Tony's Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by NewHorizon, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Hello to everyone, my name is Tony and I'm and addict. This first post is just to introduce myself but hopefully it's the first of a long serie.
     
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  2. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    This journal is not only about pornography. It has been a lifelong addiction but at the root of it is something else. I often fall in the trap because I'm looking for external stimulation. I can find this stimulation in food, in scrolling through facebook, in watching a movie, even if I don't want to. I feel a slave to this.

    I want to relax and to practice focus through meditation. I feel meditation can give me an edge over all this. I need to put this knowledge into practice.

    This morning I meditated for the second time in months. The sensation was incomfortable as all kind of old demons surfaced, but I kept with it.

    That was just a quick update in my journal. There's more to come.
     
  3. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    I was a pothead, total alcoholic, college dropout, no girlfriend. I masturbated to porn and escalated.

    A little background about me :

    I turned 26 years old this january and it is my second semester at university in Computer engineering.

    I'm with a girl that I love from the bottom of my heart.

    I don't drink anymore, it was fourth year in january. I don't smoke pot/tobaco anymore (2 years).

    I've been spreadsheeting my whole addiction to pornography for a good year. I relapsed a lot but I always give it one more try with the mindset that I want to quit it.

    Overall I decreased my viewing. Quitting porn is the hardest addiction of all my addictions to break. Lust is always lurking around the corner.

    These days I relapse out of boredom. I recently started to take the HALT concept into account. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired and I'd had disorganised, thirsty and excited (sexually).

    I feel porn is eating away a part of my intimacy with my girlfriend. We have an amazing intimacy and everytime I watch porn I feel I'm spitting on it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  4. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    I'm just here sitting in front of the computer, been doing things on the computer all monring even if it's not top priority right now. I have no urge to relapse, I'm just bored and on the ''edge''. I have a feeling of urgency; an anxiety that won't let go. I'm constantly looking for something to take the edge off quick. I'm partly writing in here because of that. My mind is racing. I should not focus too much on the negative and focus more on the positive.

    I meditated for 20 mins this morning, I might go for another 20 mins after I finish writing/rambling.

    I have school work to do, basically an exam tomorrow which I did not study yet o_O :confused:
    In fact, this is the reason why I'm feeling like crap today. I delayed studying for way too long for this exam. Situations like this don't help me. I keep falling in the same old pattern of procrastination over and over again. There's a lesson to be learned here but I don't pay attention to it enough. I talked about feeling like a slave to this in my earlier posts. I really feel like a slave to my ever changing desires. When I got to study, I think of 100 other things. I comfort myself in delaying doing what's important for my success. I take pleasure in doing so. When I set my mind to do a task and I know I'm early and delaying for a day or 2 won't hurt, I take pleasure in doing so. :confused: It's the first time I write/talk/mention it (outside my own psyche) even though I'm well aware that I fall into that trap often. I need to break that old pattern. I can't count the times that pattern played out. Let's try to document it :

    1. I have something important to do with a reasonable deadline.
    2. I delay starting to work on it in the early days of the assignment because it feels good to do so.
    3. As time passes, I start to anticipate the work load which is growing each day to account for the days I did nothing about it.
    4. Anxiety is growing out of proportion and I try to escape it by finding a quick fix, instead to put my nose in the work load.
    5. As the deadline approaches (i.e. day/night before the exam), anxiety is so unbearable that I start doing something, anything.
    6. It's finally the exam day and anxiety starts to subside because there's nothing left to do about it, except doing ''my best''.
    7. When it's over, I start feeling relaxed again, anxiety is less present.
    8. Another important task is introduced in the landscape.
    9. The cycle starts all over again :confused::confused::confused:o_O

    This is crazy right? It's weird how the human psyche works. I know I'm doing something wrong. I know it would be best for my sanity to correct that pattern. For example, if I had a magic wand I would not hesitate a second to correct this. Yet when I'm left on my own I'll find all sort of tricks to keep the statu quo in place. To keep the old '' correct working'' pattern in place, just because it is working. I believe we as humans work that way. When something is working correct, we don't have a big incitative to change anything. Why bother? It's working right? The brain is complicated and if it's not facing a situation in which a change is the ultimate necessity, the change will not happen on its own.

