Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 0

Lapsed twice in a row just shy of one week in. It was actually a friend who showed me an Reddit app he uses to look at & save GIFs which took me by suprise. I didn't really respond at the time, just made an attempt at a non-chalant "oh that's cool" or whatever. Once the night ended I drunkenly PMOed before bed and again while hungover in the morning.

Once I shake this hangover i'll plan my next move. Alcohol often seems to be a danger with staying clean.
 

AJM

Active Member
Ohhh , so excess of alcohol & excess of social media consumption seem to be your triggers.
Excess of social media has always triggered me to relapse, there is a clear positive correlation between higher screentime and relapse.
Hope you take actions and plan your next move having this realization .
Love yourself and chalk out a plan. stay strong.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi Ajinkya, thanks for dropping by.

I don't actually use social media personally. It was a friend who decided to show me this app on his phone which is a weird and a bit out of character for him.

On the other hand, Alcohol is absolutely a trigger. I have actually been taking a break from it recently and decided to have some for just one night. So I will go back to not drinking, and I will let people know. I think I also need to talk to my friend and set some boundaries on his stuff as, even before I knew I was addicted, it has always made me uncomfortable people doing stuff like.

Thank you for the advice & support. Wishing you well today.
 

AJM

Active Member
Hi Ajinkya, thanks for dropping by.

I don't actually use social media personally. It was a friend who decided to show me this app on his phone which is a weird and a bit out of character for him.

On the other hand, Alcohol is absolutely a trigger. I have actually been taking a break from it recently and decided to have some for just one night. So I will go back to not drinking, and I will let people know. I think I also need to talk to my friend and set some boundaries on his stuff as, even before I knew I was addicted, it has always made me uncomfortable people doing stuff like.

Thank you for the advice & support. Wishing you well today.
Well you know whats best for you. Keep Going.
Stay strong.
 
I don't actually use social media personally. It was a friend who decided to show me this app on his phone which is a weird and a bit out of character for him.
Until I changed the location of my job, I had some problems like that, too. We were about 5-6 guys in there and some of them had that habit to show me pictures and videos on their phones like: "Check this out, man!" On the other hand, if I decided not to watch, I could walk into that stupid discussion "Are you a prude or what, man?" It's because this shit (porn, social media etc) has become so normal that people think you are a weirdo for not participating. Now, I'm not gonna walk around telling everybody I'm a porn addict. And I don't think they even believe in porn addiction or ever heard of it... Thank God now I work somewhere else and I don't run into those situations.

On the other hand, Alcohol is absolutely a trigger. I have actually been taking a break from it recently and decided to have some for just one night. So I will go back to not drinking, and I will let people know.

Alcohol is big trigger for me too, maybe the biggest. I have a drinking problem and this has caused me a tone of problems with my porn recovery as I've lost promising streaks because of getting drunk or being hang-overed because I almost always had a porn relapse. Days when I drank and didn't watch porn only helped to reinforced my alcohol addicted brain that now I could handle getting drunk and not watching porn...

If I want to make it out of porn, I will have to make "sacrifices". But I liked how a guy on Youtube said it: They are not sacrifices, they are an investment for the future.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Hi, Orbiter!

Sorry for your recent lapses!

Definitely, alcohol itself acts against our inhibitions. But as you already noted, it sounds like a contributer to your 'ritual'.

As you sketch out your next plan, keep in mind that you actually have a secret weapon you need to tap into... It's the 28 pages of this journal! Because if you make an assessment through your times you were more successful versus when you were less successful, you can find keys that will show you what didn't work and what worked for you during this recovery.

That's what I did not too long ago. Despite my making it to 139 days, why did I have to lapse (and kept struggling after that)? So I carefully went back through my journal to determine when I had a stronger mentallity versus those weak moments, and what was contributing to them... This eventually became my Focus List, linked in the small letters of my signature. It's become an invaluable source for me to refer to on a near daily, or on an as needed basis.

Be gentle with yourself, but get up and take back control!
 
