Starting a new Journey

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by ImonaJourney, Jun 30, 2022.

  1. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Today, when reading my devotion I came across Colossians 2:7 and immediately thought of another post I'm following on ReBoot Nation. The guy posting shared his story and struggle of removing poison ivy from his property. Here is the verse, "Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness."

    For many of us on this journey, we have to pull out the poison ivy/weeds. Often pulling out the weeds can be very difficult. We have to first identify the weed, figure out if it's more important to keep it or get rid of it, begin the process of digging it up, and then try to figure out what to replace it with. This week I am making an intentional decision to work on forgiving those people in my life that have hurt me by what they have said to me or done to me. I'm choosing to let go of the resentment, bitterness, and anger I've held on to for 10-15 years. Sunday, I identified the fact that I need to work on this - I identified the weed. Yesterday, I fully understood that it is more important for me to deal with these hurt feelings than to allow them to hang around my neck like a millstone. Then I began the digging process of making a list to identify these people and how they hurt me. Today, I will begin the process of writing out a letter to each one and put it in the mail. So, I've done, and am going through the process of digging up the resentment weed and now I am choosing to replace it by "...letting my life be built on Him." As I continue this weed-pulling process I am eagerly looking forward to seeing how my faith in Christ will grow stronger in truth, and how much more I will be "thankful" for the things God has given me.

    There are two things he said in his last post that stood out to me. The first is, "I need..." This is a purposeful statement that says I am choosing to move forward. The second is "Life is great when we insist..." I like that. I think there is a passive insisting and an assertive insisting. The passive insisting, for me, is when I just gave up and let the problems of life overtake me. I felt like a dead jellyfish that had been washed up on the beach and I passively insisted on bringing PMO into my life. His statement goes on to say, "...when we insist on the straight path." For me, that is aggressively insisting on changing my habits so that God can show me what His good and perfect will for my life is. God's plan and will for my life are so much better than the death spiral PMO has to offer.

    Last verse for the day... "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8

    My blessings to whoever may read this and keep up the good fight.

    Day 17 - 7/12/2022 Zero PMO By the Grace of God
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Love it!
  3. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Great to start the day with, I will take this with me for today
  4. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    The most magnificent thought process !
  5. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Today I read some really good stuff in my daily devotional and I'd like to share it here. I get my daily devotional from using the Bible App and I am following the plan entitled: Just Breathe -

    Hope And Help For Those Drowning In The Pain Of Addiction

    Surrendering our life to God is a big deal for many of us because we spent so many years with our minds fixed on everything but God, right? My friend told me once about his brother-in-law’s farm in Kentucky. He said that there was a path going from the barn to his main field. He could drive his tractor out of the barn, put it on that path, take his hands completely off the steering wheel, and it would go down that path and perfectly through the gate into the field. He said the reason his tractor could do that is because he had been up and down that path so many times that there were deep ruts in that road. All he had to do was get the tires aligned with the ruts, and it would automatically do its thing.

    Then my friend told me, “Keith, you’ve been driving in the same old ruts for thirty years; you need new ruts. You need new pathways, new patterns of thinking, new ways of coping, and new ways of reacting. You have to change your focus. Just feed and focus, feed and focus, and feed and focus.”

    So I’m learning that as you feed and focus, your way of thinking begins to change. And as your way of thinking begins to change, your way of behaving starts to change. And as your behavior starts to change, old habits start to die. And as old habits start to die, freedom starts to define your life, and real lasting inside out transformation starts to overwhelm you!

    So, let God metamorpho you into a new creation by changing the way you think.

    This devotional really speaks to me about how long I've spent creating bad ruts in my life and how important it is for me to create new life-altering positive ruts. No one has ever told me that building new pathways would be easy. In fact, some days are really hard. My wife and I are building a brand new farmhouse. We started last year on designing the house, February we started ordering the material and in May they started digging the foundation. One of the first things the contractor did was to dig down 4' to lay the foundation walls. From there, everything else has been built on top of that foundation. We had to go deep past the frost line to protect the interior of the house.

    Luke 6: 47 - 48 says: For everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

    A lot of planning, meetings, thoughts, ideas, and digging had to go into planning our new house. We had to create new ruts as we learned more about the process of building a new home. I am intentionally choosing to create new ruts, or build a new home, for my life. I've spent too many years shackled to the past and to the addiction of PMO that I've decided it's NOW time for me to learn to live a new life. My foundation is being built on Christ the Solid Rock and His word.

    Day 19 - 7/14/2022 Zero PMO By the Grace of God...

