Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
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.
Hi Ajinkya,

Thanks for dropping in and for your observations. To respond, the purpose of that particular list is intended to address "Euphoric Recall" i.e something I can read to remind me of the reasons not to PMO when the addiction is clouding my judgement with feelings of nostalgia, cognitive distortions and other reasons to give in and do so. Therefore it does not contain a "WHY" as it is intended to be a "WHY NOT" list.

The "WHY" or mission statement to quit I feel is, in essence, covered in the previous list in this area here.

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

If this is inadequate or does not function as an effective why, would you have any comments as to why that is the case? Or suggestions how this could better serve it's purpose? I ask out of genuine curiosity. Any insights or ideas I may have missed are welcome.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known 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)!
Hi Phineas & Escape, thanks for dropping by and your continued support throughout this. I'm glad Phineas you were able to take some inspiration to further develop your own resources from this. It feels nice to be giving something back for a change!

The reasons & motivators for addictions I feel are complex and not always immediately present. Commitment & method need to be assessed and, probably reassessed throughout this is true.

However I would also add there in many cases can be ulterior motivators, flawed, distorted beliefs & attitudes that contribute to the repetition of this cycle, co-morbid addictions & conditions, mental health problems, unaddressed trauma, lifestyle changes that need to be made etc. I do believe the potential complexity of this varies from person to person and there is no one solution. After all, if there was one sure-fire eureka solution, wouldn't most of us have already white-knuckled through it and be long clean by now?

At the risk of coming across as ungrateful and, while I appreciate both that nothing above is an excuse and this does need to be taken seriously, isn't there somewhat of an implication in this sort of talk that people who are 'serial relapsers' do so because they're 'not taking it seriously'?

Personally I feel like most people on this forum take PMO addiction quite seriously. Most people who recognize and admit this is a problem, persevere through relapse after relapse, setback after setback, disappointment after disappointment, developing themselves & searching for solutions and never giving up do so because they take this quite seriously.

I have been working on kicking this habit for almost ten years, many others have for much longer. Is that because we're "not taking it seriously"?
 
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AJM

Active Member
Hi Ajinkya,

Thanks for dropping in and for your observations. To respond, the purpose of that particular list is intended to address "Euphoric Recall" i.e something I can read to remind me of the reasons not to PMO when the addiction is clouding my judgement with feelings of nostalgia, cognitive distortions and other reasons to give in and do so. Therefore it does not contain a "WHY" as it is intended to be a "WHY NOT" list.

The "WHY" or mission statement to quit I feel is, in essence, covered in the previous list in this area here.



If this is inadequate or does not function as an effective why, would you have any comments as to why that is the case? Or suggestions how this could better serve it's purpose? I ask out of genuine curiosity. Any insights or ideas I may have missed are welcome.
Hey Orbiter,
I was not aware you already had your WHY question answered, i am glad you have it answered.
The answer is very personal and different for everyone.
So just the next time we rebooters are charged up and all triggered with hands down into our pants and finding that PORNHUB video to jerk off we remind ourselves of WHY we had decided to reboot at first place. More Power Bro
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
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.

At the end of the day, what matters more than anyone's opinion, is what we think of ourselves. For sure, I've never thought this about you from your other journal, when you were struggling. Whenever I comment and offer support, I always remember myself, how easy it is for me to be in that place of relapsing. In many ways, I see everyone as a mirror, so I can learn more about myself. And, like a band of brothers, hopefully we're in this together. At the same time, it's a very personal struggle.

I like your point about everyone finding what works, and not overcomplicating it. Finding what works is the first part, and keeping that edge is another. I think I struggle time-to-time with keeping that edge in my own efforts.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
At the risk of coming across as ungrateful and, while I appreciate both that nothing above is an excuse and this does need to be taken seriously, isn't there somewhat of an implication in this sort of talk that people who are 'serial relapsers' do so because they're 'not taking it seriously'?