    As intelligent beings we need to find incitatives to change. Those incitatives need to mimic a necessity to change.

    thanks for reading :)
     
  5. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Just washed the dishes and took a cold shower to put my ideas in place.

    I've been in the appartment all day on the computer. I feel tired yet I have not done anything significative. In fact I just feel disorganized mentally, all over the place. I need to push through that late studying once more. After that I need to implement some changes in my routine. I can't continue like that indefinetely.

    I am one of the worst procrastinator on this planet. I have wayyyyyy enough time to do all what I would like in the moment but I don't put it to good use. I made a schedule in january and followed it for 2 weeks before droping it out.

    What I mainly do all day is sit in front of the computer, get up, mess around in the appartment, sit back at the comp with no aim, think of my homework, watch a video, eat a bit...

    I know this all sound very negative. The point is to document my short comings.
     
  6. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Meditation will help you know your mind and observe yourself. You can learn a lot but also you can learn to give yourself a little "window" of time when you start observing yourself during repetitive and unconscious behaviours. It is not important to meditate for hours a day, but just regularly every day!

    I find meditation trackers to be really helpful!
     
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  7. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    I'm back from my exam. It went okay, so it's way better than what I was expecting.

    Now I need to put an end to that excruciating cycle.

    I have another exam friday which I already started studying a bit here and there. I need to consolidate it. I have tonight, tomorrow afternoon and night to study it. I think tomorrow I'll go to the library in order to break the routine. I constantly look for a quick gratification around the appartment when I'm alone in here, mostly on the comp doing useless things.

    Tonight I'll be with my girlfriend. I'm so grateful she's in my life.

    @Caoimhín

    Thanks for your input, I'll keep that in mind. I think you are right that I just need to meditate for 20 mins a day and what's important is to do it on a consistant basis.

    I meditate to refocus on the present moment. It allows me to distinguish between what's real and what isn't. In other words, in a day I can fall in many traps but meditation often helps me see the foolishness of it all. Refocussing on my breathing makes everything so distant and when I emerge out of it I see everything (most of the time) as it is in the moment. I can see how meditating every day can establish an ''observing'' mindset and help ''nip it in the bud'' (translated that one on reverso) during repetitive and unconscious behaviours .
     
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  8. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Self-pity.

    That is my underlying addiction. I see it everywhere in my life, from my viewing habits to my relationship with others.

    I could go on and on but there's no real point to do so. My underlying issue is self-pity, I see it clear as day now.

    Even the content I used to watch speaks louder than words.

    The good news is I'm working my way out of it already. Even if it all just clicked. I've been working my way out of it for a very long time though I was so caught up that I could'nt see it. I needed a fair share of working on getting my life on the right track before I could finally take a look at my past self objectively and realise it.

    I now realise that my feelings of "inadequacy" and that the world is against me and wanting people and myself to feel sorry for myself; these things has a lot to do with being addicted to self pity.

    On another note, I had my second exam friday and I got rekt. Let's be real here. The teacher is a total jerk but that's not the reason I failed. I failed because I did not study enough. Life is full of "feel sorry for myself" situations; situations I have zero control over. Teacher being a jerk is out of my control. The only thing that's in my control is how I'll respond to it. Study harder, leave no stone unturned. If I don't respond with studying harder, it's not because the teacher is a jerk. It's because I chose not to study harder and I have no reason to feel sorry for myself about that.
     
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  9. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Good to see that you are realistic and honest about it. Most people would just blame circumstances (including myself when I still was at school).

    And it's not about being hard on yourself but - like you said - be aware of it and to control how you react to it. I still struggle with it now and then.

