Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I've set up my computer so I can't look up porn. I use "Clean Browsing Client" to block all porn and I set up a password so I can't watch it. I leave the password in my office so if I ever do feel the urge when I'm back home, I can't fucking do a damn thing about it.

It's crucial that you plan your weekends in advance, man. Go do something that'll give you a real natural dopamine high - go sailing, take up dancing, meet friends, go on a date, visit family, whatever... weekends are really tough because you're body/mind wants to be rewarded for working your ass off all week. The problem is we've trained it to think watching porn is the reward. So we must create new rewards for our brains/bodies that are good and healthy and that are, you know, actually fun.

Also, I'm doing lots of meditation. It really does help to focus the mind and build willpower. Get an app. Join a meditation group. Do it a couple of sessions a day, morning and evening, and within a couple of weeks you and your mind will start seeing the benefits.

Lastly, don't be looking at hot yoga videos, etc. That's a slippery slope. It's like the alcoholic who knows he can't even have one drink. Stay away from all of that crap -- go instead to actual yoga class!

Stay strong and healthy buddy.

Hi Force, thanks for dropping by and for support & helpful suggestions.

Unfortunately both the lockdown that we are in in my city coupled with the financial/work issues i'm facing means that many of the helpful & thoughtful suggestions things you have made are things that I cannot currently do and will probably not be able to for awhile longer yet. The meditation though is a great suggestion. On the strength of it I did a quick session before work yesterday and, maybe it's in my head, but I feel it made a big difference.

The yoga videos were simply p-subsitute behaviour in a moment of weakness, nothing more. I knew it going in, knew it at the time and knew it coming out of it. I'm happy I was able to stop it before it escalated to P as it would normally do so by my own standards it was a small victory but I do get what you mean.

Thanks again for the support and for dropping by. Good luck with your journey!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
So to follow up on yesterday, I did not get to go for the walk due to poor weather but I instead called a work colleage of mine who's been away dealing with some serious health issues. What was supposed to be a brief chat turned into a three hour conversation which, among other things, should fill that connection need some of my late night walk behaviour may have been subconsciously trying to address. I am going to consider that a positive. I also did some exercise during work from home breaks with also helped my mood.

Other than that, I spent much of the evening working on a project Linux build I have been working on and booting from a USB stick. It's something i've been wanting to start for some time but attention span & patience have not been there in the past. I am enjoying the learning experience, have gotten much of my music software & hardware up and running on it. Doing this has brought back a lot of fond memories of the way I used to enjoy working/tinkering with computers as a kid, before PMO was discovered and the slow descent began. Weirdly I don't get the urges to PMO or even browse the internet when I am doing this (can't be too careful though).

Day 10 has been by far the most difficult day so far, yesterday felt noticeably better as I am optimistic today (day 12) will also. The meditation I attempted yesterday as suggested by Force was also beneficial and i'm going to start making that a part of the morning routine as well.

Wishing you all well on your journeys today.
 
Hey man, good to hear that the meditation worked. That to be honest is the most important one of my tips. This evening I felt like I was slipping back into my old ways... then I did a meditation and all those bullshit thoughts about porn, etc, went away. Sam Harris has a great meditation app which teaches meditation and also goes into the theory and there is also 100s of guided meditations on it. Sam's app costs 99 dollars a year, but since Sam is awesome it's also free to people who might struggle to afford it.

Thanks for the well wishes back, Orbiter, really appreciate it, and likewise, stay strong, healthy and may the road rise with you (old Irish saying)
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hey man, good to hear that the meditation worked. That to be honest is the most important one of my tips. This evening I felt like I was slipping back into my old ways... then I did a meditation and all those bullshit thoughts about porn, etc, went away. Sam Harris has a great meditation app which teaches meditation and also goes into the theory and there is also 100s of guided meditations on it. Sam's app costs 99 dollars a year, but since Sam is awesome it's also free to people who might struggle to afford it.