Personally I feel like most people on this forum take PMO addiction quite seriously. Most people who recognize and admit this is a problem, persevere through relapse after relapse, setback after setback, disappointment after disappointment, developing themselves & searching for solutions and never giving up do so because they take this quite seriously.

I have been working on kicking this habit for almost ten years, many others have for much longer. Is that because we're "not taking it seriously"?

Hi, Oriber. It may be that the term 'serial-relapser' has an implication of blame or judgement. If this is so, it's aimed at myself, as I think I first applied it to myself, at least as a cautionary warning- what not to be... That said, I don't mean to imply that you're a serial-relapser.

In that spirit, all that is meant in my statements above on being serious, taking oneself by the throat, not being a serial-relapser, etc, was about what kind of attitude I have to possess toward my own efforts. Methods and plans are one thing, but the motivation and determination, the 'being all in', is even more important. If two people are trying, and one has plans but no motivation versus one who has almost no plan, but has the motivation, my money is on the one with the motivation- because he will find a way, even if at first he's falling multiple times.

I myself have been struggling with this (in various forms) for almost 30 years now, so believe me, I get that. This is also why I didn't just diappear into a puff of smoke after hitting my 120 day goal, because I knew myself better... But since that time, I've been more hopeful about my recovery effort as a whole, recent lapses and struggles notwithstanding.

Be well.
 
At the end of the day, what matters more than anyone's opinion, is what we think of ourselves. For sure, I've never thought this about you from your other journal, when you were struggling. Whenever I comment and offer support, I always remember myself, how easy it is for me to be in that place of relapsing. In many ways, I see everyone as a mirror, so I can learn more about myself. And, like a band of brothers, hopefully we're in this together. At the same time, it's a very personal struggle.

I like your point about everyone finding what works, and not overcomplicating it. Finding what works is the first part, and keeping that edge is another. I think I struggle time-to-time with keeping that edge in my own efforts.
I understand what you mean when you say "keeping the edge."
 
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Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks all for your comments and support. While I feel I was perhaps being a bit over-sensitive (a personal weakness) in my previous posting, the discussion has been robust and it's good to wake up and read of the continuing discussion.

So yesterday I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I got quite upset at the thought of cancelling all of my plans, spending half or more of my holidays (which i've been waiting for all year) sick, sleeping and in bed and one train of thought lead to another an, in a moment of weakness, I wound up PMOing to some videos. It wasn't as long or severe as the previous relapses but was really disappointing after the consequences of the last few relapses. Today is Day 1

I guess this is the motivation we speak of right? These things will happen all the time, it's a part of life and NOT relapsing in these times of stress and weakness is when this stuff really matters. At the end of the day, this is the pain we have to stare down, face & overcome again and again to be a person who doesn't PMO.

Perhaps part of the reaction I felt to some of the posts yesterday was because I saw an element of truth in them. I am missing the motivation and determination to really tackle this thing 'all in'. I recommit time and time again but when the hard times come, I fold.

After the discussion with Ajinkya on the importance of the "Why" (and you're right Ajinkya it is essential) I was thinking of the "Why" list I made and reflected on how I feel about these Why's leading up to a relapse.

The answer is, when i'm in that state, I don't believe any of those Why's are possible. When I am in that state, I don't believe getting clean is achievable.

I keep trying because I have to, because my life would fall apart if I completely gave up and just resigned myself to being an addict. The problem is that I can't seem to break free of it either.

I don't want this to devolve into a 'poor me' rant or anything, and taking control = taking responsibility & not playing the victim. But honestly it feels like i've been stuck in this state of purgatory neither being a full blown addict or being sober FOREVER. I feel like a withered junkie, just fucking empty, desperate, tired & old.
 
