Orbiters Journal of Recovery

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I've found it helpful to have multiple counters, but it's a personal choice. Whatever is most helpful for your recovery.

That's me lately, lol...! I prefer a straight count, but it's not an accurate depiction and perhaps black-and-white thinking to reset to 0 for one area (say MO) and neglect that you're not doing too bad for P, PMO.

Counting is definitely important though I am finding using my spreadsheet model as the primary accountability tool with a secondary counter accompanying it more useful & constructive personally. I feel counters on their own, without anything else don't give an accurate picture of progress and can in many cases be discouraging and lead to that unhealthy all-or-nothing mentality. An additional problem i've found is it also creates an accountability blind spot to bingeing & edging as the frequency & severity isn't conveyed through a day counter. If you keep track of PMOs, edging or whatever, you have to put each time down and it means you're holding yourself truly accountable for everything you do.

I appreciate your approach on this, Orbiter! I think it's been helping you (as an outsider observer). I know what you mean about counters not telling the whole story. I have two thoughts on that:

1. Understanding this danger, my thought is, well, if I engage in this behavior (edging, p-subs) long enough, I'm going to eventually cross my red-lines and reset anyway. So, I've used them as a kind of bufferzone. But this may not have helped me as I've thought...

2. I did start tracking my p-subs or edging behaviors elsewhere, each morning how I did... this gave me awareness, but eventually only served in making me think too much about these behaviors.

I'm doing good currently regarding these 'middle-circle' behaviors, so glad for that. My final or current thought now is, I'll track my days (currently with different counters), but if further analysis is needed, I'll just journal about it either here, or in my hard journal.

Bottom line, you're right about self-accountability, however one does that.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Phineas - Absolutely agree on the first point and being vigilant around the 'middle circle' behaviours as you say. For me MO is definitely one of them and most of the time, one in the wrong mood or for the wrong reason is all it takes for things to spiral down and reset. While P & PMO is what i'm addicted to, the complex network of co-existing sexual behaviours that surround it and how they all interweave with each other are not to be under-estimated. I wonder sometimes how this will play out in the long run...but then I need to remind myself that's for then and I would be better served putting my energies into staying clean for the day.

Regarding the second point. It's about finding that balance really isn't it? Over-thinking & over-analysing gives the addiction too much power but secrecy, lack of accountability and rationalisation of problematic behaviours also gives the addiction too much power. So there needs to be a way in which we are fully accountable and can pre-empt a reset situation but in the 'set it and forget it' way so we don't obsess and self-sabotage.

The chart and the co-existing day counter seems to be working the best for me so far. I'm not sure there's one definitive answer on what method works best. Perhaps tracking is best considered on more of an individual basis, that way it can be structured in a way that better serves the purpose & personality of the individual.

Anyway, unfortunately yesterday was a very busy day and I didn't get around to checking in but all is well with me. It is DAY 10 and I am once again renewing my commitment to staying clean & PMO free.

Wishing you all well today.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Orbiter, I agree that it's all related. I know that for me p-subs and edging would eventually lead to P, PMO. And MO is something that I associate with P, PMO. If I have an episode, it simply makes me more sensitive to P, PMO.

As for short term v.s. longterm, I treat it all as a unit which is why I used to just have 1 counter. I still think that way, but understand better how complex it can all be. If I'm obsessing on p-subs, P is not far behind. However, to encourage myself, why reset a P counter? It may seem like a shell game, but much of our battle is won in our mind first. Long term, I know that if I treat it as a unified whole, saying 'No' to everything, that's when I do my best, and have hope of ending this thing. Otherwise, one could be just keeping this thing alive in the ICU of their heart on the drip-feed of p-subs and edging.

I agree about over analysing as giving this thing way to much power.

Concerning accountability- almost on the negative side of the above- we have to ask ourselves, 'Accountable to whom?' We have to be accountable to ourselves first, as without that, our accountability to others is just an exercise in disempowerment. Is our concern about how others perceive us? Or is our concern about whether we've been true to ourselves or not? The power of the forum- potentially- is powerful, but only insofar as we're first honest with ourselves, accountable to ourselves first.

Accountability partners can be disempowering because we look outside ourselves for the answers when taking back power is what's needed to break this addiction. That can be another topic for discussion if we wish, lol...!

I agree the type of chart or tracking is up to the individual. I'm currently testing out an Excel spread sheet to see how that'd look.

Congrats on day 10!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
All good point Phineas. A particularly interesting one you make on over-reliance on external accountability. Something I will ponder further.