Thanks for the well wishes back, Orbiter, really appreciate it, and likewise, stay strong, healthy and may the road rise with you (old Irish saying)

Cheers Force, i'll be sure to look into it. Wishing all the same for you too.

So today is day 13 and it seems i've so far weathered much of the turbulence of the last couple of weeks. It hasn't been perfect but I am learning to accept that realistic, sustainable recovery isn't and I need to be looking at triggering situations as a warning that i'm getting slack, a reminder to recommit and a lesson to learn rather than the be all end all. Any day PMO-free is a day PMO-free, that's what matters.

I'm overall feeling much better mood & energy-wise than I have for some time, even with the roller-coaster of challenges life & recovery continues to bring. Any day without PMO, no matter how low & bad the withdrawals are, feels better than a day suffering through the after-effects of relapse.

With that said, there are two things I must be wary of at this time.

First off, whenever I am able to make it over a week without PMO, I almost always lapse between day 13 & day 20. It has been said this is the period where the sensitivity to PMO triggers is at it's highest so that makes sense. It is all the same a definite danger period for me so I need to be very conscious of the thoughts I am thinking and the way I am spending these days. I find this is a period for me where urges change from being the 'grit teeth & hold on cause you're in bumpy ride' endurance game to becoming deceptive & tricky. The kind of urges that you're half way through PMOing before you even realise they're there. It may sound like i'm playing this up, being melodramatic or even making excuses in advance to PMO but i'm just being realistic and preparing myself for the worst. If I am wrong, that would be great!

Secondly, I find myself at the beginning of another weekend on my own in lockdown. My options are limited but I feel I need to, particularly this weekend, use the tools I have to stay occupied and remain mindful not to fall for any of the tricks I have usual done in the past. I will continue to exercise, meditate & aware any urges away, consult the failsafe activity list and reread through my focus list either just before or after I journal.

I feel like I will be here a lot over the next few days which in itself has it's issues (recovery-ism), but I think this is necessary & ok for at least the next few days.

Wishing you all well in your journeys today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi, Orbiter. Just wanted to say I wish you good sailing trough the weekend.

Much love
EW

Thanks EarthWalker, I appreciate it!

Unfortunately I lapsed, starting with P subs and gradually escalating to PMO over more hours than i'd have liked. It wasn't that great, certainly not worth it. If nothing else a waste of a good afternoon. I attribute this to my mindless browsing into the afternoon without eating lunch (I also had a bad sleep). It's a shame to be back to the chaser and all that but I can't get despondent and I can't binge.

No excuses really, there's a bit going on but I simply didn't bring my best game to today at a crucial time and this is the result. No binges and no chaser PMOs though. Time to move forward and get back on track, starting now.

Today is day 0
 

EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
No worries. Be kind to yourself. Don't stress about it. Take a break. Then try again. The good thing about this is that we get to try as many times as needed. This time it was double digits. So much improvement over last time.

Much love
EW
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks EarthWalker. You are right in that double-digits is indeed a notable step forward from where I was at. If I was regularly abstaining for that long, I would be in a much better place that I have been. I also resisted the temptation last night to indulge in the chaser effect for the rest of the day. I can still keep things on track for the rest of the weekend and hopefully I should be back on track in a few days time.

Day 1 today with little to report so far. Feeling a bit tired, flat & lethargic but that's to be expected. The temptation to beat myself up over the lapse is present but thankfully not too strong to manage. The lesson from yesterday is how important it is not to give in to this feeling of lethargy and procrastinate on the computer. I have plenty to things do today, much of them things I should have done yesterday so i'd better sign off for now and get it all in order.

Wishing you all well in your journeys today.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Well-Known Member
Thanks EarthWalker, I appreciate it!

Unfortunately I lapsed, starting with P subs and gradually escalating to PMO over more hours than i'd have liked. It wasn't that great, certainly not worth it. If nothing else a waste of a good afternoon.
I have a similar practice, usually, when I relapse (except maybe when I'm drunk). I start with what I consider to be the least damaging thing from my porn world (edging to flashbacks and fantasies because... I'm not watching, that's what I tell myself) and then I move to P subs saying I am not there yet and then I move to hardcore. It's indeed the typical going downhill type of thing. Good job for not binging. Unfortunately, I have not been able to avoid binges lately.
 