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yogi

Active Member
Don't be disheartened.
The obvious trigger is alcohol.
Also what Phineas said is true. You have such a long journal, you can reflect on what exactly helps you stay strong.

Escape has a point. Changing your environment/ work location and being away from these kinds of "friends" might provide you the relief you need.
You will have more facility to self-introspect and avoid temptations.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
As you sketch out your next plan, keep in mind that you actually have a secret weapon you need to tap into... It's the 28 pages of this journal! Because if you make an assessment through your times you were more successful versus when you were less successful, you can find keys that will show you what didn't work and what worked for you during this recovery.

That's what I did not too long ago. Despite my making it to 139 days, why did I have to lapse (and kept struggling after that)? So I carefully went back through my journal to determine when I had a stronger mentallity versus those weak moments, and what was contributing to them... This eventually became my Focus List, linked in the small letters of my signature. It's become an invaluable source for me to refer to on a near daily, or on an as needed basis.

Okay Phineas i'll give it a go...

Orbiters Focus Checklist
Verson 1 - 28/06/21

Moving Away From:

Being a victim of life & circumstances. Not taking responsibility for living own life, finding happiness & achieving dreams. Expecting time, fate, other people etc to come along and give those things. Giving up & blaming life, external circumstances & others when this doesn’t happen.

Unhealthy escapism. Using destructive habits to escape uncomfortable emotions & situation (I.e PMO, drugs, alcohol)

Negative self beliefs (inferiority, unworthy of a better life, believing a better life & being a better self is impossible, convincing self & others of this instead of improving areas of life)

Procrastinating (can just do it tomorrow, too much effort, feeling too tired, feeling too down, it probably won’t work anyway etc.)

Accepting & letting other people cross & disrespect personal boundaries & values out of fear of rejection, nonacceptance & a belief of personal inferiority

Unhealthy co-dependencies on other people to achieve personal dreams & goals

Self sabotage (see all of the above)

Feeling like a personal of no confidence, self love or self belief.


Moving Towards:

Being a person living a life in which PORN IS NOT AN OPTION

A life of meaningful connection with the self (living ones passions eg. Actively working on music, playing in bands, pursuing interests & identifying with them as a person)

Meaningful connections with others (cultivating a life full of respectful & mutual relationships with friends, family, partners that have healthy boundaries)

Real, meangingful intimacy, romance, companionship & sexual connection

NO MORE ED!!

Living an honest life free of shame, fear & self-hatred

Being a good friend, son, brother & partner to others in my life

Being a person of integrity, being true to own beliefs and living a life according to own values.

Facing life & problems rather than self-sabotaging to avoid it.

Being a person on inner strength, confidence & self belief



Going Forward I Will:

Work to actively cultivate a better future (not stuck in recovery-ism cycle I.e waiting for time & abstinence to heal first)

Take responsibility for own life & recovery (recognising & identifying as a person of action taking control of circumstances/life rather than struggling, barely surviving as a victim of them)

Seek connection, connect with own life (with self through passions & hobbies, with others through friendships, relationships, social occasions, mutual interests)

SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES in life with friends, relationships family & work to maintain a physically, mentally, emotionally healthy & balanced lifestyle that is respectful to the self and values.

Address basic needs like H.A.L.T instead of procrastinating and/or seeking faulty substitutes (PMO, drugs, alcohol, mindless browsing etc.)

Restrict activities in ways that address addiction, avoiding harsh absolutes & things that will prevent necessary connection & potential tools of recovery

Recognise the difference between an URGE and a NEED (Urges fleeting, need emotional & persistent)

Process & dismiss any URGEs mindfully & without judgement. (Use AWARE, remember they will pass)

Honestly assessing & addressing the real underlying NEEDs (not using the addiction to address fake needs I.e I will only be happy once I sleep with heaps of women or I can only truly relax with PMO etc.)