Yesterday was very busy but was clean throughout. Battling exhaustion this morning and a tension headache i've had since yesterday afternoon. As a result, I haven't yet done my morning routine but i'll find a way to fit it all in at some point today. It's DAY 11 by the way.

Wishing you all well.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
DECEMBER - WEEK 2
Today is DAY 0 in my current streak.
PMO
P
M
O
3
0
1
0

Not exactly the start to the month I would have liked. I was going strong until today which should've been Day 13 and PMOed 3 times. I just didn't have it in me to stop myself this time. The first time was in the early hours of this morning, I was on the computer in the early hours very tired after the working week plus a few beers. Bad combination. The chaser effect got me hard and I continued for 2 more times.

Feel disappointed for wasting both my momentum and my day. Tomorrow is going to be another busy day so I might just get an early night tonight.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
You did good for 12 days, Orbiter! Keep stringing lengthier and lengthier streaks together to heal from from this thing.

What was the 'trigger'? Was it being so tired after a work week? Was it because it was the weekend? Or a combination of the two? Was the beer part of a ritual toward use?

The month is not lost, your progress is not lost, just don't binge.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks Phineas. 13 or beyond next!

Regarding the triggering event, I would lean towards saying all of the above. I think it's not even so much a trigger that 'flicked the switch' but a familiar 'state' that's associated with PMO. Tired, alone, exhausted from the day, relief that it's over, perhaps feeling some anxieties about the next, just wanting drop out, 'relax' and not feel/think about anything for awhile.

Being exhausted lowers my inhibitions as does alcohol beyond a certain point. The frustration comes from the simple fact that I know better than to be on the computer that late for no reason plus being that tired plus being 'tipsy'. It's the same mistake, the same ritual, hundreds of times over and over again.

I don't mean to get too 'woe is me' on this post because I know that sort of victim-mentality is ultimately disempowering & will only lead to more lapses but it's crazy that after all this time, I still fall into the same behaviour again and again for something that I don't even enjoy. The mind plays it's tricks and tells you it's going to be this amazing thing, it's not that big a deal etc but once you're doing it, you remember that it's not but it's 'too late' so you just finish up and then you're left with the aftermath to deal with.

Anyway, today has been a very different day with a lot of necessary things around the house sorted out. Did the exercise I was supposed to do yesterday, went for a good morning run to clear my head and caught up on some reading. It is currently Day 1.

Wishing you all well today.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
It's the same mistake, the same ritual, hundreds of times over and over again.

This is actually good news, brother! This means that you should be able to list this ritual step by step (on a sheet of paper) and next weekend (because I know that's part of it) to change up enough steps to where you disrupt and undermine the habituated aspects of this.

This is your chance to hack into this habit and to do something different in order to get ahead of it...
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
DECEMBER - WEEK 3
Today is DAY 5 in my current streak.
PMO
P
M
O
5
1
1
0

I PMOed two more times that weekend on Sunday and peeked the night before so that would be why the numbers are what they are. It was basically a three day relapse into old behaviour. I'm not sure what came over me other than I was exhausted and overwhelmed by the previous week.

In terms of what I can do to hack into the habit, I have developed over recent months the a habit of lying on the couch with the laptop when i'm tired. As the neighbours in the next apartment walk past my window sometimes I keep the blinds closed when doing so as I want a bit of privacy when i'm relaxing. THIS is where & when almost all of the recent lapses happen.

So i've made a conscious effort this week to break this cycle and avoid having the laptop with me when I am on the couch. I almost went to the couch this morning to write this journal entry but stopped myself, going instead to the kitchen bench. So far, so good.

Though I haven't been too strict about it, i've also been making a conscious decision to minimize my use of the internet around the evening. This is also helping my sleep.

This brings me to the next issue which is time & energy management. I seem to have fallen into the pattern of cramming my working days full of all the things I need to get done so i'm 'free' on the weekend. I feel this a false economy as it means I am too exhausted on the weekend to enjoy the time I have to myself but also it puts me in a risky position of being exhausted & idle for too long a stretch of time. I've made an effort therefore to 'space out' the activities over the course of this weekend rather than cramming them all into one day. We'll see how it goes.

Despite it nearing the end of the year, I feel like there isn't much to reflect on in terms of rebooting. It's been a difficult year which has compounded the difficulty of rebooting. I would have liked to be in a better place than I am and that's disappointing but I am hopefully that the work I have put into myself and recovery work towards my freedom from all of this someday. Either way I am renewing my commitment to staying PMO free. First today, then tomorrow, then beyond.

