Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Orbiter said:
Thank you Phineas

Day 4 today

Bedridden today due to what I suspect is some sort of food poisoning. Won't be doing much apart from resting & yes I am typing this from bed. Some faint temptations so probably not a good day to be using the computer too much. Not good I know but i'll put the computer & devices away after this.

* Tasks - NOT DONE


To Day 0


Peeked at some pictures but refrained from PMOing. I am counting this as a lapse and a reset.
Things that did go well today are: No PMO.

Things that didn't go well today: Failing daily tasks, being sick. Laptop in bed.

What I intend to work on tomorrow: Getting things back on track once i'm feeling better.
 

imsorrynotsorry

Active Member
Hey Orbiter,

one step at a time. It seems a bit like you get overwhelmed by all the good ideas you have. It's hard to live up to high expectations and as a result we maybe fall back in our usual behaviour?
Think about it. Maybe half or less of your list of ideas is enough for now. Figure out what change would bring the biggest benefit in challenging PMO and tackle this one or choose something which you can change for good and try it as a kind of prove for success?

All the best

Imsor
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks Phineas

I am back again and it is...

DAY 3

It's difficult to believe it's been over a month. In that time I had to sort out & move into a new place to live as my housemate made the snap announcement to leave, deal with several difficult work situations, manage some difficult social problems and even a health scare (false positive for liver disease) amongst other things that had to be dealt with. It has been a stressful month to put it mildly and it's pushed me to my personal limit.

I have not had any internet outside of my mobile plan for a couple of weeks now. Unfortunately despite this, I have well & truly relapsed and been PMO-ing on average every 2-3 days. To make matters worse the addiction has escalated on one night the previous week to buying OF subscriptions and buying videos off those amateur video market sites. I deleted everything once the session had finished but unfortunately I spent hundreds of dollars that I needed to pay bills & set up the new place further. Even putting aside what an affront it is to my values as a person and what I don't want for my life, I literally cannot afford for this to happen again much less escalate further.

It makes me wonder how serious my situation would be if there wasn't such an abundance of free P, though perhaps it never would've reached this stage if it hadn't.

I can feel a strong resistance coming from within myself to returning back here and an even stronger resistance to stopping PMO but I NEED to get this back under control. Therefore I am returning here for accountability & support.

Hope you have all been well.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Hi Orbiter! Welcome back, though sorry to hear of your recent struggles.

I know what it is to have circumstances push one to their personal limit, as I've faced a similar situation this month surrounding my daughter, and issues with her. Recent struggles in my own recovery efforts were related to this time...

I even know this resistance, too, and can totally relate.

As always, Orbiter, here to help any way I can, and support your efforts toward finding your footing again.

We can, and must do this.
 

EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
Hi, Orbiter, I think you are doing just fine. Pretty stressful month. Also in Astrology with all the moon stuff going on. Lots of stuff is coming up. Keep on walking bro, good luck.
if there wasn't such an abundance of free P,
I've been thinking about this as well. Well. I am starting to see this as a matter of perception. Do I see this as something that can help me in my journey or something that will digress me?

Anything can serve us in a positive way - especially the negative - but only if we are smart about it.

If we cannot change the outside (make our society less "sexed" up) we are forced to change our inner world (needs, beliefs, values, perceptions, thoughts, emotions).

I wound't have believed it. But this mindfulness++ stuff is starting to work for me. Also starting to experiment with micro-breathing exercise. Everything time I catch myself obsessing in the mental. I just focus on taking 3 breaths.

Much love
EW
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys,

Unfortunately I have relapsed twice this weekend. I blame tiredness and poor emotional management of being stressed with work and the city I live in returning to lockdown. Relapse was to hardcore material and felt unpleasant even during the act.

A few posts earlier, I think imsorrynotsorry highlighted a problem with my recovery attempts. There are perhaps too many good ideas that are implemented at once, lack necessary patience and do not directly address needs that arise. I think there's an internal sense that, after all this time & work, I should be in a better place in my journey than this. It's also difficult to know which of these ideas I need to start with first.

I think being tired is one of my current main problems. I am more vulnerable when I am tired, hence why I often tend to relapse on Friday at the end of my working week. Also when this happens I become overwhelmed by negative feelings and feelings of lethargy which lead to slips, which lead to lapses, which lead to relapsing into old behaviours.

So I am going to make THREE goals over the next 7 days and see how I go sticking to them. They will be as follows.

GOAL 1 - Journal everyday
GOAL 2 - Get to bed before 10pm and get out of bed before 8am. No laptop or phone in the same room as bed.

This will hopefully help with both giving a vague structure to the day, allow some time & energy for purposeful activity, avoid excessive tiredness and maintain a better awareness of my emotional states as well as any needs that may arise. I am hoping this will be a simple enough habit for me to follow.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Hi, Orbiter!

