Sorting myself out

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by GameChanger, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    I think partly I allowed myself yesterday to fall into a negative cycle of work stress, too much caffeine, which led to too much alcohol in the evening and ultimately a relapse. It would be good if I could become aware of these things as I go along; be aware of the effect they have on me and therefore reduce/abstain.

    It's a real shame because it was the first time I have been alone in the evening for quite some time (my wife was away). It was a really good opportunity to abstain and help myself move away from the addiction.

    Never mind, all I can do is try to learn and move on, and look after myself better in future.
  2. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    I think I can answer some of those questions. But first, have you read as much content as you can on the Your Brain On Porn site? I'd watch the videos and read the Star Here and rebooting basics pages. It may help you understand why you can't consciously get hold of porn.

    Actually, you seem intelligent and committed to quitting porn. I think you can do it if you get the right tools. Right now, maybe you are being too hard on yourself. What would happen if you took yourself to the zoo or a park or some safe place just to get out of your head for a bit?

    I think you have a good attitude and can make it.
  3. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    47 days done, no P.

    Have noticed I'm beginning to feel a closer connection to my wife; maybe music a bit better, I'm perhaps feeling less anxiety, or at least, it hasn't got worse despite a difficult few weeks mentally and physically (not connected to this and not self-inflicted).

    I am far from 'cured' - still fantasising, although more imagining myself in sexual situations with women, than fantasising about P (still some temptation here as well though). Of those two, I suspect that both are unhealthy but that the former is less screwed-up than the latter. I shouldn't be doing the former either because I'm married and do love my wife (really).

    One way to think about improvement is that it will perhaps take us (the rebooters) to somewhere we are not expecting, mentally, emotionally and psychologically. What I mean is, that before the improvement (distancing self from P) takes place, we may not know what it is going to be like. Some things we were hoping to get magically fixed (e.g. personal finances, social status, even some aspects of mental health) may not be fixed so easily or at all by this endeavour. On the other hand, some things may begin to feel better which we never even expected.

    It's been 10.5 years since before I became a user of P - perhaps this is not a journey to re-become my old self but to more fully accept and fulfil the person I can be today and tomorrow, and maybe I can't really imagine what that is going to be like. However, being certain that P has not been good for my mental health, and has therefore stunted my development (who knows to what extent? - and that's a hard thought), I have to trust that moving away from it will take me somewhere better, that it will help me to become a better person in some way or another. That's an exciting but challenging thought. Some of my old self must die (and I have to take that pain) in order for the new to emerge, whatever it will be.
    nuclpow likes this.
  4. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    I completed 66 days and relapsed a week ago. I think 66 days is probably the longest I had gone in a long time (several years?), so would like to try to build on that rather than focus on the negative. It was a short, isolated relapse. But it ruined my sleep that night - just the dopamine rush which went on for hours afterwards - it was horrible - I wanted to sleep but couldn't. My restlessness disturbed my wife's sleep as well. I said sorry in the morning and meant it, it made me feel so bad. I don't think I can share with her what I am going through, not yet anyway. Maybe I shouldn't. Not all burdens are for sharing. Maybe I will see this differently in time but I can't tell her now.

    Before the relapse, I think I partly realised that I was changing, moving away from the addiction; the addiction reacted to that by shouting very loudly and I gave in. Stress also played a part; the more stressed I am, the more likely to relapse, the less in control. Maybe I need to work on my stress and its root causes - unhappiness with my job and current station in society?

    I need to keep going now; I feel like I have made progress. Whilst I am not at a point where I feel happy or strong in myself, I am maybe in a better place than a few months ago. If not that, then perhaps I've merely had some glimpses of what strength and happiness feel like, and I want more of that. I need to let this go so that I can move on.

    I know I'm not fully reformed yet, but I haven't given up either, and there's a long life ahead, so worth putting in every effort so that I can enjoy the time ahead, and be able to offer warmth and support, rather than a portion of misery, to my wife, family and friends.
    Thelongwayhome27 and baywalker like this.
  5. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    This happens to me every time. I stay up for hours unable to sleep. Congrats on 66. That is a huge accomplishment.
  6. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Roughly speaking (re dates, number of times is accurate); occasions I have used P in recent months:
    8th Dec - 66 day gap - 12th Feb - 37 day gap - 20th March

    So three occasions in 4 months. That's better than the 4 months before that, for sure. Need to build on that, rather than allowing myself to sink back. Each day contains a choice to move forwards or backwards - no matter how rubbish I may feel at any given moment, there is the chance to build and move forward 'towards the light'.

    Jordan Peterson on consciousness:
    " Consciousness...struggles upwards towards the light. Its development is painful and anxiety-provoking, as it carries with it the realisation of vulnerability and death. It is constantly tempted to sink back down into dependency an unconsciousness, and to shed its existential burden. It is aided in that pathological desire by anything that opposes enlightenment, articulation, rationality, self-determination, strength and competence - by anything that shelters too much, and therefore smothers and devours."

    I believe that porn, for those of us struggling with addiction, represents that thing that 'smothers too much' - it takes away our own agency, as sexual beings, allowing others (the actors) to take on that burden in our place, thereby relieving us of our responsibility but also denying us the chance of self-realisation and fulfilment, rendering us almost like ghosts, almost like semi-conscious non-beings. So it is the choice between the pain of consciousness (enabled here thorough honest, genuine abstinence), which can nevertheless lead to somewhere better than the present (but somewhere we have to accept as real, limited), or the pain of shame brought on by the destruction of our own agency, the refusal to be actors even in our own lives; dependency (or addiction, in other words). Making the right choice is hard. I've often been brave and made the right choice, but I've also often been cowardly and made the weak choice. It matters what choices we make, it matters what we do. It is a choice between independence and addiction, freedom and slavery, honest, improving suffering, and dishonest, destructive suffering; between real life and death-in-life.

