Words of a Wounded Warrior

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by occams_razor, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Forgive my brevity. I've been on another forum for this addiction for a few years. I'm getting a bit sick of that forum for reasons I may or may not go into.

    I'm on about day 32.
  2. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Welcome OR! I am right around the same day count as you, so I'll be interested to watch your progress.

    EDIT --- if you figure out how to upload a graphic, let me know. I have gotten errors every time I try.
    occams_razor likes this.
  3. FUBB

    FUBB Member

    Day 32 is good.

    What do you think you can get from this forum that the other one couldn't give you?
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  4. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Recovery has been going well for me lately. I'll talk more about that soon.

    Something unexpected happened to me about half an hour ago. I'll mention it at the end of this post. Avoid reading it if you don't want to know about my bodily functions lol.

    I'm hoping there'll be fewer trolls here than on the other site. Fewer annoying users in general. The other site also has a lot of off-topic content, so it's easy to waste time there.

    Expect more detailed posts soon.

    The bodily function thing. I used the toilet, then as I was "finishing up" a little semen came out. Then I thought I was going to have a spontaneous O. It didn't happen though. This kind of thing happened to me a few months ago when I was on about day 50 I think.
  5. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    There's a lot to talk about but where to begin. I'll start with recovery methods and what I've been doing recently. I've got a list which goes like this:

    At the end of the day I must be able to say:
    • I didn't look at the "personal ads" or any dating site or anything similar.
    • I didn't go to a chat room of any kind, or use any kind of chat program.
    • I avoided all P-subs. If I accidentally saw a P-sub, I looked away or otherwise avoided lingering on it.
    • I avoided all P and all M, including edging, "peeking" etc.
    • I didn't ogle anyone in public.
    • I didn't deliberately fantasise. If I noticed myself fantasising, I stopped immediately.
    (An exception to the chat room rule is occasional live streams on YouTube, which involve online chat, but considering the kind of YouTube videos I watch, the streams are pretty safe. But if the streams prove to be a problem, they'll be added to the list)

    I generally don't think of the list in that exact way. Usually I just remind myself that I don't do a particular thing any more, and that it's "on the list" or whatever.

    A big advantage of such a list is that it helps me avoid falling for rationalisations. The "addict mind" likes to trick you into relapsing little by little. If I allowed a rationalisation to trick me into using a chat room, you can be sure that a bunch more rationalisations would arise to try and get me to fully relapse. The more rationalisations you give in to, the more you get controlled by them and the more you relapse.

    More soon!

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  6. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    I had the idea of alternating posts about recovery and more general stuff. So one post about recovery followed by one post about more general things such as how I'm feeling, and so on and so forth. We'll see how it goes.

    I survived the "holidays" (Christmas etc.), barely. There was quite a bit of stress. Then when I thought the stress was over, a minor thing really tipped me over the edge, very much the straw that broke the camel's back. That was on Friday. I get mood swings and I certainly got one that day. I have to be careful when talking about things like this for various reasons. Anyway, don't assume I take out my moods on others. I always do my best not to do this. On the other hand, of course other people are going to be affected sometimes, no matter how hard you try. To believe otherwise is denial. This goes for "normal" people as well lol.

    I've been listening to a podcast about the relationship between problems like depression and inflammatory diseases like arthritis. It's also about generally trying to get away from that mind/body dualism that persists, particularly in the medical world(s). It seems like a more helpful way to look at things. It's easy to add to your troubles by thinking "Oh no, I had a really bad mood swing. I failed in some way."

    If I had epilepsy or asthma or something, I wouldn't go "Oh no, I had an epileptic fit. I failed in some way."

    I probably could have expressed that better but I wanted to get it written down.
    Merton likes this.
  7. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Thanks Merton! Likewise.

    I had a couple of goes at uploading a graphic, but no luck so far.
    Merton likes this.
  8. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Streak: 35 days

    Alternative streak: 3 resets in the past 123 days, or 1 in 41 if you break it down.

    I've had a few urges today, so that's why I'm reminding myself of my progress. It's great that in the last few resets, I didn't give in to the chaser effect. I attribute this mainly to distancing myself from that part of my mind that wants me to relapse, or the "addict mind" as I sometimes call it. I try to be sceptical of my own thoughts. I'll talk about this more soon. It's kind of related to what I was saying a few posts back.

    I think I've seen an increase in urges today because the "holidays" stress has died down a lot and I had more time to myself. I'm a little excited about something I might be doing soon as well. I'm not sure if that's a factor or not. I guess it is.

    Right, I'll do some stuff in the real world.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  9. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Time for another "general" post then. I've been feeling a bit of pressure now that it's the new year. I guess something is telling me, "Well, what are you going to do with this shiny new year?"

    I'm still recovering from general, understandable stress plus the severe mood swing last week which is less understandable to most people.

    I listened to some podcasts which had some helpful information. One tip is to try to have a really calm, serene first fifteen minutes of your day. Don't look at your phone or anything like that. Perhaps do some meditation or gentle exercise or something like that. Perhaps my "resolution" is to reduce stress in my life and get better at handling unavoidable stress.

    The Healing Code - this is something that helped me a lot since I discovered it. Recently I've been doing it less and less, but I remembered to do it a few minutes ago. It's good when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I felt pretty overwhelmed at times today. Writing a to-do list in a little notebook helped as well.

