Tea-man's search for meaning

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Tea-man, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Okay, so far so good. I'm actually feeling mild temptation at the moment, though I have been keeping busy and have a lot of projects on the go - I think this is key for me, though the worry is if I put too much pressure on myself it will have the opposite effect.
    I never ended doing any goal setting for new years, I need to do that over this weekend so I can find myself direction. The biggest daily habits I want to establish are:
    Daily goal setting
    Daily reflection
    Review of future plans
    Daily stretching
    Daily contact with people close to me
    I also would like to dedicate an area of focus per day, one physical and one goals related. I'm thinking that the 'physical' areas can be things like activities, areas to clean around the house etc, and the goals were going to be broken up as career, finance, relationships, etc.
    I have come to terms with PMO usually coming from a sense of overwhelm, a 'procrasturbation' as it were. I believe that clearly defined goals will give me more structure, and a greater productivity and sense of achievement which will remove the need.
    It's the weekend now, so I need to make the most of it
     
  2. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So I was able to stick to this somewhat, but I need a more structured approach for sure. Just before I logged on I was starting to get a bit bored (Like there isn't plenty to do around the house :S) so I came here rather than look for any additional stimulus. I'm glad I kept the journal, if only to organize my own thoughts and be reminded of what I said just a few days ago.
    I haven't done the daily goal setting but I feel I am making haphazard progress towards multiple goals - having said that I have read "getting things done" in the past and really bought the idea of breaking goals into steps that require no additional thought at all, and I think that's why I haven't moved more concretely on these things so much.

    I think that the habit of following plans is so important, but the issue I have is that I tend to have too much on the go that I don't know what I need to be reading and reviewing... it's a hard habit to start but I know it will be worth it in the end. I feel like this is a key to productivity, which will lead to a flow state and free up a lot of stress which I have used as an excuse in the past to PMO.

    At this stage my journal is not about PMO strictly, it is still an issue for me I guess but I am starting to see a future for myself where I don't need 'one more' - I will have to review if I have said this before but I actually am feeling positive about all this and haven't felt this in a long time. So, if I get a bit 'self improvement-y' from here, that means I am doing well, and will be using this site as a record so I can review what works and what doesn't if things get tough in the future. So even if I don't mention PMO explicitly, I still consider this a very important part of recovery - creating a life I don't need to escape from
     
  3. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    A real quick one. So previously I identified that I need to have better plans, to keep myself busy and in a state of flow. I started a time diary yesterday, just trying to identify what was taking my time, and if there were any surprises (higher or lower than expected). I haven't had a look yet but it was interesting, when I had to write down what I was doing, I had to make the decision on what it is I should be doing (didn't want to write 'nothing'), so I was extremely effective last night (tonight I went out so I couldn't exactly be effective, but had a great time). The purpose of this diary was really to be more effective at work but as it turns out I only really used it when I was at home, but I think that isn't necessarily a bad thing considering how much I have to do at home, and that no PMO is the goal so being busy at home is a great distraction.

    Regarding P, I have had a few sexual thoughts today - but nothing to do with P. I think I am past the 2 week mark again, which is when I notice that urges hit - and often I won't even be thinking about it and I will look at the date and yeah, 2 weeks like clockwork. I think it's my body's recovery period. Anyway, I am hoping to channel this into something more constructive.
     
  4. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Yeah, had some urges creep up on me yesterday, but I wasn't as bad today.
    Apart from that, just keeping busy is really helping I think, I have a few videos I've identified i'd like to watch on my computer so I am not doing much browsing either - just watching stuff on photography mostly. So, hobbies are helping. I plan on sitting down tonight and sorting out what I'm doing over the weekend, because I think having a list of things to do/videos to watch/places to be is the real secret, not just for staying off porn but also keeping all areas of life moving forward
     
  5. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Not a great day today, stressful, and I feel like I made some bad impressions.
    I need to make an effort to act in the best possible way even when I feel others are not giving me respect. It is a hard thing to do, especially because I know that if I say nothing it will happen forever, and if I react .. well, then I'm accused of getting defensive.
    It's funny, I hear that I should swallow my pride, but it never seems to go the other way, when someone would do the same for me.