Compassionately but honestly assessing in moments of weakness (move away from AVE & shame towards learning from mistakes and using lapses & difficult periods to instead become stronger & wiser)

Find courage & strength in past achievements (focus on things that did work and what was done to make them work, take pride in them)
 
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Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Don't be disheartened.
The obvious trigger is alcohol.
Also what Phineas said is true. You have such a long journal, you can reflect on what exactly helps you stay strong.

Escape has a point. Changing your environment/ work location and being away from these kinds of "friends" might provide you the relief you need.
You will have more facility to self-introspect and avoid temptations.
Until I changed the location of my job, I had some problems like that, too. We were about 5-6 guys in there and some of them had that habit to show me pictures and videos on their phones like: "Check this out, man!" On the other hand, if I decided not to watch, I could walk into that stupid discussion "Are you a prude or what, man?" It's because this shit (porn, social media etc) has become so normal that people think you are a weirdo for not participating. Now, I'm not gonna walk around telling everybody I'm a porn addict. And I don't think they even believe in porn addiction or ever heard of it... Thank God now I work somewhere else and I don't run into those situations.

Alcohol is big trigger for me too, maybe the biggest. I have a drinking problem and this has caused me a tone of problems with my porn recovery as I've lost promising streaks because of getting drunk or being hang-overed because I almost always had a porn relapse. Days when I drank and didn't watch porn only helped to reinforced my alcohol addicted brain that now I could handle getting drunk and not watching porn...

If I want to make it out of porn, I will have to make "sacrifices". But I liked how a guy on Youtube said it: They are not sacrifices, they are an investment for the future.

Thanks Escape & Yogi for dropping by as well as the advice & support. What you are both saying here is wise and relatable.

Re the Friend - I have certainly been in situations like that in the past and I also thank god (apart from the other night) I am not in them anymore. This friend is in fact a lifelong friend of over 20 years who is going through a difficult period himself which complicates this somewhat. As I said this is somewhat out of character for him so I think I will try to confront & address this with him first before taking a 'scorched earth' approach of removing him from my life entirely.

I believe he is a good friend and capable of respecting the boundaries that I need to set with this. Even still I need to be cautious, make sure I don't get 'stuck' in a situation where this could happen and will definitely avoid being drunk in his company in future.

Re the Alcohol - That's me in a nutshell too. It feels like turning around the titanic avoid a relapse hung-over and being drunk means there's no defense from the auto pilot. Binge-drinking in all honesty has caused many problems in my life beyond relapses and it's not a habit that is compatible with recovering from PMO addiction. Like cigarettes it is something that really doesn't hold much appear or value to me. My life would honestly be better without it.

Rather than cut it out entirely, I am instead going to first try an approach moderation put in a two drink limit when having dinner with others. I will abstain from alcohol and binge-drinking/drinking to get drunk. If the issue is being drunk/hungover this should help. If the issue turns out to be alcohol full-stop, it will then be something I will have to sacrifice.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
DON’T DO IT ORBITER!
ADDRESSING EUPHORIC RECALL

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF PMO

EMOTIONAL:


Feelings of shame

Lack of self esteem/confidence

Feelings of guilt

Anger/frustration

Nervousness/anxiety post relapse/withdrawal

Depression – episodes happening days/weeks after stopping




COGNITIVE:

Lack of concentration

Inability to focus or remember information.

Constant Brain Fog

Exhausting obsessive thinking

Desensitization – Inability to feel pleasure from anything else

Lack of motivation



INTERPERSONAL:

Inability to get aroused in real life

Inability to have sex

Inability to form/keep relationships

Escalation – warped sexual preferences & expectations

Warped perception of real people

Social Awkwardness/Anxiety




OCCUPATIONAL/GOALS/HOBBIES/PASSIONS/DREAMS

No energy or motivation for music/life goals

Nothing to show for interests due to neglecting them to PMO/procrastinate

Work is more difficult due to constant relapse/withdrawal cycle

Feelings of depression make nothing seem worthwhile

Drain self confidence to work towards goals

Takes up time that could be used towards goals

Goals/outcomes suffer due to poor cognitive ability

Years pass & more opportunities/dreams lost to this addiction
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Awesome job, Orbiter! Just so this list is easy for you to follow, if it motivates you, if it helps you to focus.