    Attached Files:

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  6. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Two days ago I experienced an incredibly high level of fear and anxiety that I had to triple up on some of my anxiety meds. Since I'm going through the ****** lessons (****** is now FREE by the way) I am learning to identify my triggers. I think what happened was I called my wife up while she was at work and said that when she got home we were going to go for a walk. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to force myself to get out of the house. Once I hung up the phone the fear started to creep in followed by a really nice dose of anxiety. There are two parts to my trigger with the first being I was going to actually get out of the house. My house is my safe place. Yep, I can leave the house to run errands but that's when I get in and get out as fast as I can trying to avoid people as much as possible. And that's the second reason the fear and anxiety came in like a flood... people. I try to avoid people because in the past when I was doing the right thing, people would come up to me and make extremely negative comments which tore me down mentally. These people were leaders that I once respected and they ripped me to shreds with their words. What's ironic about this particular trigger is that a few days prior to me getting out of the house for a simple walk with my wife, I sat down and wrote each of the people who "hurt" me a letter stating that I forgive them, and then I mailed the letters. I wanted, and needed, to get rid of the resentment I had towards these people. I'm understanding that even though I may have taken the first initial step by writing a letter and putting it in the mailbox, I will still have to work through the steps of finally letting go of what was said to me and the people who did it. It's a day-to-day process. One of the tools I grabbed ahold of was reading and quoting Isaiah 41:10, which basically says, "Fear not, I am with you, Be not troubled, I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, and I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

    Day 21 - 7/16/2022 Zero PMO | By the Grace of God
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    That's great! You've sent you letters and now let it go. Some, or all, of those people might not receive the letter well, but that's not your concern.
  8. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Needing your thoughts and ideas...

    So..., in nine days I will celebrate my first 30 days of zero PMO. I know some guys think it's not a good idea to use a counting system while others seem to prefer it. As for me, I prefer it. Right now it gives me a clear-cut picture of how I have been doing. It shows me how many days I have behind me and if I can be porn free for those number of days, then I can go another so many days.

    Here's where I need your thoughts and ideas. What are some ways to celebrate a 30-day challenge? What are things you have done in the past to pat yourself on the back and say job well done?

    Please note that I am NOT trying to get ahead of myself, especially since I'm still nine days out. I think putting a reward for me to work towards will just add to the goals I already have set for myself.

    Can't wait to see some creative celebratory ideas and thank you to everyone that has helped and encouraged me over the past 22 days. YourBrainRebalanced provides such a great platform for guys like me.

    Thanks, everyone.

    Day 22 - 7/17/2022 | By the Grace of God
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Well, at first 21 days is already a great accomplishment, so congrats on that!

    As a reward, you could sit down and meditate or pray and be aware and thank yourself that you have been giving this gift to yourself every day for 30 days straight. Every extra day clean means a little less of the 'wrong wiring' and a bit more of the 'good wiring' that makes you a happier and more balanced person.

    And make sure to write a post so we can celebrate that day with you!
    ImonaJourney and Saville like this.
  10. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Gil79 - you know, when I asked for suggestions on how to celebrate my 30-days I was thinking about going out to dinner with my wife, or going to get ice cream, etc. I never thought of "taking care of myself". I really like your idea about "thanking myself" for doing the hard work and laying a better foundation so I could get to the 30 days. Great idea.
  11. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Last night I was in a high-level panic mode and fear was gripping every part of who I am. My wife is out of town for three days because of work and I'll be home, alone - well, our dog will be with me, and last night I was terrified. In the past, when my wife has been out of town for a day or two it was so easy to give in to the lonely urge and spend several hours in a PMO session. Now my wife is gone for three days and last night I was panicking. However, this morning when I woke up I felt a sense of peace about today. I can work through tomorrow when it gets here. I have done enough homework (I'm still doing the homework) to get me through today. I'm posting here and on one other site for accountability and encouragement. I have identified the three most important reasons why I don't want to relapse: my relationship with Christ, my relationship with my wife, and my relationship with myself. I've got 24 days behind me and only six more days before I hit my 30-day goal. Through my daily devotions, I am learning that I am more important than anything PMO can bring me. PMO was a death spiral and I am choosing to live. Today, I have things planned out to keep me busy. The old tapes in my head are saying, "Just stay home and in bed. Don't go outside. Blah. Blah. Blah. I am making a concerted effort to NOT listen to the old tapes but instead re-wire my brain to new and exciting things that life can bring.

    Day 24 - 7/19/2022 | By the Grace of God
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  12. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

    Well done ImonaJourney inspirational stuff.
    ImonaJourney likes this.
  13. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Day 1 down with only two more to go. Yesterday I re-focused my attention on my daily devotions, posting here, checking in with my AP, running errands, doing dishes, taking out the trash, and working on some new photography skills. Even though 'fear' popped up its ugly head a couple of times throughout the day, I noticed the more I focus on other things the fear was less and less. Today I am going to have to be a little more creative with my time. I don't have as many things to do today to fill up my time. I will make it work, though. Today will be a good day.

    Here's an additional note... when I began this recovery journey I would mull over in my head how awful I was, how ashamed, angry, lonely, guilty, and embarrassed I was. I would run the tapes in my head over and over again which just brought on, even more, fear and anxiety. Over the past couple of days, I have been changing the way I do things. Instead of ruminating about all the negative things in my life, when a thought comes into my head I am now saying out loud, "I do not accept that feeling of ___________. Instead, today, I am filled with peace and contentment. As I speak this new truth out loud and hear it, my confidence for the day grows little by little. It's the small steps, one at a time, that begin a journey.