    Anyway, minor urges only. Just lonliness triggers I guess
     
  6. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Today, not so good. I have said before that urges come every 2 weeks, whether I act on them or not. Well, it's been about 4 weeks now and they came down like a tonne of bricks. I ended up... well ended up seeking novelty, I don't consider it a total fail but I am not proud of myself.
    I made the conscious decision just then, to go to YBR rather than anything else to get this off my chest. I know I can do this...
     
  7. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Sigh... So I didn't want it to come to this...
    I did pretty well. Not bad... not good either.
    I feel like some of my most intrusive thoughts have gone away, though they still can arouse me at times if I turn my mind to them. And I feel like I have made a lot of progress...
    But I have fallen back into bad habits. Up late, nothing to do, looking for entertainment. Refreshing facebook, going back to the same sites over and over again until I just get so bored and am like... well, maybe I'll just peek.
    Game over.
    Anyway, restarting my reboot, I think it was a few days ago I relapsed all the way to O.
    I'm not upset or anything. I have never felt much in the way of shame when it comes to watching P, even when I watch things that I would never admit to my friends etc. But, I guess there is a bit of disappointment that my life is not the way I want it to be. That my life is so shallow that I have to resort to it as a form of entertainment. That I have not made the progress that I so badly wanted, not broken the habit even if I feel that I have beaten the addiction. Not achieved what I should have, that in many ways I feel powerless and lacking direction.
    Back on the wagon. This year I want to transform myself into an unstoppable force, focused and determined. I don't even consider porn a problem anymore, it's nothing more than an inconvenient symptom.
    I need to commit to myself that I will do this. But I am not worried about porn, I'm worried about lack of direction and idle time. So that is my new focus...
     
  8. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    I was trying to find this thread! And then I started clicking through the forums... Wow. 1 post in the last 2 years... it's a bit depressing when I see how long it has been going on for, and then reading and seeing that I haven't changed much, and it's the same statements of resolution again and again...
    Well, I'm back... kind of.
    I just need to write something down now, just to stop myself from procrastinating elsewhere.... because I know where that can lead.
    I'm in this month's challenge; so far so good but today the cravings hit me hard. And I almost acted on them too, but worse is I allowed my thoughts to wander and started thinking up extreme situations which is only going to make things harder from here
    Anyway, I hope to use this as a tool if I can. And one day I hope to come back and tell stories of a changed life and how I quit porn, maybe even have a chuckle at the size of the problem that used to challenge me. For now though, I am still addicted, I still need to take control of my life, and still procrastinate. On the plus side, I am practically a month into a streak; I have opportunities to take advantage of; and ... well, the procrastination part in the immediate future is going to be crushed by the stress of some deadlines :) So things are looking up at least. Good to be back...
     
  9. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So another day down - it was a hard one, thoughts slipping, but I got some things done at least which was nice. I was very tempted for a distraction though... Today I was under control mostly but towards the end of the day when I started to fantasize which wasn't good (especially at work, had to interrupt a few daydreams). I am feeling pretty empty I think, and I'm looking for something to 'fill' me. Presumably that's the lack of dopamine, but I guess boredom in general will do that, so I'll see if it clears over the next few weeks or if it's a normal reaction. Still going though, but need to take greater control over my attention to prevent 'mental' relapses and letting the persistent cravings wear down my willpower
     
  10. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Another day... I had plans to turn this into more of a self improvement journal at some point but for now all I am focusing on is just getting some study done, so there's not too much going on rather than trying to keep my focus. And struggling with that... Anyway, not long until that's over which will make things much easier, no more late nights forced to be up on the computer where willpower is low and temptation is high.
    So, things are tough on the quitting front, I'm a month clean, but I've started to have these 'romantic' fantasies - definitely an improvement from the fantasies I was having last week which were pretty graphic, but it's a bit of a strange one in that it's not really porn fantasies, or even sex fantasies, just mostly romance. I think it's more of a daydream than anything else. I am in a happy relationship by the way, so it's not like I'm deprived. Maybe I just want more.
    I didn't record the start date of this streak, but I was out of control towards the end of last year though so I'll just count it from the start of this year; call it 32 days, coming up on 33. I have to stay vigilant here, but I don't intend to ever go back
     
  11. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Good to see your on 32 days already. I'm hoping to reach a streak like that too in the near future.