I know, bro. My current streak started from a place like that, where it looked like I couldn't do it. What you wrote there sounds like something I would write on Day 1. I was borderline mental, man. This shit was going to make me have some mental breakdown of something. So I guess I had to get really desperate to find the solution. Now I know what works, all I have to do is "keep the edge" like Phineas says. One moment of lack of focus and everything can go out the window. This shit is no joke. What's been working for me is simplifying everything down to a few basic things to take care of. I stopped complicated myself. What I've been doing is: Avoiding all the mistakes, managing porn thoughts/flashbacks/fantasies and facing the discomfort. I had moments when I wanted so desperately to relapse but I reminded myself that I would've broken those 3 rules. I had days when I was so tired and almost on autopilot but I reminded myself that the discomfort doesn't need empty self-medication. When we think we are done, we are actually only at about 50% of our capacity. There is much more in us than we believe. You're gonna make it.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Perhaps part of the reaction I felt to some of the posts yesterday was because I saw an element of truth in them. I am missing the motivation and determination to really tackle this thing 'all in'. I recommit time and time again but when the hard times come, I fold.

Hey, brother! What you said about the element of truth, I felt that's what was going on... I appreciate the ongoing and robust conversation that arose out of it. I know it's hard to tell spirit and intent in text-form, but it's good for me to check my own approach. As someone who needs a lot of mercy, grace and compassion in my life, I hope to be the last person who comes across as harsh, legalistic, or as some kind of know-it-all hard ass.

It was kind of interesting, but in my 16 Principles of Recovery (which I made based on my own hit-and-miss successes), number 1 (I kid you not) is, Are you a serial relapser? But as this conversation unfolds, a third important element emerges: the science of habit change.

We discussed plans and methods, we stated how important motivation, resolve or 'seriousness' is, but a third element is habit change itself. To your point, Orbiter, will-power obviously has its limitations. But when the hard times come (after we've been cued), how do we prevent from folding to the urges, which can be persistent, and vary in intensity?

This is where methods and plans can actually get in the way, and also, we could almost 'hang ourselves' with our will-power and promises to ourselves... Because habit is habit. This is why we can make little changes to our routine here and there, whatever surrounds the unwanted habit. It's kind of like blowing up bridges or disrupting communication lines in war, it may not directly affect the enemy yet, but it will serve us big time when the urges come.

Again, being mindful will help us against mindlessly walking into the traps our habits can be for us. A cue comes (or trigger), and many plan to deal with that, okay... But what if we just accept that cues will come? It's the urges that follow that we need to also accept, nonjudgmentally. It's here where we can rewrite our story, by simply dismissing the urges, neither responding for or against them. Acknowledge that they're there, be aware of your physiology (shallow breathing, rapid pulse), and just begin to breathe deeper until the urges pass.

Think of a bell curve, the urges will rise and peak, and it's here where we think we 'must' give in, but if we just wait them out, they will (invariably) subside. Sometimes they come in waves, or repeat. Simply repeat the above. This is where the term urge surfing comes from. This right here is the key to overcoming this thing. Plans have their place, and certainly resolve, but this right here should be in the driver seat.
 
Think of a bell curve, the urges will rise and peak, and it's here where we think we 'must' give in, but if we just wait them out, they will (invariably) subside. Sometimes they come in waves, or repeat. Simply repeat the above. This is where the term urge surfing comes from. This right here is the key to overcoming this thing. Plans have their place, and certainly resolve, but this right here should be in the driver seat.
That's what I'm talking about! That's great stuff right there! Definitely very helpful.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 3

Thank you Phineas & Escape for the support & constructive advice. It has been food for thought and I plan to take this onboard from this point forward, focusing on the basics, urge management and putting in proportion the role of plans as well the potential for plans. You're right in that, if used as a primary tool of change, they can become a de-motivator if they do not quite work out or an excuse for failure if they become to complex & unattainable. In many respects my approach could use some simplification.

Mood & energy is typical for the day 3 period after a relapse. I feel like I am getting over whatever sickness I had though which is a relief.

Re plans, I have been thinking of some of the absolutes in previous plans I have made (computer time limits etc) and wonder if perhaps there's a different way I can address some of these cues that just avoiding them for some vague period of time. For example, instead of avoiding using Youtube to mindlessly browse I recently made a Youtube channel recently to post some of my audio design & program experiments I like to do in my free time. It feels like a more positive, meaningful action than simply avoiding it. It's an approach i've been thinking about anyway.