    Did you read some stuff from the stoics? They talk a lot about stuff like this.
     
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  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hey NewHorizon, I agree with Luke, good analysis of the exam and teacher situation. I can relate to what you've written because I also am prone to finding ''self pity'' opportunities in my life, in order to justify what's happening. To some extent, I guess it's even a normal human thing most people do so don't be to harsh on yourself ; although it's good to identify and be aware of it as you have. I like your entries and writing style as it seems quite honest and self reflective. Keep up the good work !
     
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  11. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    At the weakest moments, self-pity does show its face for me too. It is ugly and makes me hate the world and everything good and positive in my life. The worse thing about self-pity is that it is so passive. We wait until life throws its next curve ball.

    The best thing about the most successful recoveries from PMO is the activation of lives. We can fill our lives with healthy habits when we rid them of the energy-sucking PMO crap. It is not just about quitting, it is about changing how we view life and making choices about it.

    The worse thing about self-pity is that it lingers around us like an odour. I've thought for years that self-pity could be smelled and it would send women running the other way.
     
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  12. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Thanks for your replies guys, it is very appreciated. I find this community very supportive already and with things to say so the dialogue can keep expanding.


    @-Luke-

    I did not read the stoics. Do you have a book suggestion? I love to read.
    About the being hard on myself, I can assure you that I'm not hard on myself! It's quite the opposite, I'm sometiems very lenient on myself. I try to be kind towards myself these days (with more or less success sometimes).

    @Thelongwayhome27
    I think excessive self pity and loathing is the common denominator to a lot of people dealing with addictions! We are lazy and unfocussed because we think it can't be done. We don't tackle problems we look for a quick fix. Because of that, we have not much stimulation in our lives because we build nothing concrete so we tend to habitualize to artificial stimulation. Thanks for your support, it means a lot!

    @Caoimhín
    I agree that self-pity is very passive in nature. It is a very insidious beast.

    Self pity for me is avoiding responsiblities for my own live and passively navigating through it without settling to do anything because of "it is all bound to fail anyway" or "we'll all die anyway" kind of thinking. I hate that thinking. I have one life to live. Only one. It's the only certainty I have in here. Sometimes I just take a moment to realise that I'm alive and it struck me like ligntning each time. Being alive is crazy. It's awesome. It's a magic trick that I'm astonished to wake up to every day.

    I think not only women sense it but people in general have a sense for people who tend towards victimization. It's just a character trait that's not very prized in society. As you said, self pity is very passive in nature. It's like facing adversity and giving up right from the start. The short coming at play here is that we guenuinely think we can't do it so our response is the passive one, the one that preserve our ego. Our concern is with switching from the passive response to an active one and being ok with failing because failing does not tell anything about us, except that we at least tried.

    I agree on that too ;)
     
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  13. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    This week I'm feeling random surges of lust. This is what I was talking about when I said earlier that porn is one of the trickiest drug to quit.

    Typically when we decide upon quitting a drug, we just stop putting it in our system and it just makes things way easier. A relapse happens when we decide to indulge in the drug of choice. For example with alcohol, when we take a sip of beer it's a relapse. As long as we don't decide to put it in our system, we have not relapsed. With porn, this kind of relapse happens every day. Lust is always lurking around the corner. The equivalent of a sip of beer in lust terms is an old memory popping back in our head; seeing a beautiful woman and starting to wonder all sort of things... etc. (you get the idea). Every time this happens it places us somewhere between a full blown relapse and a willpower feat. It places us in a very uncomfortable place. You and me know that willpower alone is not going to work against this drug.

    What I'm trying to say is that a lot of the the traditional concept of quitting a drug does not apply with porn. Hence a lot of people advising a deep change at the very roots of our identity during the reboot. Usually when we quit a drug for a long enough time this root change happens by itself. With porn it is backward. We need to adress the root change consciously and at the cost of efforts every day before we can finally say we have quit the drug for good.
     
