Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
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.

You can do it, Orbiter! I'm standing with you, walking this out. If we can do 1 day, we can do 1 week! Staying in the moment, nonjudgmental toward ourselves, dismissing urges (as one would an annoying fly), we will look back and realize that we have 1, 2, and 3 weeks behind us.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the support Phineas. In a way it makes it all the more difficult to come here and report I just PMOed again. Being on the computer after a long, tiring day for an excessive amount of time, windows closed lead down the path to the inevitable. I didn't even think of the situation I was in until too late.

What good is a strategy if I can't stick to it. I need to think harder about what is going wrong here.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Thank you for the support Phineas. In a way it makes it all the more difficult to come here and report I just PMOed again.

Always, Orbiter! I know the tendency in myself to pull away if I'm struggling... This is even more true if I lapsed after a long streak, and have been so free with my advice to everyone else, lol...! But please never pull away, even if you've lapsed or relapsed. We can never give up, and I hope to always be available to help. Even if I'm taking time away, you can always message me, and I'll be alerted via email.

Being on the computer after a long, tiring day for an excessive amount of time, windows closed lead down the path to the inevitable. I didn't even think of the situation I was in until too late.

What good is a strategy if I can't stick to it. I need to think harder about what is going wrong here.

Thus is the nature of habit. Please be merciful to yourself. It's good to look at your strategy, and especially resolve. But even with the best strategy, it all comes down to this: how do we respond when the urges actually come?

The point is, we don't! Be sure to not respond, either for or against the urges when they come. Simply breathe through them until they pass. If another wave of urges come (as they may repeat in waves), repeat the same thing: just observe them nonjudgmentally, notice your physiological changes (shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, etc), take some deep breaths, and just allow the urges to pass- knowing that they always will pass if not acted on.

The reason it's so easy to just go into our unwanted behaviors is because they're habitualized. Plans are good and necessary, but until we start changing our response (to non-repsonse) to what normally 'triggers' us, then we'll just keep doing the same old, same old.

Let me know if this is helpful, and keep in mind, I'm walking with you.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
All good advice Phineas thank you. I always appreciate the continued patience, support & wisdom you continue to bring to this journal, especially in darker times. The lapse turned into a full blown relapse that reoccured multiple times since my last journal entry.

Last night & this morning I must have spent close to 5 or 6 hours continuously bingeing porn. I believe my addiction has continued to escalate over the course of this year. It is difficult for me to admit this but this addicted part of my personality has been searching for more extreme material, entertaining ways to escalate the rush such as using cam girls or even prostitution. It is leading me into forums that pirate adult material and distribute it through shady file sharing sites. On top of the PIED and the day-to-day problems this addiction brings to my life, I feel like this addiction is starting to become darker and will lead me down the path of increasingly unsafe behaviours such as these. If I don't stop this could have a serious negative impact on my life & future.

On reflection, I still do believe in my plan and it's usefulness to get through the early stages. I think I will, at least for this week, make quitting THE number one priority and focus on self care and not worry too much about being 'productive'. I need to stop the cycle of doing too much too soon, getting exhausted too soon and lapsing. As you have said in the past, habit replacement will come naturally as the vacancy in life gives energy & opportunity for this. It's back to the basics for this week.

My willpower is very low at the moment, so one thing I will make sure of is that i'm keeping my computer use to an absolute minimum for this week. I need to remind myself this is not forever and is only a necessary part of protecting myself until I can rebuilt my ability to control the impulse.

You are right in mentioning urges. After all the focus i've put to other areas of tackling this, I am still neglecting the basic handling of urges.

Therefore I am making a commitment to a) actually put your technique to use and b) I will post my results when I do. I am still quite defenseless to urges so this is something I need to learn.

Today is Day 0.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
 

yogi

Active Member
Hi Orbiter
Stay strong buddy!