I will focus my recovery efforts over the next week or so to better managing urges & cues as they arise, starting the process of core habit change.
 
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yogi

Active Member
Orbiter that's precisely the missing link.
Replacing a bad habit with a good one, something we don't really give importance.

Uploading your own videos will slowly but surely increase your self-esteem and give a sense of pride that you are contributing to the world. That will go a long way in rewiring your brain.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks Yogi, with any luck (and lots of fortitude) this times the charm and I can break this current relapse cycle i've been stuck in. I'm hoping with the videos, that will be a big part of the outcome.

Day 4

The rest of yesterday in terms of recovery went smoothly. I caught up with that friend I was talking about earlier and had a respectful & positive conversation with him about the issues i'm having with P and why I don't want to look at it. He understood and accepted it with no hard feelings, ridicule, argument, skepticism or anything.

Often in the past, I have found myself in situations like this because i've been embarrassed or self-conscious to set these sort of boundaries up with friends. I am also a fairly confrontation-averse person by nature and it can take a bit to will myself to have these conversations. Obviously you can't discuss these matters with just ANYONE but there are times it needs to be done. I feel good about this.

I woke up this morning with some persistent fantasizing & urges. As I was half asleep, I was still 'auto-piloting' at first & mentally indulging them but I was able to wake up, analyse & accept the urge and slow breathed my way through it until it had passed. The same urges hit a few more times in a row but I feel I was able to manage & let them go.

I feel like the next few days will be tricky but I feel like i'm more prepared this time.
 
Thanks Yogi, with any luck (and lots of fortitude) this times the charm and I can break this current relapse cycle i've been stuck in. I'm hoping with the videos, that will be a big part of the outcome.

Day 4

The rest of yesterday in terms of recovery went smoothly. I caught up with that friend I was talking about earlier and had a respectful & positive conversation with him about the issues i'm having with P and why I don't want to look at it. He understood and accepted it with no hard feelings, ridicule, argument, skepticism or anything.

Often in the past, I have found myself in situations like this because i've been embarrassed or self-conscious to set these sort of boundaries up with friends. I am also a fairly confrontation-averse person by nature and it can take a bit to will myself to have these conversations. Obviously you can't discuss these matters with just ANYONE but there are times it needs to be done. I feel good about this.

I woke up this morning with some persistent fantasizing & urges. As I was half asleep, I was still 'auto-piloting' at first & mentally indulging them but I was able to wake up, analyse & accept the urge and slow breathed my way through it until it had passed. The same urges hit a few more times in a row but I feel I was able to manage & let them go.

I feel like the next few days will be tricky but I feel like i'm more prepared this time.
You've got this, man! First days are harder but the further away you get from the last relapse, the easier is to say "no", despise hard urges.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 5 today.

I'm feeling the familiar mix of lethargy & restlessness that comes at this period of days clean. Times like this I find it's usually better to be away from the computer so I will most likely finish up after this post. My head is feeling much foggier than usual for some reason and i'm having some difficulty focusing my thoughts even just writing this. I have been out of my morning routine somewhat which is something I will have to rectify.

No personal revelations or interesting reflections here today. Just making sure i'm staying clean & holding myself accountable.

Wishing you all.
 
Day 5 today.

I'm feeling the familiar mix of lethargy & restlessness that comes at this period of days clean. Times like this I find it's usually better to be away from the computer so I will most likely finish up after this post. My head is feeling much foggier than usual for some reason and i'm having some difficulty focusing my thoughts even just writing this. I have been out of my morning routine somewhat which is something I will have to rectify.

No personal revelations or interesting reflections here today. Just making sure i'm staying clean & holding myself accountable.

Wishing you all.
That's the inevitable withdrawal. We all go through things like those. Face the suffering. The only way out is going through it.
 

yogi

Active Member
Orbiter keep progressing
Withdrawal symptoms come and go. Also try shifting your attention to something else, like your youtube uploads, that will serve a retraining purpose.
 
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