor relative to PMO issues, but something to be aware of. I definitely think that I am getting better at resisting.

    ...better at resisting a lot of things. There's a nice transfer over with controlling behaviour and controlling thoughts. Since I've been abstaining from PMO, I've been better at controlling compulsive, negative thoughts. On the weekend, I saw an extremely beautiful woman. She was flawless and had a huge smile. She was with her boyfriend. Very well dressed. Hair proffessionally styled, etc. Normally, I would look at her and then think "She is one of the best/most fortunate people who have ever lived. All of human history has been moving towards producing her. She's right there, but she might as well be in another galaxy. I will never know what it is like in her world, etc." Normally I would get into this loop for 10 minutes or so and then it would ruin the rest of my day, however in this case I quickly cut it off saying: "The accuracy or innacuracy of these observations is irrelevant. I don't like the way this is headed. I've heard this all before and it's pointless to go down this road."...and I mostly succeded and enjoyed some freedom rather than coming back from the weekend thinking "I can't take care of myself. I might as well go back to work."
  18. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Day 67.

    I was not getting that much in the way of cravings, but last night was rough.

    I'm using the computer more for non-porn related activities, which is a good way to extinguish triggers. A couple of days ago I opened an audio file which came up in Windows Media Player. Seeing that interface pop op brought up vivid memories of pmo. I would go onto MGP sites a lot and a clip would be downloading in the background and suddenly pop up to play a clip...holy fuck I shouldn't be writting I can really imagine all the sensations associated with that.

    I suppose that I was half-expecting to get back together with my ex. Now this seems less likely and I am having more trouble, feeling at the moment like there's no reason to put myself through this abstinence ordeal.
  19. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Hope you're staying strong. I can tell you from fresh experience that there's nothing to gain with acting out. We have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  20. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm still on top of it.

    I didn't really want to act out, but I was finding it exhausting dealing with the cravings. I was getting a fair bit of insomnia this week, which is unusual for me. I feel like I have a buildup of nervous energy without PMOing. I suffer from OCD, and there is probably some relationship between this and having trouble keeping still long enough to fall asleep. I tend to fidget a lot. If I have on object in reach, I tend to have some tactile interaction with it (such as unscrewing and screwing together pens). I've been growing my beard out and in the evenings I find that I am always touching it, untangling, etc. This also can come up in touching my penis, whether in an explicitly masturbatory way or not. I did manage to not masturbate or orgasm for the last four days and I'm feeling better with that.

    I have a wierd thing, where I am pretty good and not stroking, but I find other ways to masturbate. With PMO edging sessions you get into doing a lot of kiegels. This leads to a neurological tendency to engage these muscles, mostly involuntarily. I'm sure most people have some experience with "coregasm" where intense abdominal exercises can cause orgasm. I have a bad habit of doing something like this while lying in bed and it tends to keep me awake or to lead to masturbation. I start rhytmically contracting and relaxing all the muscles around the genital region. This can lead to pleasurable sensations, and with great focus, orgasm, but it doesn't feel like a good thing to be doing overall. It gets my heart racing to the point where I am worried about causing some damage. Also there may be a risk to the prostate as it tends to make me urinate more frequently. If I continue with No PMO, this habit should fade (has happened with previous streaks). It's hard to get out of though because it's something that doesn't necessarily start with a conscious intention and can still happen when I have control over my major muscles (ie., hands and arms).

    This is a difficult time with the reboot because I now have a streak going, but I'm still waiting and hoping on substantial improvements in my life. There are improvements at this point, but they are subtle enough that other people might not notice them. More peace of mind, more depth of emotion, and better self-care. Can these changes move from the inside out, to eventually lead to more/better friendships and romantic relationships? More money? While in cycles of acting out, it is taken as a given that this is what I need to do, but when I get there it can be a letdown. The fact that I am continuing towards my goal is evidence of hope, but what will I do if it doesn't work? I can't begin to describe how devestating it would be if this doesn't "work" for me. I'm not one of those people who can just coast through life. Everything is more of a struggle for me. I've struggled with porn for many years, but I'm afraid of losing the ability to always fall back on the idea that things would have worked out differently if I was able to abstain. Self-handicaping. If I can honestly say that I tried my best and still see myself as failing, what then? What else could it be? What else could I try?

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