  14. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey Tony, sorry for the late reply. I didn't have read much myself by now, but I read "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius which has some good stuff in it. Ryan Holiday has written a good book called "The Obstacle Is the Way" and there is "The Daily Stoic" by him (which I didn't read yet). His books are probably a little more accessible than the books of all these old guys.
     
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  16. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    I cant power through an urge. I just cant. I need to find alternatives in order not to come to the stage of having an urge.

    When I start having urges it's because somewhere in my brain I have started to accept it as an eventuality. The ''urge'' comes to the table and knows it can have its way and it starts to bargain.

    Prior to a relapse my mindset gradually starts to shift from categorically being against p (for my personal reasons) to starting to doubt my own beliefs. Once this takes place I am on my way for a relapse.
     
  17. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    I chose a new ''non-abstinence oriented'' goal. (if that makes sense)

    New goal : When the sexual thoughts arise I redirect my attention immediately.

    Anything related to sex goes out the window, unless I am with my girlfriend. There's no place for sex outside our relationship.

    I need to acknowledge these thoughts (i.e. "I am presently thinking about sex"), but also make a conscious effort to refocus elsewhere.

    I really need to focus on small goals like this. Not just tell myself "I abstain from porn" and subconsciously let it slowly crawl back into my life. I need to kick it out vastly every time it makes an appearance in my mind. I feel this is what is detrimental to my success.

    Every time I have a relapse I feel motivated to get back on track and move forward because the pain is so unbearable.

    Then, time passes and I start to let my guard down. Once my guard is down it's a matter of days when the relapse will happen because I no longer feel the pain of my actions. In fact, I start to feel good and the very reason I'm quitting is far away in the distance. I start fantasizing a bit here and there (pretty much on automatic mode). I see a pretty girl and it arouses me, I stumble across an ad with a pretty girl and I stare a bit too long. I start having an urge to masturbate but I power through it.

    I power through it but the next day it is still there because I start to allow myself to entertain the possibility of a relapse. I power through it again. Then my web browsing becomes dangerous, procrastinating on the net, watching youtube videos, reading stuff on quora and starting to search for topics that give me a kick like pornography addiction. There I stumble across all sorts of views on porn, even the industry opinions.

    The third act comes in the form of the typical "HALT" unnoticed. I push through my limits in the day and go to bed late without proper eating, being lonely all day with no prospect to have sex soon. The urge kicks in greatly and I "lose control of myself". The drug starts surging in my veins. I can feel it in my lower stomach. It really is a drug. Just like heroin. I feel powerless typing that. I am powerless over that drug. On the edge of a relapse I no longer hold that view. I feel pathetic almost for holding that view and I know right now it's the addiction playing its usual tricks on me. I know it now but in the moment the maths don't apply.

    Hence the "Non-abstinence oriented goal". Abstinence is so passive. It does not take other crucial components of the addiction into account.

    Being unaware of how frequently in a day I can think of sex is one of them. Getting slightly aroused for a porn addict is like keeping an open bottle of alcohol and taking a litle sip from time to time for an alcoholic.
     
  18. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    HALT (Hungry, Angry, Thirsty, Disorganized, Lonely, Tired, Horny)

    I'm not hungry I just ate.

    Maybe I'm angry at myself, if anything else, for letting down in school and procrastinating every hour of the day.

    Maybe I'm thirsty I did not drink a lot of water today. I'll go get my bottle of water.

    I'm very disorganized as it's almost my default feeling mode lately. I have a lot of work to do for my classes and I don't do what's necessary. I'm at a crossroad this semester. If I don't get started a.s.a.p. then I will fail many classes. I chose to go back to school and get a diploma and letting down right now would feel like I'm letting myself down.

    I'm lonely because I will spend the evening alone and in general I don't see many people, only my girlfriend on a regular basis and my family and hers.

    I'm not tired, I sleep generally well. (Unlike my girlfriend which is causing her and me a lot of stress lately and generally.)

