Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, you're both right! When these things need to happen, they need to be put into perspective otherwise it just spirals out of control. On that note there was a chaser lapse yesterday first thing in the morning. I was half-awake at the time. I attribute it to lack of sleep and AVE effect. The rest of the day was fine & relaxed with no urges to speak of. I filled the day with activities from my Fail Safe List and managed to get myself back on track so that's a positive I will

I think there is still merit to be found in my approach (habit replacement, greater focus etc.) but getting good at it and making the changes stick is not going to happen overnight. Over the last six or so months, I think there is a glut of ideas that are instantly abandoned the moment a slip-up, lapse or relapse occurs. Perhaps I need to be more patient with myself...

Oh Day 1 today
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
All part of the process, Orbiter! Above all, be merciful to yourself, understanding.

Study what happened, what you were feeling, what habits or practices worked against you, what was going on in your environment? Look at it deeply, but without shame. Be your best friend, and you will find the key to change this thing.

Reassess everything, what's working, what's not working... See what you can change, even if it seems minor, it could make the big difference, and give you the big break you're looking for.

Looking forward to your further reflections, and walking with you into greater victories.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks Phineas! I'm trying

What was I feeling
On reflection, at the time I was feeling a bit apprehensive about work. I was also a bit disappointed because I was trying to arrange a walk with a friend and missed his call. I had also neglected to do the washing & laundry and hadn't showered or really even gotten dressed so I was perhaps feeling a bit guilty about it. This happened because I spent a decent part of the day working on music (good) and procrastinating on the computer (not so good).

What habits or practices worked against you
The excessive computer time. Procrastinating on household tasks that wouldn't have actually taken long. Not 'starting the day' i.e shower, getting properly dressed etc. Not leaving the house. I only ate breakfast and didn't eat until after the lapse so I wasn't managing my HALT cues.

What was going on in your environment
Was at home the whole day. I could have perhaps benefited from a change in environment. It was very cold. I'm also living alone now and, while this is a great thing in many respects, it may be presenting more challenges to recovery than i'm giving it credit for.

On further reflection, there's actually a lot more going on there than i'd realised. Perhaps one thing I could work on out of that is making sure to 'start the day' properly i.e get house stuff, shower & getting dressed, breakfast and all that out of the way first thing. Start the day 'awake' & ready for it. Also I neglected connection as well as my hunger so that's something I perhaps need to make more regular.

One of the reasons I think the 7 Day Plan I did worked so well is it forced some of these things and gave a sense of satisfaction when they were completed as it was all part of staying true to the plan. I think I will continue to push forward this week & adapt but if I continue the same patterns, I might try putting together another 7 Day Plan but this time, using the week clean to reassess what perhaps hasn't been working and plan forward.

Wishing you all well today!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
On further reflection, there's actually a lot more going on there than i'd realised. Perhaps one thing I could work on out of that is making sure to 'start the day' properly i.e get house stuff, shower & getting dressed, breakfast and all that out of the way first thing. Start the day 'awake' & ready for it. Also I neglected connection as well as my hunger so that's something I perhaps need to make more regular.

One of the reasons I think the 7 Day Plan I did worked so well is it forced some of these things and gave a sense of satisfaction when they were completed as it was all part of staying true to the plan. I think I will continue to push forward this week & adapt but if I continue the same patterns, I might try putting together another 7 Day Plan but this time, using the week clean to reassess what perhaps hasn't been working and plan forward.

What an awesome assessment!

I think these are good observations and plans forward. The getting ready in the morning will help you to 'set your intentions' for the day, and make you feel 'ready' and intentional or on-purpose for your day... It will also curb mindlessness or drifting toward whatever happens...

The 7 day plan, too, sounds like a great idea as it will give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence toward goal-keeping. It is literally keeping promises to yourself.