I didn't see a 3rd goal (unless it's the laptop not being in the same room)?

These are simple yet worthy goals, good luck working with them. Reestablishing that you're in control, and not this habit, is what it's about.

There seems to be an issue with self-medication (duh, right?), and maybe teaching yourself that you can delay the immediate reward, that you can endure a little discomfort, that you can simply 'be' with uncomfortable emotions and stress, I think this can go a long way to retrain yourself away from the habit.

Along this line, cold showers are what a lot of rebooters do to build this endurance. That's not for everyone- not even me, lol... But, it comes to mind in this regard.

For me, I'll try to catch myself- like, being overly dependent on entertainment. Can I simply set my iPhone aside, and just be- like when I'm getting ready for bed. Do I need this constant stimulation from social media? And I'll challenge myself, not in an overly restrictive way, but to simply 'be' without having to answer that nervous energy...

I hope this somewhat makes sense.

With you no matter what, each step of the way!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi, Orbiter!

I didn't see a 3rd goal (unless it's the laptop not being in the same room)?

These are simple yet worthy goals, good luck working with them. Reestablishing that you're in control, and not this habit, is what it's about.

There seems to be an issue with self-medication (duh, right?), and maybe teaching yourself that you can delay the immediate reward, that you can endure a little discomfort, that you can simply 'be' with uncomfortable emotions and stress, I think this can go a long way to retrain yourself away from the habit.

Along this line, cold showers are what a lot of rebooters do to build this endurance. That's not for everyone- not even me, lol... But, it comes to mind in this regard.

For me, I'll try to catch myself- like, being overly dependent on entertainment. Can I simply set my iPhone aside, and just be- like when I'm getting ready for bed. Do I need this constant stimulation from social media? And I'll challenge myself, not in an overly restrictive way, but to simply 'be' without having to answer that nervous energy...

I hope this somewhat makes sense.

With you no matter what, each step of the way!

Oops that should've been 2 goals. Keeping it simple.

Self medication is definitely the big issue here. I actually do feel like, without going into specific situations, I endure a fair amount of discomfort in my life and my work on a regular basis. Unfortunately I tend to get overwhelmed by this quite often. I wonder sometimes if it's because i'm trying to hard to 'be comfortable with discomfort' as a reaction to the addiction and take on too much at once.

The result of this I believe is that I usually fall back into bad habits & coping mechanisms out of sheer exhaustion. It's like a reach a point that I just give up.

I could be wrong but I feel like I actually need to make steps to minimize the amount of discomfort in day-to-day and, more importantly, build more activities and pursuits in life that bring comfort and enjoyment that are not PMO. I find there's almost nothing in my life at the moment that actually brings me pleasure and doesn't feel like a chore. I have interests but often I am too tired or depressed to feel the drive to pursue them. This is why I think I need to start with getting the sleep and all the HALT stuff in order i.e the absolute basics. I think I need to start at the fundamentals & build a baseline level of well-being to develop some better ways of living.

Cold showers are great and, while I go through periods of doing them regularly, it's really cold in the morning here and I just can't bring myself to at the moment. I should give them a go again. It does often feel pretty great once they're finished.

Anyway this is all food for thought and I do have a lot to consider. As always, thank you Phineas for your insight & continued support.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
So i'm going to say this is Day 0

Today got off to a rocky start. I woke up a bit later than I wanted to as I MOed on autopilot while half asleep this morning fantasizing about the friend i've talked about previously in the journal. The mechanisms behind this I believe would be being awake & tired and also fulfilling a need for connection that is not being addressed. It's a shame but I can't change the past, only pull myself up and get on with the rest of the day.
 

EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
Hi, Orbiter.
I find there's almost nothing in my life at the moment that actually brings me pleasure and doesn't feel like a chore.
I was in a similar place. I remember looking forward to a new episode of the Mandalorian being the highlight of my week.

It does get better. I believe you can break this addiction. Keep on walking.

Much love
EW
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
I've known that place of auto-pilot, and depending on whether it was something that seemingly 'just happened', or was something my clever and deceptive mind 'excused', will determine whether I even count it or not...

That need for connection is so powerful, it is certainly something worth exploring for yourself, how to meet that need, how to navigate these powerful emotions when they show up.

Above all, brother, be kind to yourself, compassionate, and know that you are doing the best in the moment to connect with equanimity and peace in your journey.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
EarthWalker - Thank you for the words of encouragement I'll be honest, there are times when I really need them to keep pushing through.

Phineas808 - You are correct that auto-pilot is deceptive and there's usually some process going on below the surface. The 'surface' situation in this case I was half-awake in bed and couldn't get back to sleep. Perhaps I just need to get up and begin the day at times like that and not risk it. Perhaps I need to start looking a bit deeper for the origin of these lapses.