Looks like you were up all night working on this? I know it takes a while to assess what works and what doesn't. I commend you for making these lists, as it shows how serious you are toward real change, and how sick of the opposite!

Rooting for you as you implement your plan.
 

yogi

Active Member
Good job Orbiter!
You have done a lot of self-study. These are the same negative effects we all experience. Quite a detailed list.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thank you Phineas and Yogi,

There was indeed a lot of yesterday focused on this. I felt unsatisfied with merely getting up and giving the same old another go. Thinking about what you said about the journal, while the entries contain lots of useful resources it is sprawling and filled with lots of 'reporting in' and no end of entries & information that is not.

Starting from the fail safe list I have talked about previously, I have been trying to build an offline, quick and easy 'reboot resource book' in which I can go to if I am feeling triggered, need to be away from the computer and even just to read through and remind myself of what I am trying to do here and why.

For me it seems the 'why' seems to get lost in the day-to-day issues of the week quite often and, once exhaustion & free time come along towards the end, are all but forgotten. Due to the sheer size of this journal, it is difficult to go back and say 'oh yeah that's right I should be doing this' or 'ah yes that worked, I should do that!'.

Like you Phineas can use your focus list to remind you, I am hoping to do the same with this each day as well as have an quick & easy to access book of resources that I can use whenever I need it. As it is a work in progress, I will build on this and post my work in this journal in future entries.

It is Day 2.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
 
Don't take it as me telling you what to do but maybe it could help you even a little. This is how I've been doing it since the beginning of the month (made it to day 26).

I had a period where I was lost and I thought this was going to be another wasted year. Nothing unknown. Year after year it had been the same fuckin thing. I had just binged and I was sitting in a chair, staring at the wall like people in a mental hospital, 1000 yards stare, thinking "Why can't I do this? What the fuck is wrong? What am I missing? What is that last thing that I need to make it work?" I spent a while thinking about it and then it came to me. I knew what I had to do but I kept disrespecting 3 things: Avoiding all the mistakes that had ever led me to a relapse, dealing with porn flashbacks and porn fantasies and accepting the fact that cold turkey hurts a lot. So I started really obeying them: No more mistakes, even the little ones (I quit alcohol too and as I have a drinking problem I have double dose of withdrawal), I really started doing something about the "porn in my head" - Cutting it short in the first second before it had the chance to turn into a dopamine feast for 30 minutes, and telling myself "Nobody gets out of porn addiction easily, it's going to be painful but I can do this, there is no such thing as I'm not strong enough. I can face the discomfort."

It's made all the difference for me so far. Because I really started doing it. No more fuckin around.
 
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Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Don't take it as me telling you what to do but maybe it could help you even a little. This is how I've been doing it since the beginning of the month (made it to day 26).

I had a period where I was lost and I thought this was going to be another wasted year. Nothing unknown. Year after year it had been the same fuckin thing. I had just binged and I was sitting in a chair, staring at the wall like people in a mental hospital, 1000 yards stare, thinking "Why can't I do this? What the fuck is wrong? What am I missing? What is that last thing that I need to make it work?" I spent a while thinking about it and then it came to me. I knew what I had to do but I kept disrespecting 3 things: Avoiding all the mistakes that had ever led me to a relapse, dealing with porn flashbacks and porn fantasies and accepting the fact that cold turkey hurts a lot. So I started really obeying them: No more mistakes, even the little ones (I quit alcohol too and as I have a drinking problem I have double dose of withdrawal), I really started doing something about the "porn in my head" - Cutting it short in the first second before it had the chance to turn into a dopamine feast for 30 minutes, and telling myself "Nobody gets out of porn addiction easily, it's going to be painful but I can do this, there is no such thing as I'm not strong enough. I can face the discomfort."