I remember as a younger man (early 20's), I dealt with masturbation and lust as a real problem. Porn wasn't a thing for me at that time. I didn't think I could overcome it living alone, because of all my privacy. But, with God's help, I was able to overcome this back then (1990-91). Those alone moments are still cherished to this day...!

Don't let being alone (not lonely) determine whether or not you overcome, instead overcome in spite of it!
 

Fappy

Respected Member
Breaking it down into goals you can see right before you is very effective. I used to have a 3 day goal, felt like I made progress every three days! Works.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Back to day 0 etc. Relapsed shortly after work this afternoon. Similar situation to other recent times to be honest. I'm just repeating myself here.

I need to be honest with myself that i've failed to truly address the habits & routines that have been leading me into relapse as of late. THEREFORE I am enacting a 5-day plan, similar to the last one but just covering the remainder of this week. Unlike last time where I had no plan after the first week and relapsed shortly after, I will take this time to plan for the coming week and have a 7 day plan ready before it begins.

Computer time will be limited to 2 hours a day and ONLY in an area with an open window out to the apartment complex and/or street. No alcohol, no late nights. I have also changed my 'timetable' section of the plan to account for my recent observations about 'starting the day' properly as well as cementing healthier routines to manage HALT triggers (stocked fridge on standby for H, mindfulness for A, reaching out to others for L, proper, regular sleep for T etc.) I also have my fail safe list for urges, managing idle time and/or being bored.

I have already updated my plan and will print it off tonight and keep it with the fail safe list and other resources so I can access them without having to use the computer to do so.

Wishing you all well today.

EDIT: Spelling
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Exciting to see this 5-day plan, and your other intentions here! Sometimes these lapses help us to regain that needed forcus.

Walking with you to greater and greater victories!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi Phineas. Yes I would certainly like to think that this is the case. The focused approach worked for me earlier this year. One of the problems, apart from my less than ideal living & work circumstances, was probably a lack of looking & planning forwards as well as some negative thought cycles I had not addressed at the time. This week is merely the circuit-breaker but I will try to use this time to address some potential challenges over the coming week.

Breaking it down into goals you can see right before you is very effective. I used to have a 3 day goal, felt like I made progress every three days! Works.
This is a good idea. Something I will make sure to consider moving forward.


I remember as a younger man (early 20's), I dealt with masturbation and lust as a real problem. Porn wasn't a thing for me at that time. I didn't think I could overcome it living alone, because of all my privacy. But, with God's help, I was able to overcome this back then (1990-91). Those alone moments are still cherished to this day...!

Don't let being alone (not lonely) determine whether or not you overcome, instead overcome in spite of it!
I didn't properly address this at the time but it can be a difficult catch-22 when, for me personally, I need my alone time & space to recharge and have the energy to live well but suffering from an addiction that thrives in isolation. I too cherish the alone moments in life.

You make a very interesting point in that while you were alone in a physical, situational sense, you never felt alone or (more accurately) lonely as a result of faith and being able to make a connection with God through that period. It is of course possible to be alone and not feel lonely as it is also possible to feel loneliness amongst others. I used an hour of my allowed 2 hours computer time today to go through an interesting lecture on HALT management that I will post below. It discusses potential ways an addict can manage feelings of loneliness & isolation and three of those are:

* Connection with yourself (i.e engaging in fulfilling solitary pursuits i.e making music in my case)
* Connection with others (self-explanatory)
* Connection with a higher power

Of course that doesn't necessarily mean that one needs to have all three covered at all times but I couldn't help think of your example and think maybe at times I need to remember to separate the feeling from the situation and use this knowledge to better manage the new-found space I now have to myself.

Also, the lecture is great and I highly recommend it to anyone.


EDIT: Wishing you all well today
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 2 of the 5 Day Plan today

Things seem to be moving along steadily so far. I have so far been able to check off everything on the 5 day plan yet and it has so far been a little easier to keep on task with the second time around. Perhaps this is because i'm used to it. Either way, it's early days but I feel like it has set me back on track and i've a feeling of stability that is returning to the days. The weekend will of course be the big test as this is when the relapses happen, but I think I will weather it sticking to the plan and the fail safe list.