The habit will die, slowly but surely. It's a habit after all.
What Phineas said is spot on; the ability to override the urge is key to break the addiction. It's a part of the technique called "mindfulness" and this is the root of all meditation. If you read Buddhist or Hindu philosophical books you will find concepts like "observing yourself from a neutral perspective" and "analysing your own thoughts". (N.B : I have no idea about your personal religious inclination and have no intention of bringing religion into this issue).

Meditation techniques however are not some easy fix. Practicing meditation itself can sometimes be an uphill task for addicted guys like us.

Take your own time, and make each day count. Willpower is a battery that needs recharging. So don't be hard on yourself.

We will overcome this!
 

EarthWalker

Active Member
Hi, Orbiter.

You will get trough this. Not a big deal. It happens. It will get better.

What is making a big impact in my recovery is:

1) Self-studying psychology and mindset:

some good books:

2) Seeing someone 1x per week. It is making a noticeable difference as well. Also helps put some structure in my week.

Much love
EW
 
Hi, Orbiter.

You will get trough this. Not a big deal. It happens. It will get better.

What is making a big impact in my recovery is:

1) Self-studying psychology and mindset:

some good books:

2) Seeing someone 1x per week. It is making a noticeable difference as well. Also helps put some structure in my week.

Much love
EW
I really like the seeing someone 1x per week suggestion. Seems helpful. Will surely try to incorporate that in my schedule somewhere down the line.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Hi, Orbiter. This A.W.A.R.E. acronym may help to remember what to do in the 'heat' of the moment:

A.W.A.R.E.

A - Acceptance. Be accepting, even welcoming of the anxious feelings, urges or fantasies;

W- Watchful. Watch as an outside observer without judgment, with compassion and understanding.

A- Act. Take action on these feelings, in terms of breathing deep, staying calm in the moment.

R- Repeat. Repeat steps 1-3, until the urges pass.

E- Expect. Know that these urges, and their preceding triggers, will come, but have an expectancy that you will handle them successfully.


So proud and inspired by your tenacity, and unwavering determination to overcome this in your life!

Walking with you.
 
how do we respond when the urges actually come?

The point is, we don't! Be sure to not respond, either for or against the urges when they come. Simply breathe through them until they pass. If another wave of urges come (as they may repeat in waves), repeat the same thing: just observe them nonjudgmentally, notice your physiological changes (shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, etc), take some deep breaths, and just allow the urges to pass- knowing that they always will pass if not acted on.

The reason it's so easy to just go into our unwanted behaviors is because they're habitualized. Plans are good and necessary, but until we start changing our response (to non-repsonse) to what normally 'triggers' us, then we'll just keep doing the same old, same old.

Let me know if this is helpful, and keep in mind, I'm walking with you.
I definitely like this. I think I've been doing something like this in some way. I told myself: "You know what mistakes you make that lead to a relapse, this time you won't make any of them." What happened was that the urge to act out and repeat the mistake was super strong but I didn't do anything. It's obviously not pleasant but of course it's painful without porn dopamine, nobody escapes this addiction easily, that should be clear for everybody: We will only escape this after going through suffering.
 
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All good advice Phineas thank you. I always appreciate the continued patience, support & wisdom you continue to bring to this journal, especially in darker times. The lapse turned into a full blown relapse that reoccured multiple times since my last journal entry.

Last night & this morning I must have spent close to 5 or 6 hours continuously bingeing porn. I believe my addiction has continued to escalate over the course of this year. It is difficult for me to admit this but this addicted part of my personality has been searching for more extreme material, entertaining ways to escalate the rush such as using cam girls or even prostitution. It is leading me into forums that pirate adult material and distribute it through shady file sharing sites. On top of the PIED and the day-to-day problems this addiction brings to my life, I feel like this addiction is starting to become darker and will lead me down the path of increasingly unsafe behaviours such as these. If I don't stop this could have a serious negative impact on my life & future.

On reflection, I still do believe in my plan and it's usefulness to get through the early stages. I think I will, at least for this week, make quitting THE number one priority and focus on self care and not worry too much about being 'productive'. I need to stop the cycle of doing too much too soon, getting exhausted too soon and lapsing. As you have said in the past, habit replacement will come naturally as the vacancy in life gives energy & opportunity for this. It's back to the basics for this week.