It's made all the difference for me so far. Because I really started doing it. No more fuckin around.

Hi Escape,

It's certainly to be taken seriously, that's how it has to be done. I admire your tenacity & determination Escape. It is clearly paying off for you in spades at the moment and that's great to see. I will take your advice into consideration. Thanks for dropping by.
Take care, keep up the great work!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Orbiter, I knew that you had so many pages to go through! Even my amount was monumental to read through, took a few days for the time allotted. But now you'll have that reference. And your lists inspired me to expand mine to actually list the negatives, and expound on the positives.

Escape, you are exactly right. It takes nothing short of that 'dead-dog' seriousness, and to grab ourselves by the throat (compassionately), and do what's necessary to go through this.

The only way out is through, and in the event of 'serial-relapsing' (hey, I'm so prone to that myself), we have to reassess both method and above all, our level of commitment.

Blessings to both of you guys (and to all who are fighting this mother of an addiction)!
 
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AJM

Active Member
DON’T DO IT ORBITER!
ADDRESSING EUPHORIC RECALL

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF PMO

EMOTIONAL:


Feelings of shame

Lack of self esteem/confidence

Feelings of guilt

Anger/frustration

Nervousness/anxiety post relapse/withdrawal

Depression – episodes happening days/weeks after stopping




COGNITIVE:

Lack of concentration

Inability to focus or remember information.

Constant Brain Fog

Exhausting obsessive thinking

Desensitization – Inability to feel pleasure from anything else

Lack of motivation



INTERPERSONAL:

Inability to get aroused in real life

Inability to have sex

Inability to form/keep relationships

Escalation – warped sexual preferences & expectations

Warped perception of real people

Social Awkwardness/Anxiety




OCCUPATIONAL/GOALS/HOBBIES/PASSIONS/DREAMS

No energy or motivation for music/life goals

Nothing to show for interests due to neglecting them to PMO/procrastinate

Work is more difficult due to constant relapse/withdrawal cycle

Feelings of depression make nothing seem worthwhile

Drain self confidence to work towards goals

Takes up time that could be used towards goals

Goals/outcomes suffer due to poor cognitive ability

Years pass & more opportunities/dreams lost to this addiction
Hey Orbiter, your list is all good and comprehensive .
But there is something that surpasses all this checklist and will take you long way in your journey and
even I have come to realize it only lately and that is - answering the "WHY" question

"Why do you what to reboot ???"

keep asking yourself this question,
you may not get an answer that quickly but have it at back of your mind.
Mind it the answer will be Liberating .
Keep on questioning.
More power to you.
 
Escape, you are exactly right. It takes nothing short of that 'dead-dog' seriousness, and to grab ourselves by the throat (compassionately), and do what's necessary to go through this.

The only way out is through, and in the event of 'serial-relapsing' (hey, I'm so prone to that myself), we have to reassess both method and above all, our level of commitment.

Blessings to both of you guys (and to all who are fighting this mother of an addiction)!
Definitely. We won't make it if we don't take this very seriously. Quitting porn must be number 1 priority, top of the list, for as long as it takes. I didn't take this addiction and the recoverying process completely seriously and I paid the price. I almost became fuckin mental with this shit until I realized that everything was in front of my eyes all along and I didn't see it. I said to myself: "Man, let's do something that you've never done in your life: Avoid all the mistakes that have led to relapse in the past. And if it gets really hard, shut the fuck up and go on." This is how I got to 26 days and for me this is a record because my best streak was 25 days. I'm comin from the bottom of the hole. I am (hopefully used to be) a "serial relapser" relapsing over and over and over again without seemingly going anywhere. Looking from outside, it sure must've looked really depressing, like "This guy won't make it." What helped me is simplifying everything down to the basics and following a few simple rules. I stopped complicated myself. Everybody should find what works for them. I feel like I did. This rebooting process is more than just quitting porn for me, this is taking control of my mind and proving to myself that I'm not just a pathetic weakling obsessed with comfort.
 
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