Just a short entry today as I don't want to linger on the computer for too long but so far so good.

Wishing you all well today
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Good luck Orbiter. I've read your entire journal and I know there have been a lot of ups and downs. I'm still relatively new to my journey so I don't have much advice to offer. However, I'm a fellow musician and last year during covid I wrote, recorded and released a ton of music. That kept me busier than usual on a project that was very important to me. Now, I still masturbated my way through the year, but at a much lower rate than I did the previous year. Still way too much, but at least I was doing something I loved. My porn choices continued to get weirder and I had more trouble finishing and I just decided I finally had enough. I like to think that along with being disgusted with myself, the fact that I got deeply back into music ended up helping get me to a place where I could quit. If I could reduce my time fapping because I was making music, I could go all the way and actually quit porn.

Only time will tell if I have actually kicked the habit, but it has been a much easier 56 days than I could have ever imagined.

Keep making your music and stay strong!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Good luck Orbiter. I've read your entire journal and I know there have been a lot of ups and downs. I'm still relatively new to my journey so I don't have much advice to offer. However, I'm a fellow musician and last year during covid I wrote, recorded and released a ton of music. That kept me busier than usual on a project that was very important to me. Now, I still masturbated my way through the year, but at a much lower rate than I did the previous year. Still way too much, but at least I was doing something I loved. My porn choices continued to get weirder and I had more trouble finishing and I just decided I finally had enough. I like to think that along with being disgusted with myself, the fact that I got deeply back into music ended up helping get me to a place where I could quit. If I could reduce my time fapping because I was making music, I could go all the way and actually quit porn.

Only time will tell if I have actually kicked the habit, but it has been a much easier 56 days than I could have ever imagined.

Keep making your music and stay strong!

Hi Guitar,

Thank you so much for dropping by and especially for taking the time to sit down and actually read through the ENTIRE journal (i'm not sure I could even do that haha). Much respect & appreciation I assure you. What you say about the music is spot on and ties in very well I think to what I was discussing with connection. If the opposite of addiction is connection then what does connection mean to us? It can't just mean with others alone otherwise we would just become co-dependent on others for sobriety right? I think music is unique in that it is something that can connect us with both ourselves AND others AND (if it is your system of belief) a higher power.

I think it's great that you were able to utilize that time of lockdown as well as you did. In many ways it was such a great creative opportunity that unfortunately I was not able to really take advantage of. During the worst the lockdown in my country, I unfortunately was stuck in a small apartment with a late thirties adult of little relation where even quiet noises would travel through the wall. This person was also a musician and was probably also a negative influence on my attitude to music at the time. I simply didn't have the space or even equipment to work on music in a small space and I was nearing a point of creative burnout anyway. There have also been numerous relationship & life difficulties that have got in the way.

In hindsight it was a difficult situation and one I would have in hindsight gladly traded for months of living alone in forced isolation. As I was saying earlier in my previous post, I have a new place where I have finally set up a music space for the first time in years and am just rediscovering it again. I think from the sound of things music is one of the keys, both as a passion and a means of connection, for both of us.

Great going on your 56 days! Keep up the good work.

--------------------------------------------------------

It is Day 3 for me today. Little to report today. Everything so far is going according to (the 5 day) plan.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
I have a new place where I have finally set up a music space for the first time in years and am just rediscovering it again.
Glad to hear you have a place to make music and enjoy a hobby that can easily pull us away from other hobby that we're all trying to quit. I made a ton of music last year, but I continued to make sure I had time for porn. Less time, but still most days I found a way to watch.

I hope music helps and heals and pulls you away. You can do this!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thank you Guitar. You too!

Day 4 today. I admit as the weekend has come the pull towards the computer is becoming stronger. Sometimes I feel like I can physically feel it. In a way I feel it's encouraging as it's indicative that my brain is responding to this change. Viewing these non-computer, non-PMO tasks as a way of connecting with myself & life (or reconnecting) gives me further motivation to continue.