My willpower is very low at the moment, so one thing I will make sure of is that i'm keeping my computer use to an absolute minimum for this week. I need to remind myself this is not forever and is only a necessary part of protecting myself until I can rebuilt my ability to control the impulse.

You are right in mentioning urges. After all the focus i've put to other areas of tackling this, I am still neglecting the basic handling of urges.

Therefore I am making a commitment to a) actually put your technique to use and b) I will post my results when I do. I am still quite defenseless to urges so this is something I need to learn.

Today is Day 0.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
I know where you are now, man. I'm coming from there. It feels like yesterday I was binging like crazy and giving up on this whole year. And when everything pointed out that I was not going to exceed a week without porn, I have 18 days now. When we feel that we are done, we are only at about 50%. We have much more in us than we think.

Quitting porn is hard enough already and some people, me included, find it hard to work on other hard things at the same time. If this is the case, you should focus on quitting porn first. Make it no. 1 priority and have a "whatever works for me" mindset.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 2

Thank you everyone for all the support, advice & insight that you have all posted in this journal since my last entry. As I was stating in the last post, the habit replacement area perhaps isn't as much of an issue as it was. I have many interests & pursuits that patiently await my full attention on the other side of this. So for this week, i'm going to take it easy on the big life goals and focus instead on:

1.) Addressing & managing urges & needs with AWARE (mindfulness)
2.) Addressing & managing the cognitive distortions & self talk that lead to relapse.
3.) Keeping temptations i.e computer use to a minimum (no daily time limits as failing them has become an excuse to relapse)
4.) Making sure I get enough rest to manage the day

As there have been no urges, I have not had to address point 1 as of yet but I will stick to my word and let you know how it goes.

There were two cognitive distortions or temptations that entered my head yesterday. The first was the idea to use some recovery software to see if there is anything left of the weekends binge on the hard drive "Just a quick peek, not to relapse but just out of curiosity". This one gets me often and my internal response was "So if i do this, what good exactly would come from doing that? Am I really just going to have a quick look and stop? Of course not. Doing this makes no sense and I do not want to go down this path". It makes so little sense when it's framed in that internal dialogue but I have done it many times.

The second one came in the evening when, out on my evening walk, I dropped briefly into a take away food place near my apartment. There's a filipino woman who works there who I have a mild thing for. I'd been nervous about going there for awhile as a result and avoided going but for some reason I decided to make some internal dare with myself to go in there an talk to her. I went in but only briefly talked as she was hanging out with a friend. On the way home, a voice in my head started saying "There's probably some P on the net with someone who looks just like her. Go on! Look it up, tomorrows another day and you can start always again then" to which my internal response was "Putting aside the gross sexual self-entitlement of this, the only thing this would bring is a poor non-substitute for whatever kind of connection that I was looking to receive out of that exchange. If I keep responding to this need every time by substituting with P, I won't have anything left to actually pursue someone i'm interested in and it will never happen. Therefore I won't"

That was day one. I had lots of gross P related dreams both last night & the night before. Never pleasant but I like to think of it as clearing out the neurological junk left over from the last binge. Today is a new day, thank you all once again.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
 

yogi

Active Member
Persevere Orbiter buddy!
Don't lose hope.
You are gaining a lot of control. The way you were able to analyse your thoughts and distorted desires is awesome!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 3

The previous day went by with some points of note. Firstly was that I spent quite a lot of money. The reason being that I had to travel over to a busy side of town in heavy traffic to pick up some items for work after i'd finished. I really didn't want to and I was getting quite stressed being unable to find it in the various stores. Usually as soon as i'd pick it up i'd go home and deal with the rest of the traffic but instead I stuck around the shopping centre for awhile, bought a couple of albums & blu rays i've been meaning to check out, and had dinner at a Chinese restaurant there. Due to my money I don't usually do things like this but I felt it's in my interest this week to practice a bit more self care.