    It's possible that I'm somewhat "addicted to recovery". Or maybe I need to get back into hobbies more. Hard to tell.

    I've got a private online journal that I don't use very often. I just started writing in it again. It might be useful with my "new year" plans.

    One of my aims in this post is to remind my future self of potentially helpful things.
    Merton likes this.
  10. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Still going well as regards recovery. Tomorrow should be day 40.

    I haven't been sleeping all that well but that can happen sometimes. I'll probably be learning about how to get better sleep soon, via podcasts and a book I recently bought about generally reducing stress and hopefully being healthier and happier.

    An advantage of being on a streak that I've often noticed is that it's much easier to make small talk with people.

    I should probably get going, have a good one.
    Antonius likes this.
  11. Antonius

    Antonius Member

    Welcome, William of Ockham!
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  12. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    Congrats on 40! I have not yet had any benefits in terms of social interaction. I am hoping these will come by. Do you notice anything in particular in conversations?

    At some point I was going to read this book “the fine art of small talk” about talking to people but I did not. Maybe it is a good idea?
    occams_razor likes this.
  13. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Probably the main difference is, my voice is much stronger when I'm on a streak. So that helps give me confidence. And I'm just more present in the conversation. It's tricky to be "scientific" about this kind of thing of course! You don't want a big debate about the "superpowers" or anything...

    I'll attempt a scientific answer here. Would you say that there have been some times when you were happy with your small talk? Are you good at small talk (or general social interaction) in some situations but less so in others?

    I think it's often the case that we know how to be good at social interaction, and we often are good at it, but our traumas, addictions and so on sometimes interfere and make us temporarily not so good at it.

    I've got a book where the author talks a little about this subject at one point, I'll see what he says...
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  14. Antonius

    Antonius Member

    40 days! Well done, sir!
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  15. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I can relate and totally agree, on my part. If I'm on a good streak and make positive changes in my life I am also often more able to do small talk. It's cause I am more comfortable with myself in those times. I am living in accordance to my values and I'm "proud of myself". It's hard to have small talk and generally be social if you are carrying shame. However, even on a good streak, once I "relapse internally" - that is, I become obsessed with relapsing again, lost in fantasy - I could be on day 40 and I'll be as bad, socially, as I am right after a relapse.

    Congrats on your current effort ! Keep it up man !
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  16. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    So the author is Bruce E. Levine, here are a few quotes. I had forgotten that there was a theme of overcoming social isolation running through the relevant chapters. Of course someone could be happily socially connected but still wished they were better at small talk. That said...

    "... I have worked with many people whom the world would judge as physically and intellectually attractive with high-level social skills but who are isolated and without community; and outside my practice, I have met people who were once diagnosed with severe mental disorders but who have genuine community."

    "What I have come to believe is that social skills and a strong need for a social life do not necessarily create social connectedness. Instead, people succeed at creating and maintaining genuine community because they care about something else beyond their loneliness, and beyond their private world."

    "Shy people who desire contact with other people need to learn that initial communications can be pretty pedestrian, as the main point is to break the ice."

    My weekend had some challenges but I'm still clean and didn't give in to urges in any way (well, it can be hard to be precise about whether or not I fantasised). I wasn't so much tempted by P or M, but something else that's on my list of things to avoid. I kind of think it's better not to be too specific when talking about urges.

    Here's a summarised version of my list of things to avoid:

    -Chat rooms, chat programs*
    -Dating sites and apps
    -Ogling people

    *I mentioned in a previous post that I make an exception for occasional YouTube live streams. I used one of them at the weekend again. Maybe I should stop though. They might be causing more urges in an indirect way.
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  17. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    Thanks a lot!
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  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on handling the challenges this weekend and keeping things clean.

    Chat-rooms are a no/no for me as well ... I consider them part of the addiction.
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  19. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    These are great questions. I do sometimes feel ok with my small talk. The problem seems to be that I start to obsess in my head about conversation dynamics, and I feel anxious about how the other person sees me. This almost certainly ties in to the second point you made, about traumas, etc. I don't think I underwent any real trauma, but I'm sure that events in my life have made me (or I reacted this way) be worried about interactions. It makes me wonder whether I could condition myself to be anxious about anything. I was thinking this while reading the binge eating book. I do not have a problem with food, but certainly sometimes I eat so much that it hurts. When this happens I do not go into a multi-day anxiety spell and stay up at nights shoving more food in my face. Why do I do this with porn? Is it because I have conditioned myself to be hyperaware of these things when they relate to porn? Could I feel similarly about, say, eating cakes?
    occams_razor likes this.
  20. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    I've been having trouble the past couple of days with something on my list of things to avoid:

    -Chat rooms, chat programs
    -Dating sites and apps
    -Ogling people

    I managed to avoid it, and thankfully I've more or less avoided everything on the list since the streak began (although it can be hard to say whether or not I avoided certain things like fantasising). The fact that it was "on the list" helped, and reading over this journal and some of my old journal on the other site helped.

    But what really helped was another website I occasionally look at. Unfortunately I don't want to share the name of the website here for personal reasons. So, reminder to future self - go to that website more often.

    Thanks, and yes, chat rooms were definitely a big part of my addiction. I avoid "safe" chat rooms as well, because they remind me of less safe chat rooms, plus they're all just a massive waste of time anyway.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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