Discussion in 'Ages 20-24' started by SmithSmithy, Jul 17, 2021.

  1. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Hey everyone. I'm a 22yr old male, started watching porn around 14 or so. I had a semi-religious upbringing, and was exposed to dangers of porn with respect to ED early on, perhaps around 16. I didn't seriously try to stop until around 20, around the summer after quarantine began. I had about half a year/a year of stopping for 3/4 days and relapsing, with longest streak in that time being around 20 days. My main triggers I have found so far appear to be free time, online videos, and junk food. As of writing I have not watched P in about 58 days, but I am not happy with where I am mentally.

    The main thing that brought me here was/is brain fog - I was/am drifting through days without a ton of goals/purpose/hobbies beyond getting moneys to live. I want to enjoy things, I want to be more attentive to myself and others, I want to be past P. To do this I think I want to consciously direct my life more, in habits and goals/purpose. I am not sure what that means right now but hopefully I will figure it out.

    I am planning on using this journal to track where I am on habits, what I am focusing on, how I am feeling, how goals are going, and any PMO-related struggles. Hopefully through a lot of trial/error and recording I can figure out what works for me. If anyone has any advice or tactics or whatever feel free to drop your wisdom/say hi.


    Daily, I want to: exercise, eat well, mentally refresh, produce something, see sunlight early, center on goals, gratitude journal
    Still have to figure out how I want to actually do most of this. I will mentally refresh with guided meditation and Tai Chi. I will produce something by journaling here and writing small things. I want my dead time to be spent thinking about what I want my days to look like.
    In the past, I have not consistently taking actions to create the habits I want. So, here we are, excited for the coming days.
  2. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Day's Ramblings:
    Ok, so exercised using an app around midday, that seemed to go smoothy enough. Woke up early but forgot to get sunlight, Tai Chi felt like going through the motions, probably should learn more so it feels more complete. Guided meditation felt nice, just an online video, for some reason that was when my brain decided to synthesize parts of my day so I wasnt 100% into it but it has tons of potential. Daywise felt bored and had some trouble getting conversations going. That being said, didnt feel like so much brain fog as wanting to talk and not getting a nice flow going. Ate some cake but didnt feel bad afterwards. Later, ate some ice cream and cookies and def feeling brain fog, tends to take me longer to figure out what I want/I feel semi content in situations where I am bored/dont want to be in, like certain convos. Day felt like being around people for the sake of being around them, which I would not prefer to reading in their presence.

    Not as rambly:
    For guided meditation, it seemed like knowing you were going to relax came before relaxing, or at least believing the audio person saying I was gonna relax. I like the confidence a lot, it almost seems "I'll do it" is shorthand for "Ill do my best." For conversations, I think I want to pay more attention to myself and leave/change the topic if I don't want to be there anymore.

    Going to continue with guided meditation, was very happily surprised. In conversation, if I am out of it I will walk away or change the topic. Going to look into what I usually eat for macro breakdown and what my targets should be. Cheers
  3. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    So, its been longer than I planned. Don't recall a ton, first day didnt do meditation, second and third did, today did unguided which helped but I didnt take it super seriously. Been keeping fairly busy with random catchup tasks, havent had a ton of free time. Definitely think I feel worse without exercise and sleep (shooting for 7.5h min 9h max), and meditation helps me zone out; happy with those habits. Not sure how I will eat better, going to track my food and see where we are, have a hunch I need to eat more. Thinking of going back to smoothies and peanuts for easy calories, if anyone has advice for this one it would be greatly appreciated.

    Feel like I have a list of things I want to do and life topics I want to explore, but limited time this time. The days I have been/felt busy, I have spent less of my free time goofing off. Definitely tend to struggle with tasks that don't require all of my attention because I cant think deeply either, might try fidget spinner/spinning a pen. Probably going to set aside time at end of day to go through stuff that requires a lot of thought so I don't feel like I have to during the day, cause that was wasted time.

    Happy with my habit choices so far and we'll see how coming days/weekend goes, excited to work through the mess of papers on my floor/desk area lol
  4. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Huh its really weird looking back at the mess of papers comment, didn't do anything to change that situation. My sleep schedule has gotten a bit wack the last few days, as has my limited-junk-food plan, as did meditating, as did waking up early/gratitude journal. Think this was mainly Fri/Sat, which are also the days where I can have a poor mental state and still be ok for work on Monday.

    I think the main thing holding me back right now is not being super invested/caring about how my life is going. Like I care when I hurt others, and that's kind of motivation. A few years ago, would say I was motivated by being around people/wanting to explore, mainly when I was with people. Think my ideal attitude is being eager to explore life and acting based on where that leads me. I currently do a lot of things I used to do when I was younger, and most I do not care for tbh, but it is known (youtube, clothing style, eating patterns). Its tough to recall but think towards when I gave up P/start of current streak I was writing a lot and trying piano and origami and things I hadn't really done a ton before. Still giving it up, had some thoughts/considered yesterday watching P, didnt feel like something I wanted to do and I would prefer that to stay in my past.