Wolfman

Active Member
Nothing has in essence changed Orbiter, you are still on the path, though the path may be crooked and rough sometimes. Look to figure out exactly what went wrong and what you can do about it. Another thing might be whether or not you can do some radical changes in your life? I kept a serial relapsing for 6 months until recently (so far, at least), which I think is due to me pushing myself harder than ever before, breaking myself out of my comfort zone, quitting video games, starting to pray every day (equivalent of self-talk or meditation)--just pushing myself into the core of my being and finding the resolve to change my life around (and not just this thing with porn, but wholesale).

We're all bit different, and I think the serial relapsing wasn't a waste because I was still trying, I don't think I could've broken new ground like I had without me persisting despite failure.

Keep persevering Orbiter! The rest of you might be hard at work at reconfiguring itself and it just needs a bit more time.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Nothing has in essence changed Orbiter, you are still on the path, though the path may be crooked and rough sometimes. Look to figure out exactly what went wrong and what you can do about it. Another thing might be whether or not you can do some radical changes in your life? I kept a serial relapsing for 6 months until recently (so far, at least), which I think is due to me pushing myself harder than ever before, breaking myself out of my comfort zone, quitting video games, starting to pray every day (equivalent of self-talk or meditation)--just pushing myself into the core of my being and finding the resolve to change my life around (and not just this thing with porn, but wholesale).

We're all bit different, and I think the serial relapsing wasn't a waste because I was still trying, I don't think I could've broken new ground like I had without me persisting despite failure.

Keep persevering Orbiter! The rest of you might be hard at work at reconfiguring itself and it just needs a bit more time.
Thanks Wolfman, that's more or less how I see it. I feel if I make it through this month only PMOing once, that is by my recent standards a quantum leap forward in terms of recovery. Two years ago, I don't believe I would be managing as well as I am, living on my own in an apartment in lockdown isolation on-and-off for two months with an unstable work situation and whole days in a row to myself. The way I interact with the world and with others has also changed for the better, I believe this is both due to the internal work I have been doing with my psychologist, on my own and the many reflections, wisdom and support from all of you on here. As the saying goes, to make an omelette you've gotta break some eggs. My recovery may not look impressive on paper at this point but I actually believe things are heading more in the right direction for me right now than they have in some time.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
I have a similar practice, usually, when I relapse (except maybe when I'm drunk). I start with what I consider to be the least damaging thing from my porn world (edging to flashbacks and fantasies because... I'm not watching, that's what I tell myself) and then I move to P subs saying I am not there yet and then I move to hardcore. It's indeed the typical going downhill type of thing. Good job for not binging. Unfortunately, I have not been able to avoid binges lately.

The age old pattern we all know only too well!

I feel that in times like this, we can focus too much on the relapse itself (in the past, can't change) despairing at breaking free of this addiction and envisioning being stuck in this cycle forever (in the future, can't predict) whereas we should be focusing instead on getting back on track (in the present, the only thing we have the power to influence) and how we can instead manage such a situation better in future.

When I get stuck in a binge cycle, in that brief period of time PMO seems like the only pleasure in the world worth pursuing and the more I resist, the stronger it gets and the more times I PMO until I crawl back to the forum running on empty.

I think to break out of this cycle, we need to break this mindset we get trapped in, we need to change the way we look at PMO in our minds in this particular situation.

You know Escape, I am actually happy I took a break from recovery for that month because by giving myself permission to PMO as much as I want, whenever want, PMO went in my mind from being this irresistable, evil, all-powerful vice I was powerless to escape to being genuinely bland, empty, repetitive, unsatisfying boring as fuck waste of time. As I said earlier, I didn't really PMO any more than I was when I was on here pulling my hair out, obsessing over why things weren't working.