    I'm not horny I just want a dopamine hit. That's what this whole addiction is all about.
     
  19. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    HALT (Hungry, Angry, Thirsty, Disorganized, Lonely, Tired, Horny)

    I'm hungry. I have to go to the grocery store. In fact this is my plan for the night but I just sat on the computer when I arrived home ready for procrastinating until I don't know what to do anymore. Not this time. I will go to the grocery store even if the weather is really, really bad and I have to walk to go there.

    I'm angry at myself for my tendency to put sand in my own wheel. Wether I want to admit it or not, this is what I'm doing.

    I'm thirsty, I don't know why because I have drink much more water than usual today. I realised recently that I need to drink more water. I've put some water on the stove to make a tea, I'll drink that and after I'll finish my bottle of water. I'll go make my tea and come back.

    back.

    I feel slightly less disorganized than yesterday, perhaps because I studied all yesterday's evening for my exam and that it is now done. I currently have some momentum and I can do something with it. Tonight I could simply open a math book and stare at it like it's some alien. That would be better than doing nothing.

    I do feel lonely. I'm angry about it. I saw my girlfriend today but I feel lonely nonetheless. I'm self pitying over it.

    I'm a bit tired but content with what I have done today.

    I'm not really horny, even if entering my appartment I immediately started thinking about porn. Like it was programmed inside me. I did not think of porn all day but as soon as I enter the appartment, it hits me that I'll be alone all night and have to fight the intrusive sexual thoughts all night. In fact this is the reason I came here to write. I will go to the grocery store though and I'll cook something when I come back. Then staring at my math book might help me power through the evening. It's not the best strategy right? I crave doing sport in the summer. (tldr I'm not horny I just want a quick dopamine rush.)

    -----------------------
    I really spend a lot of time on the internet. I can spend 3 to 4 hours a day on quora reading stuff that I don't particularly remember. I'm just wasting my time with that procrastination thing. I'll say it again : I'm wasting precious time and it does not make me more happy. It's just de-energizing to spend too much time on the computer for that kind of stuff. It's like a black hole. I like quora. It's just that past a certain amount of time, it's useless. It doesn't help me. An article or two, that I chose more wisely can give me a lot of perpective. But 40 articles in a row on different subjects is useless. Unless the reader is a robot with photographic memory.

    I need to get my train going with school. I read an article this morning that said success is a slow race and the best way to end up on the side track is to feel overburdened and failing one task after another because we chose to tackle too many things at once. I feel that this is true but I have another problem. When I start with small goals to modify my habits and gradually move on to the next stage, I tend to lose the habit that I created in the first stage. It's not entirely true in fact, because there are many instances where I actually created a long lasting habit and I still have them to this day, even in my lowest lows. For example, I don't drink, smoke pot and cigarette anymore. I rarely think about it and when I do it's not because I would like to go back there. So obviously, some habits I create are lasting but others are not. I think it has to do with my beliefs. When stoping these substances I created a new belief that I did not need them to live my life and have fun. In fact, it's the very opposite because I did not have fun being an addict and always craving more. I created the belief that I was way better off that crap and it lasts to this day. I drained the energy out of my old belief that alcohol was needed to have fun and enjoy life, and put it in the belief that basically states the opposite. It worked because I guenuinely think it's true. I'm better off that crap.

    If I want to produce a long lasting change in my life, I need to change my beliefs (one at a time). I already did it a few times as stated above. I'm the living proof that this transmutation works. If I want to create a new habit this is how I must approach it. I can't force myself to adopt a habit if I don't guinuinely understand the place it has in relation to my beliefs.

    This morning I chose to restrict my time spent on quora to about an hour each week day and 2h each weekend day. I will readjust in a month.
     
  20. NewHorizon

    NewHorizon Member

    Just a quick update to mention I did my grocery yesterday and I also stared at my book for an hour. I left quora alone. And I cooked myself a delicious meal.
     

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