    Where I would like to be is fully invested in my life (all/almost all actions serve priorities/values and I understand and am happy with what I choose to do). I think I was to approach this by doing a three-day trial run. What this means for me: looking for things to do that excite me or seem scary in a meritless way and doing them, planning/prepping for immediate future, and noticing when I feel bored/disengaged and looking for ways to make the situation better (leaving, changing it through an internal game or external action). Ideal result would be reflecting back and noticing how those days felt different. It's very odd writing as one of those people who does experiments, but on the upside knowing people have tried self-experiments before is probably a good sign.

    Will probably check in again in a few days and see how I felt. This whole journalling thing feels so surreal to write but also kind of great, putting things into words/making them make sense kind of forces my thoughts to make some sense.
  5. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Protip: dont run life experiments in times of flux.

    I don't have much to say, first couple days went nicely, slipped mentally/on habits the last few days. Had some logistics stuff to run, think I may have let myself slip after knowing I would be sharp enough to deal with mandatory obligations. Looking back I think I like the life I tried and wanted to try thoroughly. I am going to try again and see what happens, I am going to be around new influences soon so I am going to take advantage of this opportunity. Will let you all know how it goes.
  6. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Still swimming

    Went to a bar arcade thing, felt a tad out of place. Not sure why, perhaps fake sensory stuff or not drinking. More to explore myself through.

    Been keeping busy, eating better, coming up with and forgetting life purposes/mottoes. Still converging, still going, posting here to keep myself grounded in how watching porn can take me to a worse mental space. Change seems to be done over time, and I want to keep perspective. Happy to have this space and hope everyone finds what they are looking for.
  7. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Bar stuff I think was fine, I wanted to be there to talk to people and wasn't continuing conversations in engaging ways/people did not want to talk with me for whatever reason (is my best guess). Kind of a dissonance-caused feeling.

    Being more whimsical/doing what I want to in food/cooking life. Socially getting to know people better but some events center around pretty sexual shows, think I can keep myself in check but its something for me to be aware of. A situation happened that made me aware I do not know basic first aid, that's something I want to be good at. Finances and being considerate of others/social dynamics when relaxed are two other dimensions I want to be better at. Still not at full capacity mentally - been getting poor sleep and still on social media/occasional pointless internet videos. For me those kinda take away focus on the world around me.

    Paths forward seem to be percolating/getting noticed, still a bit to go for self care but its important for letting me do other things fully/once habits are set it's less work later.
  8. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Day 100 yeet.
    Think no porn has let me see other holes/inconsistencies in my life/development and start filling them.
    Still a ton of ways for me to disconnect from life (videos, alcohol for me, poor diet), but also ways to life it (learning, clubs, relationships).
    Hoping to get comfortable living a different life, get invested, fully move on to a life I want.
    Happy and grateful for progress, but my life does not look like what I want it to
    - More empathy and openness to people's perspective and ideas, general understanding
    - Meeting new people and initiating conversations with eye contact
    - Proactive with kindness, being rude when needed to protect someone in some way
    - Plans: Budget, Investing, Career, Living Space/Personal Care, Learning about world, Time

    Grateful this forum exists, was/is really helpful knowing I am not alone and people were/are kind enough to share their wisdom (for shameless stealing).
    -Luke- likes this.
  9. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    100 days? That's huge man. You can be proud of yourself!
    SmithSmithy likes this.
  10. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    MOed yesterday while drunk. Not sure how I feel about it, was mainly out of curiosity. Hungover so cant tell if there were negative mental effects for me, which is unfortunate. It felt like a choice so think I'm good with that decision, I don't want to do it too much but it seemed fine for me this time, I am not mad at myself, slightly wish I had given it more thought thou.
  11. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    PMO-related: Last few days were not super great. Day after def felt more urges to M, some more today but a bit less powerful. Have not done a ton today, kinda did the essentials and then watched tv for a ton of hours. So yea, M not great for me it seems, and I gotta trust myself more, I could have predicted how watching tv would make me feel.