    Let's try to make the right choice today.
    Battlesword1 and nuclpow like this.
  7. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Have been struggling a bit the past week or so; allowing myself to fall victim to temptation; not having the humility, or self-composure to simply be myself, accept the present moment and go without this mind-drug. Have had to push through today, having relapsed last night, which has left me feeling low. Need to make sure tonight is better than last night so that tomorrow can be a better day.
  8. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    I've noticed that relying on will power doesn't work around here. One's will power is a limited resource. What have you got for filtering? Hosts file filtering, a NSFWGuard add-on, and a private window blocker have helped me tonnes! Have you taken any of these practical measures? Yes, I know they can all be disabled, but for some reason I don't choose to do so, and these blockers are a pillar of my porn quitting streak.

    I also recommend a life plan and maybe changing your lifestyle around so you have things other to do than porn.
  9. Battlesword1

    Battlesword1 Active Member

    Hey Game Changer! I'm just starting down my own path, and nuclpow recommended the host filtering. I'm copying a link below which helped me block porn sites (the ones I could remember the names of, i.e. my automatic go to sites).

    You can scroll down to "Change Your Host Files" to see how to do it.

    I also wonder if the computer/phone itself is part of the problem? Until you can replace the bad habit with a good habit when in front of your devices, maybe try to put the devices away? Intentionally locking them in a safe in another room, and giving your wife the key. Only accessing the devices during certain hours? Maybe supervised by the wife even?

    Speaking of, is she party to your recovery? How is she taking the relapses? I myself am on my own (minus a good friend who checks in) and I wonder how it works with a partner/spouse?
    nuclpow likes this.
  10. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Regarding filtering, I recently installed Pluckeye and it seems to be the filter I've always dreamed of. If you haven't heard of it I can tell you more about it if you're interested.
  11. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Thanks for the messages. Relapsed on Tues night - less than 5 mins of vids, with no M. Then switched off. So the streak was 29 days, plus or minus one. A lot of progress to build on.

    I had had a filter in place, but it failed for some reason without me disabling it. Very disappointing.

    Speaking to my wife about this is not something I think I can least not yet. I think she would take it hard and would not understand. It's kind of like cheating, really.

    Will just try to be mindful in the coming days and then consider whether I need a filter. When I had the 66 day streak, it was without a filter, so I don't know if they're essential to me; on the other hand, maybe I will realise I need one. I will think about it and look at the links people have posted here.

    I do have interests outside P! Reading, TV, sport...maybe need to work on them more though. Thanks for the support and all the best.
  12. LKe

    LKe Member

    Hey @GameChanger keep at it! Thanks for the inspiring Journal. Keep building off those long streches you've done don't think of it as back to zero.

    I relate to what you said about not always knowing where rebooting will take you. Obviously there are some common responses which are great, but it's good to know that some things you think might get easier could stay the same while other things improve you weren't expecting. For me the best place to reboot from is not one of specific expectations alone, but just feeling keen for, and open, change and growth
  13. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Thanks @LKe - I am going to keep at it.

    Another setback last night after 4 days of abstinence - a few minutes viewing. The urge to look is still so strong, even when I am able to put it down after a few minutes. Need to have a think about why I am not able to just abstain in the first place.

    I'm in a much better place at the moment than I have been in the past. Faced with a simple choice between falling back, or building on my progress, why would I not choose the latter?
    LKe likes this.
  14. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    15 mins of videos on Thurs night, no PMO - had been about 11 days clear at that point. Same pattern as before - abstaining for 2 or 3 weeks and then giving in to some viewing. When this problem was much worse in my student days, I used to view a lot more heavily and PMO all the time. I have moved a long way on from that. I went a number of years without PMO, because I hate that moment so much, but have relapsed even in that sense at times over the last 1 or 2 years, which is like a big step backward.

    Things could be a lot worse right now as well as a lot better. I feel the compulsion is there to re-view once I have viewed. That normally lasts for a few weeks, where it's harder not to relapse. After that, the mental pressure and immediate urge fade, but what has brought me back to porn even after, say, 2 months of abstinence, has been something like either curiosity (forgetting the pain associated with viewing), or maybe a fear of changing myself as a result of the abstinence.
  15. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Same as last week - 8 days of abstinence, then 15 mins of viewing last night, no PMO. I might as well just repeat my previous post really, which means I'm going in circles. Need to make more of an effort.
  16. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    But that you have the ability to stop after 15 minutes shows (compared to your student days) how far you've come. That requires a good amount of self-control. Not perfect, yes. But definitely an improvement.

    At the same time I like how you don't try to rationalize the 15 minutes. At the beginning, when I read a lot on reddit/nofap, all the time you saw guys who watched porn for hours, but didn't count it as a relapse because the didn't O. Your mindset is way more helpful.
    Battlesword1 likes this.
  17. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Thanks for your reply Luke. Just had a quick look at your thread, wishing you all the best.

    I like the quote you have from Underdog, "the secret of change is to focus all your energy not fighting the old, but building the new". I'll have a think about that.

    I relapsed again last night after 6/7 days. 5-10 mins looking at just pics, no M, MO or PMO.
  18. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    It's in my signature since I found this forum, but I don't think I understand it to the full extent even now.

    I like your approach. There's no grey area. I think you're heading in the right direction.
  19. GameChanger

    GameChanger Member

    Did 2 weeks this time before relapse - 10 mins vids, no PMO.
  20. Lakaf

    Lakaf Active Member

    2 weeks is great!

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