While I would be hesitant to recommend this to anyone, I feel it's broken the 'resist for five or six days to fall apart for the rest of the week' cycle I was in. I'm sure there are healthier ways to achieve this but questionable methods aside, I feel this false internal belief is something we need to address before we can properly break free of this.

Anyway, sorry to hear of your recent troubles. Wishing you the strength, wisdom, determination & self-compassion be able to turn this around.
 
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Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 2 today. Yesterday wound up being tougher than I expected. My motivation vanished and it became a struggle through much of the day to keep the urges at bay. Apart from some brief slips into P-sub behaviour though, I managed to stay clean for the day. The latter part of the day was much more productive, pulling myself together enough to get some stuff done around the house and finishing the day off by having a really good conversation over the phone with a work friend who I haven't spoken too in some time. The conversation wound up going for hours, we clearly must have both needed it!

I'm feeling good about things today. As those who read my journal know, this isn't often the case so i'm going to roll with it and see how I can make the most of it.

Wishing you all well in your journeys today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Today is day 3. The urge/thought situation in my mind is still quite turbulent but that is to be expected as both the chaser urges are in full effect as well as I only PMOed once when I lapsed instead of 'draining' myself with bingeing until I couldn't continue. Once again, I consider this a small positive and the deceptive thoughts & urges are an opportunity to develop my skill & ability to deal with them. If history is any indication, these chaser urges should pass in another few days and i'll be properly back on track towards recovery.

While lockdown prevents me from properly doing so at the moment, I am strongly considering (once we are allowed) trying to date again. It's something I haven't really given a proper go in a long time and I feel might be an important opportunity to conquer some of my lingering fears around trust, intimacy & of course my performance. I also feel like I am reaching a point in my life & this journey that my vision for life beyond quitting this should be something more tangible and quitting PMO should not be the sole means and end. Just something i've been thinking about anyway.

Wishing you all well in your journeys today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 4 today and i'm finding today a little bit difficult. Yesterday came & went without incident apart from some mild but persistent 'blueballs' which was no big deal really. Today I woke up and my mood was somewhat lower. It was tough motivating myself through the work day but I made it through and I feel it went quite well considering. I also fit in some brief exercise & 5 minutes of meditation during my breaks which is always a plus.

It's hard to describe the feeling today but it's the definitely the same one I felt when I last lapsed with PMO. It's like my brain hits this wall or mental force field whenever I am trying to push myself to do something. It's like a mental paralysis. Very frustrating feeling but in saying this, there's a part of me that knows this is temporary and if it isn't going to go away today, all there is left to do is accept it as part of the process and let my expectations and feelings of frustration go.

I'll take it easy for the rest of today & regroup tomorrow. Wishing you all well in your journeys today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 5 today and following up on my previous post yesterday, I did some cooking & cleaning and basically went to bed shortly after. Probably for the best.

Feeling very foggy today despite getting a more-than-decent amount of sleep last night. Motivation has been tough to maintain in this current lockdown and I find myself torn between either pushing myself through the moods and the fog to do more with the days or accepting that things are what they are and trusting there will be better times & better days that I will want to do more. I have been leaning towards the latter as of late.

Hopefully the growing tendency towards this current approach is a product of learning realistic expectations & a greater acceptance of the realities of the present rather than drifting down into old procrastination/PMO habits. Can never be too careful...
 
Day 5 today and following up on my previous post yesterday, I did some cooking & cleaning and basically went to bed shortly after. Probably for the best.

Feeling very foggy today despite getting a more-than-decent amount of sleep last night. Motivation has been tough to maintain in this current lockdown and I find myself torn between either pushing myself through the moods and the fog to do more with the days or accepting that things are what they are and trusting there will be better times & better days that I will want to do more. I have been leaning towards the latter as of late.