I believe I am a point that I can distill the motivators of my addiction down to two main motivators and they are as follows:

1.) Self medication for unpleasant emotions, stressors & situations
2.) A safe substitute for connection/intimacy


I think I can put down almost all of my relapses in some way or another to either or both of these. The times where my addiction has been at it's worst have been at points of high stress & isolation. The times where I have been at my best have been the opposite. If this is truly the case, I want to see what results in strategies that address these needs more directly.

I pushed through with yesterday and it turned out to be a good day both restful, the right amount of productivity and reached out to some friends over the phone for connection. The laptop was still charging in the room but I went to bed at a decent time and did not use it. I think the extra sleep will make a big difference. I will continue to monitor this as the week goes on.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
DAY 2 over here

One thing I left out of my journal is that recently i've been thinking of activities that don't need to involve being on the computer or in front of a screen all the time. To this end I splurged out on an amp modeller (a Line 6 Helix LT for guitar/production people) so I can play & record music at either apartment levels or, if i'm struggling to sleep late at night, through the headphones. So far this is working great and, once I start, hours can disappear into playing & experimenting. This is something i've really needed and will hopefully contribute to more healthy uses of my time than PMO. I feel reconnecting with my interests is an important part of reconnecting with myself and getting the life basics back to where it should be.

Unfortunately I did not keep my promise of lights out at 10pm though this was in part due to a long phone call with a friend I have been meaning to get in touch with. So even though I broke my rule, I feel as it was for the sake of connection I made the right choice this one time. Still, i've woken up late and am behind schedule today so there's a price to pay and I can't forget my goal of getting my 'baseline' mood & energy in check. These things accumulate and result in lapsing into PMO behaviours out of exhaustion so I will need to correct this tonight.

Apart from my mind briefly wandering into fantasy in the morning (perhaps a new behaviour to watch out for) I have not had any urges. The working week, despite lockdown, is busy and I have plenty of things to be doing.

Wishing you all well today!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 3 here

I may be speaking prematurely but it feels like the brain-fog & mood are beginning to clear a little since the weekend. The laptop and phone were safely away in the other room and I was in bed and awake in my set hours. And yes, a simple thing like that really does seem to make a difference.

I woke up this morning, not sure if it was because of a dream or not, but I was thinking about some childhood experiences with rejection that I had not thought of in some time. I tried to exercise a little mindfulness and turned my attention first to how my body felt (jaw was tight & sore, as was neck & shoulders, slightly dehydrated, slightly sore head) and then to the thoughts themselves. The overall theme seemed to be memories of rejection that, on reflection, were a part of what lead me to gradually withdrawal from people & life increasingly through my adolescence. A pattern that has continued on-and-off to this day.

Some of my recent psych sessions have turned to focusing on how some formative experiences when I was younger have contributed to the (not necessarily PMO) behaviours that have somewhat limited & isolated me form others. The memories this morning were ones I had not thought of in some time but probably quite formative in shaping the mentality that lead me to, among other things, becoming so enthusiastically obsessed with PMO a couple of years later.

It felt empowering to realize this and make this connection this morning. Another piece of of the puzzle falls into place.

No urges today so far. Returning to the forum after my break has definitely helped refocus my head back towards recovery.

Wishing you all well today.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Good job, Orbiter!

Good work in reconnecting and refocusing, as well as discovering those things that contributed toward going in the direction that we did.

Be well, also.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks Phineas!

Day 4 today.

Another day passed by without an urges. As I said earlier, I think even the process of journaling changes the way we think about certain situations. It has been much easier to 'wake up' on myself though I don't feel there has been any significant urges or struggles at this point. Also i'm going to and getting out of bed in time which is helping.

The REAL test will be the upcoming weekend. In previous attempts, I have focused on structuring the day to avoid relapse but i'm not sure this is working for me at this point. Having a rigid routine feels a bit too inflexible, creates extra pressure and something else to fail and trigger a lapse. Instead of this, I was inspired by this video (
) to create a fail-safe list to keep me occupied through the next days.

FAIL SAFE LIST

* Go for a long walk
* Make a journal entry
* Play guitar
* Play synthesizers
* Exercise/pushups
* Record music on Hard Disk Recorder instead of computer
* Contact family or friends over phone
* Clean the house
* Draw Picture
* Read a book
* Go to the park
* Go out to a restaurant/food place (Lockdown)
* Go for a drive out of town (Lockdown)
* Arrange to catch up with a friend (Lockdown)
* Listen to an album
* 5 Second Box Breathing

The idea is to shift my frame of mind into filling the weekend with things I can do instead of things I have to do. These are also activities that are working towards the sort of life I want to be leading instead of wasting my free time & days PMOing.

I will print this list out an keep a physical paper copy around the place so I can refer to it when needed and don't forget in the moment.

Wishing you all well today!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
It's a process, as you know, and not always linear (or 'black-and-white'). Keep getting up, keep slugging it out. I'm having to do the same...
 
Top