    Random: But yea, it's one way to spend a weekend, not one I enjoy but one I chose. Oddly I do not feel bad about that choice right now, hopefully I will find something that makes the opportunity cost feel real (or at least internalize it). I have things I want to do (learn about world, be more engaged in life for interactions with others and eventually myself), but missing the link between knowing and doing. It's a simple fix: trusting myself enough to let myself lead my life instead of my past self/commonly-seen "societal" practices. On the upside, I feel like I know where I want to go with some of my time, and spending it that way is a courage/caring about myself thing.
  12. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    M yesterday, was choice, time I went for it were with P-related urges so think I might try to switch to drinking milk instead or something.
    Did feel antsy mentally today, think I want a different future career-wise, started exploring that a little with prompting from a friend.
    Caring about myself does not come naturally, it is very easy to ask myself "does it really matter." I can learn this lesson from getting close to someone and seeing their personal life/how it works for them, but I should be able to see/understand this for myself too. Not sure how, something to pursue.
  13. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Dumping thoughts/reflection as I go here


    M earlier today. Felt demanding when doing it, and brain fog for at least two hours after, still in it
    Felt like there was nothing else to do, even thought during almost went to look into research
    After saw what logistic stuff I needed to do during day and living felt simple - do what I want to
    It can be that simple, get distracted/lose scope easily, typically from insta/videos

    Why did I do this, I thought it would help me figure out what to do/feel better
    I already knew what I wanted to do
    I was considering M last night, am tired today
    Sticking with an idea premade
    Doing something that does not serve with respect to life
    Getting another data point that (for me) I already knew/basically knew
    Thought it would not do anything mentally, or wasnt sure it would at the time
    Was not difficult to guess/model
    Some momentum of doing things that do not help me enjoy beauty/live with others
    Ways to hang out with people at reasonable hours/not medicate
    Forgot life for several presents, living with respect to goals/mental model/environment
    Interactions with people are part of life and with respect to life, same as what to eat or when to sleep

    Feel a fuzzy type of content right now
    Self caring, chocolate milk, nice candle scents, food, quiet
    I want this feeling when I'm not out of it too
    I can have it, creating supportive environment to live in
    It takes setup, and enjoyable without altered mind, probably more so cause feel more

    When my mind is altered, I cannot appreciate beauty as well
    Tiredness, alcohol, smoking, PMO, junk food, doing nothing for many presents -taking actions inconsistent with who I want to be
    It seems that simple, social is another part of living with people
    Also wanting to escape the present for a time
    But that is at the cost of future presents
    And cannot do what I want to outside of life, given I like beauty and learning


    Just like working through/processing my thoughts like this, normally dont post but its PMO-related so yea. Right now think writing helps me process which I can then use as a model later/compare to real life and see how it matches (if harmful, ideally just to past present moments).
    -Luke- likes this.
  14. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Thinking of using this as main journal, going to be rambley but its here and feel free to discuss/advice/ask anything u wanna.

    Have not been doing super hot. Been trying to get more engaged with what I am doing. Today that looked like knowing why I was buying junk food but doing it anyways. In my mind it was directly comparable to weed. Ate junk food and watched tv for hours, which bothers me because I decided by focusing on only my own short term. Think the main reason I didn't pmo was fully believing that pmo would make my mental situation worse (going on here every once in a while has helped with that a lot).

    Feels very similar to how I felt in very freq pmo cycle mentally, but slightly smaller magnitude. Like my life was not my own - not sure that's possible. My life is my actions taken in environments. My thoughts can feel external, my food/sleep/hydration states can feel external, but what I choose to do in a situation is my decision to make and execute. As a side thing, think both those external things are internally determined but earlier. I think thoughts come from what I have been exposed to and what I am aware of/can put into that framework, even if I don't understand it. Food/sleep/hydration seem to be cumulative choices of past present moments, where sometimes choice can be not to for whatever reason. Come to think of it, that might prove some actions do impact my life.

    For myself, missing link feels like not trusting that my actions impact my life. My trust in my model of the world is growing with use, still with holes but we filling them. Pmo cycle couldve caused emotional pain, or isolation, or probably both tbh. The times with people in my life I liked spending time with I felt better during, but they still felt odd. Want to explore that more. Feels like a good time to rest thou, another time/probs privately cause identifying info.
    Krebs likes this.
  15. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Writing a preliminary draft tonight, cleaning up tomorrow when Im in a better state of mind (mentally not sharp rn)

    Today was really really weird. Got home early for work from home, mentally knew I needed to be semi mentally sharp, but ate a few cookies and felt super out of it. Watched videos and such, aimless touching, almost M to mundane. When threw myself into work, was good for that time, like 30 min. Got very bored towards end, genuinely considered watching P. Think part of my thought process was "Id prefer watching P to watching these vids aimlessly" perhaps just to produce something. Not sure why I didnt, think work stuff picked up/figured out what I wanted to do with remaining work time. Post work had made plan with self to go outside so did that for a bit.