Once I got home, although it didn't get anywhere near relapse, I did use the computer for way longer than I would've liked into the night. As a result, I had a rather poor sleep and feel a bit foggy in the head this morning. I have to be very careful to make sure I continue to focus my energies on other things this week, even if it's just more rest. Lifestyle changes need to be made and I can't expect too much from living life the exact same way I did when I was relapsing multiple times a week.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 4

Feeling ok today. Mood has been ok and the working week was fine. I am on leave from work for the next two weeks which is going to be amazing & much needed. Some familiar distortions in this situation are:

DISTORTION - "You've worked so hard this year and you're finally on break. Go on and treat yourself! You can always just start again and stay clean the rest of the holidays"
MY ANSWER "While I understand we're feeling tired and it seems like a good idea in the moment, PMOing will only start things wrong and probably lead to bingeing therefore wasting away precious days of the holiday. This time is a chance to turn things around and quit properly which is what we're going to do"

DISTORTION - "You have soooo much free time!! Think of how much PMO you could be doing right now. You could indulge for days with no consequences if you wanted to. When will you have this much time next? Go oonnn!!"
MY ANSWER - "Every PMO has consequences. At best I miss another day & another chance to be living a life I want to live. At worse my addiction will escalate and there's no telling how low I could go"

An additional danger is falling into a slump of exhaustion as well as the potential dread of going back to work near the end of the holidays. I will cross that bridge when I get to it but for now I need find away to both get some necessary relaxation in as well as enjoy my idle time.

I will plan for the coming week but I think there should at least be enough to keep me on track for the next week. I need to get some rest in sometime over these holidays as well!
 

AJM

Active Member
Hey Orbiter,
I am new to the forum , I had an overview of your posts.
your posts are very helpful and you write very well.
I think you are fighting PMO is taking a toll on your life
I just wanted to give suggest if surrender to your urges rather than having a battle which you loose.
Dont get me wrong im not suggesting to act on your urges -
I mean let the urges come and surrender to the fact that they will come in your rebooting journey, and any porn site will be just a click away from your view at any given time in your life.
I suggest to be present and observe these urges when they come, and let them be dont fight or disown them.
Observe them as they come and go and choose not to click on a site.
Dont know if its an unpopular opinion but it has helped me at times.
Take care, much love .
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
I like how you countered distorted thinking with clear thinking, what a helpful exercise.

What has helped me with having a bunch of free and private time ahead is, thinking about how hard I will kick myself if I spent that time wrestling back and forth with PMO and it’s temptations.

I think of how happy and peaceful I will be if I find what truly makes me happy and treats myself, without all the junk.

I make sure to “nip it in the bud” as early as an urge comes, to not act on it one iota, until it passes. I’ve found in those situations that if I even so much as entertain the idea, I start the chain of behaviors that represent my acting out.

Thoughts and urges may come, that’s fine, but just don’t respond to them, for or against.

Enjoy your time!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hey Orbiter,
I am new to the forum , I had an overview of your posts.
your posts are very helpful and you write very well.
I think you are fighting PMO is taking a toll on your life
I just wanted to give suggest if surrender to your urges rather than having a battle which you loose.
Dont get me wrong im not suggesting to act on your urges -
I mean let the urges come and surrender to the fact that they will come in your rebooting journey, and any porn site will be just a click away from your view at any given time in your life.
I suggest to be present and observe these urges when they come, and let them be dont fight or disown them.
Observe them as they come and go and choose not to click on a site.
Dont know if its an unpopular opinion but it has helped me at times.
Take care, much love .

Hi Ajinkya,

Thank you for checking in on my admittedly very long, winding journal and welcome to the forum. I hope you receive as much support, insight & wisdom from this community as I have in my time here.

The advice you give is good, is definitely popular and echoes what other rebooters have suggested in my journal in different forms before. It is a skill I clearly need to learn, practice & master. The way you articulate the process is very good.