A friend who I was supposed to be catching up with yesterday didn't respond back to my text which left a huge hole in the days plan. I felt the familiar temptations creep in but thankfully I was able to resort to my fail safe list and make alternative plans. A small victory but a victory nonetheless I feel.

Next week will soon be upon us here and (at least for now) I will need to make sure I take some time to plan for the coming week as I said I would. Promises made etc.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Was so close but I lapsed the morning of Day 5. Had a very poor sleep and binged in the mid morning to trawling through escort ads half asleep and then videos. I know it's counter-productive but I need to be honest in that i'm really feeling the shame after this one.

My goal today is to rest, regroup & get a plan together for the coming week.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I think the 5-day plan is a good one, and you're working up to it! Definitely, celebrate the 4 days and beyond, including the entire past efforts at this- because you know what? So many aren't even trying, they've given up, and let PMO take over worse and worse.

Keep getting up, and keep swinging at this thing!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
I think the 5-day plan is a good one, and you're working up to it! Definitely, celebrate the 4 days and beyond, including the entire past efforts at this- because you know what? So many aren't even trying, they've given up, and let PMO take over worse and worse.

Keep getting up, and keep swinging at this thing!

Thanks Phineas. I believe I actually managed much better last week with the plan than I would have without. One lapse is not enough to prove whether it does or doesn't work and it gives me benefits in other areas of life too (productivity, time-management, purpose, less time on the computer etc).

After my binge yesterday, which wound up taking most of yesterday. I pulled things together by doing some housework, shopping and meeting up with a friend. I felt awful at first but being out and amongst others make a considerable difference in bringing me out of my head and 'back to reality'

It's Day 1 today and I am feeling very tired, foggy. Lots of chaser effect urges but they seem to come and go after 10 or 15 minutes so it's not too bad. Today is definitely a day to be away from the computer and getting things 'back on track'.

Wishing you all well in your journeys today
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Well-Known Member
Was so close but I lapsed the morning of Day 5. Had a very poor sleep and binged in the mid morning to trawling through escort ads half asleep and then videos. I know it's counter-productive but I need to be honest in that i'm really feeling the shame after this one.

My goal today is to rest, regroup & get a plan together for the coming week.
I have a similar problem. I am very susceptible to relapses when I'm tired and I feel some sort of anxiety. I've read on yourbrainonporn that stuff like anxiety releases dopamine too and with time an addict can interpret feelings like that for arousal. I can definitely agree with this. Stuff like that makes me think I have urges for porn.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
being out and amongst others make a considerable difference in bringing me out of my head and 'back to reality'

This is something that helps me a lot as well. Socializing and connecting with people often has helped me more likely not to use porn. Keep doing this and hope you get right back up after this weekend.

Do you tend to relapse on certain days or certain times? It might help to have a specific plan for just that. One thing I've noticed is that I get triggered and slip up during the workday, especially on days where I have no meetings. So, now, I plan on having a meeting in the afternoon with someone from work, simply to catch up. I also have a list of inspirational youtube videos to listen to during the day.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 3 today

Little to report so far this week. I missed updating yesterday because I was surprisingly busy and ran out of time. Perhaps due to being busy, there's not much to report in the way of urges or issues.

Step - Friday, Saturday & Sunday are definitely danger days for me. Hence using the plan and the fail-safe list to take control of my time used in these days. Unfortunately there has been a new issue of me relapsing half-asleep in the morning on those days. This often happens after a very interrupted, poor nights sleep which I have been addressing this week with adjusting my sleeping area & routine. Additionally having a strong morning routine and not lingering for too long in bed seems to be addressing that as well. Come the end of the week we shall see how this pans out.

Currently it has been a long time since i've managed to stay clean for a whole week. This is what i'm aiming for this time.
 
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