Hopefully the growing tendency towards this current approach is a product of learning realistic expectations & a greater acceptance of the realities of the present rather than drifting down into old procrastination/PMO habits. Can never be too careful...
you made an insightful point.
Something everyone on this journey should put thought to. We need to learn to accept realities of the present without feeling the need to false medicate ourselves with PMO/Procrastination/Laziness/Binge watching of series/ Spending lot of time on Social Media. Come to think of it, we spend so much time false medicating ourselves with things that may for a while take our eyes off of reality. I remember reading the behaviour of Ostriches, how they dug their head underground when in danger and pretend they're fine now because they can't see it anymore. Escaping the reality.

Do you engage in any fitness activity? I'm gonna start cycling today. Looking forward to it.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
you made an insightful point.
Something everyone on this journey should put thought to. We need to learn to accept realities of the present without feeling the need to false medicate ourselves with PMO/Procrastination/Laziness/Binge watching of series/ Spending lot of time on Social Media. Come to think of it, we spend so much time false medicating ourselves with things that may for a while take our eyes off of reality. I remember reading the behaviour of Ostriches, how they dug their head underground when in danger and pretend they're fine now because they can't see it anymore. Escaping the reality.

Do you engage in any fitness activity? I'm gonna start cycling today. Looking forward to it.
Thanks Yugal,
I have thought for a long time we are a generation who are far too reliant on self-medication to get through the day and manage the everyday challenges that regular life throws at us. This is true. The other part of this is the way we handle expectations and the idea of productivity. Putting pressure on ourselves is not in and of itself a productive exercise and it doesn't always result in productivity. Sometimes it's okay just to take it easy if our brain & body are telling us to do.

The complication I have with this is my addiction, which unfortunately means I always have to be a little vigilant, second guess on the surface balanced attitudes like this and never get the chance to fully relax. It's one of the more exhausting things about this process. I feel my quality of life would improve if I could reach the point that I even just have a good enough handle on urges to be able to have a day once in a while where I can, guilt free, just say 'fuck it' and spend it on the couch by a sunny window or something.

EDIT: Re the fitness, I do regular push up sets, daily planks and usually get out for a 1-2 hour walk in the evenings. Light stuff that I can consistently do even if i'm not feeling good. I used to run as well which I should really start again. I started training in Hapkido back in July but the most recent lockdown has unfortunately put a stop to that for the time being.
 
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Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 6 today and i'm still feeling quite foggy in the head. Exercise, meditation & healthy eating is getting me through the days. I wish I felt a bit more motivation to do more but just getting from the start to the end of the working day seems like such a huge task at the moment. Thankfully with time, patience & sobriety this will all pass. Just gotta keep going through the wilderness for a while longer. I haven't had to deal with much in the way of urges so that's been a positive. Maybe i'm just flatlining at the moment.
 
Thanks Yugal,
I have thought for a long time we are a generation who are far too reliant on self-medication to get through the day and manage the everyday challenges that regular life throws at us. This is true. The other part of this is the way we handle expectations and the idea of productivity. Putting pressure on ourselves is not in and of itself a productive exercise and it doesn't always result in productivity. Sometimes it's okay just to take it easy if our brain & body are telling us to do.

The complication I have with this is my addiction, which unfortunately means I always have to be a little vigilant, second guess on the surface balanced attitudes like this and never get the chance to fully relax. It's one of the more exhausting things about this process. I feel my quality of life would improve if I could reach the point that I even just have a good enough handle on urges to be able to have a day once in a while where I can, guilt free, just say 'fuck it' and spend it on the couch by a sunny window or something.

EDIT: Re the fitness, I do regular push up sets, daily planks and usually get out for a 1-2 hour walk in the evenings. Light stuff that I can consistently do even if i'm not feeling good. I used to run as well which I should really start again. I started training in Hapkido back in July but the most recent lockdown has unfortunately put a stop to that for the time being.
Wow! I dig the clarity with which you express.

That vigilance indeed is tiring at times. To be constantly conscious about where things are headed. And also draining is the fight we put up to the urge. Our only hope though - the rewiring. One day, the thought of PMO won't cross our minds and if once in a blue moon it did we'd be able to dodge it with little effort.

Your exercise routine is great. Keep it up man!
What are the things you enjoy doing in leisure?
 
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