Take care & thanks for dropping by.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
I like how you countered distorted thinking with clear thinking, what a helpful exercise.

What has helped me with having a bunch of free and private time ahead is, thinking about how hard I will kick myself if I spent that time wrestling back and forth with PMO and it’s temptations.

I think of how happy and peaceful I will be if I find what truly makes me happy and treats myself, without all the junk.

I make sure to “nip it in the bud” as early as an urge comes, to not act on it one iota, until it passes. I’ve found in those situations that if I even so much as entertain the idea, I start the chain of behaviors that represent my acting out.

Thoughts and urges may come, that’s fine, but just don’t respond to them, for or against.

Enjoy your time!

Thanks Phineas,

I'm hoping in addressing some of this distorted thinking in the manner I have I can build a more immediate awareness of the the thoughts that kick of the process of relapse long before it has even happened. I'm hoping I can address some more fundamental motivators to continue this habit despite the crippling toll it's taken on my adolescent & adult life.

Your advice of holding oneself accountable for their free & private time is another important skill I still need to learn. Enjoy relaxing but being mindful & aware of the thoughts that can lead us down the path to PMO. This time over the next two weeks means so much to me. I DO NOT want to miss out on it PMOing.

Hope you are going well in your own recovery today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
DAY 5

No strong urges so far today but there is definitely a general, low-level restlessness & discomfort. I am beginning to feel the effects of stopping but, without underestimating the power of this addiction, I feel I am ready for them this time. I have structure & planned for this weekend in a way that I am optimistic will get me through lapse free.

I have also decided to, after 18 years, decided to start a martial art again. I think the structure, discipline, exercise, insight, confidence & numerous other benefits of doing this will help to make some sustainable change in my life this time around. My first class is tomorrow.

I have not experienced any overwhelming urges but can feel a build of energy from within. Thoughts & urges will come and I will manage them as & when they do. I can't live in fear of them or let them build up in my brain into something dreadful, overwhelming or all-powerful either.

I don't mention this often but sometimes when I am out walking in the evening & feeling the withdrawals particularly strongly. I have developed the unfortunate habit of glancing at the windows of places as I walk past, as if i'm hoping to see a naked woman or something silly like that I suppose. I found myself doing this yesterday and found I had to actually cut the walk short and take myself home to stop doing it. Then of course the thoughts came,

DISTORTION - "Think of all the loving couples & people on this cold night. Think of what they're doing together right now. Youknowwhatimean! Just picture it, everyone around you is probably doing it right now! All your ex-girlfriends, they're doing it right now! Every women you've been rejected by, they're doing it right now! You don't get to experience that because you're not good enough. You're not good looking enough, you're not rich enough, not sucessful enough, not charming enough and, as you continue to lapse year by year, this will only become worse so WHY DON'T YOU JUST GIVE UP!"
ANSWER - "No offense Orbiter but this is some grade-A, absolute crazy talk! Even if all of that were true which it is not, relationships aren't some crazy unattainable, Mount Everest high, Holy Grail of eternal sex, sunshine & happiness. Relationships also do not exist to validate me, I do not need any of this to feel comfortable, happy & to live. I am good enough for the type of woman who's good enough for me. All this and more awaits me once this addiction is under control and I can begin to look beyond.

DISTORTION - "This is not going well for you is it? Is this really what recovery looks like to you? Really?! Let's be honest, you're a hairs length from going home & PMOing right now and, given your wandering eyes on this walk, you've already half-lapsed anyway plus depleted-dopamine-neuro-blahblahblah so why keep trying? Perhaps it'd just be better to PMO once and start again properly."
ANSWER - "While this isn't good and I need to be mindful over the coming days to be wary of this behaviour, I HAVE NOT PMOed and, triggers/cues, withdrawal behaviours or weird subs aside, my intention is to not PMO. By staying away from PMO, this secondary habit will also weaken and if anything, it is yet another reason I need to quit this addiction finally & forever"

Exhausting just thinking about it but this is the hard work that needs to be done.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
 
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