    Talked to a friend, they mentioned watching TV and I was like "hey I can do that too". Think I watched TV with youtube in background or something of that nature, aimlessly touching self most of that time. Internet was frizzy towards end of show, before that was def considering watching P, and decided I wanted to look through my old notes when I stopped P a few months back. Felt a bit annoyed, idea of "I care about things in life so I need to care about life" was in the way of P. Im pretty sure thats just logic/reason, which I think is what people call wisdom. Found pages where I described life I wanted, and most sounded good. An odd part was I had several pages from like four months ago describing the junk food situation, like this is not new. But reading helped ground me a bit. Realized my room wasnt what I wanted it to be, cleaned it a bit. Before writing still kinda felt like watching P, still def feel urge/habitual pull, but also I know Im exhausted and really want to sleep/P aint gonna help. Throughout day when I got home after was fantasizing a bit (P from at least a few months ago, which is kinda insane to me). For context, earlier in week was feeling sexual drive, downloaded dating app and used for a bit and have been M semi-frequently. Feel as if M, or perhaps life habits, have been sapping that energy a bit.

    Looked at past habits a bit, this last week has been not ideal, and it so happens I stopped making my own food, havent exercised in a few days, no longer go outside first thing in morning, didnt do gratitude list. This is not helpful.

    tl;dr: almost watched P today, old thoughts helped ground to life a bit, still really tired, habits seem to have left for a bit but I want some of them back, leaving this here cause why not, gonna try to get knowledge out of it later
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2021
  16. Krebs

    Krebs Active Member

    Sounds really weird, but something weird happens to everybody.
    SmithSmithy likes this.
  17. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Looking back, feels like I chose to do things I did not want to actually do, which led to other options that I did not want to do becoming more appealing. Perhaps a bit of complacency with being slightly not ok and not working for better.

    For how I'm going to use this understanding, easy answer is do what I actually want to. But in the moment, long run? Probably have pre-thinking done, and adjust based on my fancy. Probably pausing before doing things mindlessly and asking what I would actually like to be doing. Want to explore more
  18. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    5 mo anniversary. Writing this in a solid frame of mind for once.
    Been doing fair amount of stuff, a lot of self-maintenance, just cause that's what I want to do at this time (want that state of mind/engagement with environment)
    As always super open to advice/discussion/whatever, Im making stuff up as always.
    - Was reading some Stoic stuff, now on Dopamine Nation book (thanks to the neuroscience thread in general channel). Have been trying to make the models presented in the book play nice with the examples given but having a lot of trouble, the pain chapter was particularly confusing.
    - Trying one of those dopamine fast things, like four days in, last few days have been a bit bla/times where feel like moving aimlessly, but they were fairly productive, hoping it pays off soon.
    - Fair amount of time spent journalling/putting thoughts in writing so I can process them better. Always a good time, realize my conclusion sometimes changes halfway through/run into a conflict in some other area I believe, but its a process. More exploration than resolution, but some topics take a lot of exploring for me.
    - Awhile back shamelessly stole Visceral-Verbal cycle theory from a book (When Breathe Becomes Air). Idea that putting experiences into writing can let you theorize on them, which you can them compare to reality next time you experience them and use to make the experience closer to what you would like it to be, and so on. Kinda the reason I like writing, not a ton of relevance but wanted to share that and couldn't remember if I had or not.
    - Started exercising/morning light again as of a few days ago, exercise has been nice, gratitude journal starting to feel a bit repetitive, might be a sign to look for new things/try to be grateful for more.
    - Definitely gonna have less free time in coming days for a bit (social + work + other resp) but that will arguably make self-maintenance easier/provide new ways to get to know myself better/update how I want to act.
    Probs gonna get intoxicated tn since that seems to be social thing to do in my area rn, think I want to take that as chance to connect/share some of random thoughts with people

    Hope yall are doing well and grateful this forum/community exists.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  19. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Yesterday and today not felt super great. Yesterday got drunk with friends, M twice, was out of habit not of choice. Line of thought was Oh I already did crazy stuff I can eat junk food and such, was a mindless night. I have been in situations I mightve not wanted to be in today and that might be why I feel like pursuing numbness, perhaps just escaping, idk.
  20. SmithSmithy

    SmithSmithy Member

    Been M roughly every three or four days. Today, didn't feel much before or during, just more tired after. Felt very similar to how P used to for me, like something to do that would make it easier to go through the day (taking actions not aligned with my beliefs and not thinking about it too hard/caring enough to change anything). On paper, part of motivation was checking if it worked, but don't think that's fair given frequency. Feels like marker for end of day/end of thinking. Think Ill try replacing it with darkness, a candle, and maybe a song.
    In contrast, think eating poorly/youtube for me have two candidate purposes: feel better than what I am doing in the moment not accounting for mental state after activity complete, or escaping from the commitment to live to the best of my ability. Not entirely sure I have that commitment, just came with the writing. I kind of like it. Implies desire to protect mental state and to live in the way I want to given a moment. Eh, more to think about another time, gonna sleep now.

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