    Today is Day 25 of Zero PMO. Five more days to go and I'll reach the big 30 challenge. By the Grace of God...
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  14. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Love this!
  15. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Day 3 of my wife being out of town for work. She comes home tonight. YEAH!!!!

    Today has been a little crazy for me. My dog woke me up at 5:30 am to tell me he needed to go outside and take care of some business. For most people that wouldn't be a problem, for me it is. I don't do mornings and I deal with chronic fatigue. So this early morning adventure has put a bit of a damper on my day. Then went to an eye doc appt and they dilated my eyes. I was hoping to get outside to take some pictures at a local park but I can't see a thing. lol

    Last night went well without much distraction. I'm very thankful for that. When going to bed I quoted Isaiah 41:10 over and over in my head and that really helped. I also took time to pray for my APs as we walk this journey together. This afternoon will be full of posting, journaling, and jumping into my daily devotion. I will also listen to more lessons on my ****** app.

    Day 26 - 7/21/2022 | By the Grace of God
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  16. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Last night my wife came home from her business trip and she brought with her a Wendy's chocolate frosty for me. How cool is that? See what I did there, frosty and cool. View attachment 6889 View attachment 6890 That's my deflection for the day because I'm actually feeling very frustrated, lonely, discouraged, and angry at myself. First of all, NO I did not fall off the wagon and look at any porn. Yeah, good for me. When my wife got home we were able to sit down and talk about how her business trip went and the new farmhouse that we are building. We had a good conversation. However, when I went to bed, I felt very discouraged and alone - those were my triggers for the night. You see, I wanted my wife to acknowledge what a great job I did for not engaging in any type of PMO over the past three days. I also wanted her to tell me what a great job I did holding down the fort while she was gone. Wow! Talk about an unrealistic expectation... she doesn't even know that I'm on Day 27 of no PMO but yet, in some magical way I'm expecting her to say, "Great job!" I really needed to focus on her last night. She was tired and sore from standing all day. So now I have to realize that I was projecting incorrect expectations on my wife and then deal with the anger I have towards myself for being so selfish in my thinking.

    I could really use some encouragement today, guys.

    Day 27 - 7/22/2022 | By the Grace of God
  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Your thinking isn't selfish. You've done great work! But you're right that it's not the wife's job to pat us on the back just because we didn't look at P. However, right here, on this forum, it's our job. :) So, again, you are doing amazing things.

    Eventually your wife will start noticing that you are a different, stronger, more reliable person. Smile, my friend, and realize that you are on a hero's journey.
    ImonaJourney likes this.
  18. ImonaJourney

    ImonaJourney Member

    Two more days to go until I reach Day 30.
    How cool is that?

    You know, today on Day 28, it just occurred to me that giving up porn isn't so much about giving up porn as it is taking care of the underlying issues: my triggers. Don't get me wrong. Me, I hate porn with everything I have and I hated what it was doing to me mentally, physically, and spiritually. However, porn was the escape I used when I refused to deal with the actual issues that were happening at the time. Porn was the problem on the surface. I personally need to deal with the underlying problems. When I was lonely, I would get my phone out. When I was angry, I would get my phone out. When I was bitter or resentful at someone, I would get my phone out. The feeling or emotion had to happen first before the action of getting out my phone took place. And I was terrible at dealing with my feelings or emotions.

    One of the all-consuming feelings I have had for quite a long time is Fear. My AP (who is AWESOME by the way) has helped me to identify the fact that the fear I have been experiencing is because of the various feelings/emotions I have kept hidden for so long and not dealt with. I've been so afraid to deal with how to handle these important feelings. Dealing with these feelings, I believe, is a key component of gaining recovery over PMO.

    At this moment in time, this instance, this second, for me, I believe giving up porn is easy. I'm not trying to be cocky or disrespectful in any way shape or form when I say that. Let me explain. If I refocus my attention away from the porn over to what the actual root of the problem is, then, for me, the desire to watch porn becomes less and less every day. What I do think is difficult is changing my attitudes, behaviors, and the way I think or feel when certain situations happen to me. As I told my AP the other day, "I have lived in such a porn-induced coma for so long that I have lost sight of what true freedom looks and feels like.

    Here's how I would visualize the vicious cycle I've been in for more than 4 decades.

    Feeling guilty, shameful, embarrassed, having a lack of confidence, being depressed, and anxious -- all because of porn.
    Porn was the action I took because I wanted to gain some sense of escape from anger, loneliness, bitterness, and resentment.

    Here's to the journey of working on my feelings and emotions for a healthier me. I deserve this and it's so important for me to see victory here.

    Day 28 - 7/23/2022 | By the Grace of God
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  19. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

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  20. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yup, PMO is easy to quit, but hard to stay away from if we don't put the necessary work in on ourselves. Your thinking is getting clearer by the day!
    StarWarsFan and ImonaJourney like this.

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