    I don't think it's that wrong to have fantasies. Pretty much everybody has those. Perhaps the most important thing is to not take them too seriously and act upon them. Let them be fantasies. I don't know if you meditate or are into mindfulness, but you might have heard about the concept of thoughts being no more than thoughts. Thoughts pop up all the time. If you take them too seriously and act upon every thought (in whatever way) you're in trouble. But if you only see them as thoughts, as stories your mind produces constantly, you can easily let go of them and won't be bothered by them that much. Being a particle sort of thoughts, the same thing applies to fantasies. If they trouble you too much, the best thing to do is see them for what they are, accept them and just let them go. Ofcourse this is all easier said than done and it takes a bit of practice.

    Oh, and is trying to keep focus when it's not natural to you also self improvement?;)
     
  12. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    I guess it is :)

    My issue with fantasies is not having them but rather indulging them. I'll happily sit there and develop the fantasy like I'm writing a story, what happens next? What next? Nah that's boring, go back a bit... So letting go is the key, I agree, and thanks for the tips. I have heard so many benefits of meditation but still haven't ever made it one of my habits. I am easily distracted so I feel it would help me more than anybody. Not just with this; when I'm at work, the first sign of an obstacle I'm up and getting another coffee. Sometimes that helps clear the head (is what I tell myself), but sometimes it just prolongs the issue.
    These fantasies I've been having are okay I guess, last week they were purely on a dopamine seeking mission and I was frustrated that I allowed those fantasies to develop even though they were ... relying on shock value, graphic etc. So these fantasies are typical of the old me maybe, I was always a bit of a dreamer. But I don't want to be the guy daydreaming of something when I could be living it.
     
    Living likes this.
  13. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Oh, I do hear you on the fantasies. I always have had a big imagination and while that is great in some ways, in this particular case it can be a total burden. But having learned to see them as no more thoughts and not cling to them helps. It's not like I can control my thoughts or anything, but it does help:)
     
  14. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    I was reading on the no arousal method, and one 'distraction' I want to try is just focusing on the breath to interrupt fantasies. Imagination is great, but sitting there dreaming up sex fantasies and situations isn't the best use of my creativity :)

    I've been feeling pretty low lately. I feel like I'm out of control personally, professionally etc - over-committed and just making poor judgments. But also being really harsh on myself, like saying I made a poor choice when it was the traffic or something I have no control over. I don't know...
    As a bit of a background to my current situation, I am a high performer on paper, I did great in school, went to Uni, got a decent job... and then nothing. Lately I feel like I'm wasting away in my position, in too deep to start again, a strange one where I feel over educated, underutilized and underappreciated - but also not performing and staring down the possibility of being found out or worse - stuck forever unless I change my attitude. I seem to have little control over my attention and have lost the ability to 'grind'. I just give up. I was hoping it would help me to write this but ... I don't know. I'll see. I think seeking distractions when things get tough is a habit which is deeper than porn for me. I am going to try a few things, I think eliminating distractions is number 1. I will start with leaving my phone off at work, and scheduling breaks to specific times. I think the next step is meditation to try and bring myself some control

    On the plus side, I feel nothing for porn right now. Feeling strong... at least in this area.
     
  15. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    This is called a quarter-life crisis: a lot of people have that:) Nah, I don't want to say these are problems that do not exist, but you should also remember that this is part of being human. It's actually something I'm struggling with myself and I've come across this in other journals too. I think improving your quality of life (reducing your phone use is indeed a good plan), but also taking time to notice the richness of your life (by meditation) are great ways to do that.

    By the way: I found Headspace a great way to get going with meditation. I have used other apps, guided meditations and 'just sitting down' but Headspace has had the most succes with me.
     
  16. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Thanks so much for the tip... I'm downloading it now
    I have a busy few weeks. Very much doubt porn will be an issue - sleep probably will be!
    Still get the thought when I sit down at the computer though... Glad I can get on here and spend a few minutes instead
     

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