Wishing you all well today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
JANUARY - WEEK 1
Today is DAY 8 in my current streak.
PMO
P
M
O
0
0
0
0

Happy new year RebootNation!

I'm back again, rescuing my journal from the page two graveyard once again. December had some ups and downs and it felt like a step backwards from November. I think the overall rush & stress of the end of the year, the decline in my disciplines (exercise, meditation etc), increased drinking, bad sleeping habits and several other factors led to an overall worse month. My last lapses was on the morning of Christmas eve. I have not PMOed, peeked or engaged in any related behaviours since.

After the last lapse, I actually went back to re-read the https://easypeasymethod.org again. There was a lot I remembered but a lot I had forgotten. Even old recovery habits die hard I suppose and in hindsight, I had become over-reliant on using willpower once again and there were a lot of mental traps throughout the brainwashing section that I was reading and thinking 'oh no that's what i've been doing'. This is an area that needs work and some additional re-reading is in order.

A lot of my mental clarity & reasoning seems fade after the first week or two. I think periodic reminders such as going back through the Easy-Peasy Method, 18 Principals of Recovery & other resources at this stage is in order.

I can't remember off the top of my head where I read it, but i've been using a visualization technique recently in handling urges. Once I find my thoughts wandering and dwelling overly on sexualised imagery & PMO memories, I imagine myself in a room sitting on a chair. There's a phone that keeps ringing persistently but I do not answer it. It keeps going and I feel the urge to answer it but I leave it to ring, knowing nothing good will come from it. Eventually the ringing stops and the unwelcome call is soon forgotten. It's early days I know but so far this visualization has been surprisingly effective for me.

In regards to recovery, i'm feeling positive so far. I have learnt a lot over the previous year and feel much closer to making a meaningful, sustained effort towards quitting PMO for good than ever. Now that i'm entering the stage of withdrawal, it's time for me to get some of the positive habits back in place, keep my focus and my head on straight over the coming days/weeks.

Wishing you all well in your journeys today
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Good start, Orbiter, coming into the new year with 8 days in!

I like the rereading of Easy Peasy Method, as it sounds inspiring to you. I hope it is 'easy peasy' for you this year, brother!

I also like the visualizing an unansered 'red phone', as that is what dismissing the urges is all about. Not to pick up the phone at all, even to engage in conversation, "Uh, I don't think I should...", etc. Breathe deep mindfully during those times, and just go about your day- rinse/repeat.

You and I will beat this thing in 2022, and recover from this thing once and for all!

Happy New Year!
 

stepbystep

Active Member
After the last lapse, I actually went back to re-read the https://easypeasymethod.org again. There was a lot I remembered but a lot I had forgotten. Even old recovery habits die hard I suppose and in hindsight, I had become over-reliant on using willpower once again and there were a lot of mental traps throughout the brainwashing section that I was reading and thinking 'oh no that's what i've been doing'. This is an area that needs work and some additional re-reading is in order.
Never heard of the easy peasy method, but seems to be useful. I would love to hear more whether it has helped you.

I can't remember off the top of my head where I read it, but i've been using a visualization technique recently in handling urges. Once I find my thoughts wandering and dwelling overly on sexualised imagery & PMO memories, I imagine myself in a room sitting on a chair. There's a phone that keeps ringing persistently but I do not answer it. It keeps going and I feel the urge to answer it but I leave it to ring, knowing nothing good will come from it. Eventually the ringing stops and the unwelcome call is soon forgotten. It's early days I know but so far this visualization has been surprisingly effective for me.
Nice, I haven't tried this visualization method, but will do so next time. One that helps me also is to completely change the environment and do something physical (go out for a walk or get to the kitchen and do the dishes).

In regards to recovery, i'm feeling positive so far. I have learnt a lot over the previous year and feel much closer to making a meaningful, sustained effort towards quitting PMO for good than ever. Now that i'm entering the stage of withdrawal, it's time for me to get some of the positive habits back in place, keep my focus and my head on straight over the coming days/weeks.

Wishing you all well in your journeys today
Happy new year Orbiter! Good to hear that you're positive and have a great start to the year.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
JANUARY - WEEK 2
Today is DAY 1 in my current streak.
PMO
P
M
O
6
0
1
0

Well that didn't work out!

Experienced some disappointments over the previous week which, along with being on break and drinking too much, has probably been a strong emotional/habitual trigger. I haven't been exercising or doing anything. I've completely relapsed. I feel like all the momentum & energy I have built over the last few months has been completely sucked out of me. I feel awful.

I could go into further detail of the circumstances, but I feel that in itself has become an unhelpful, redundant exercise and a trap i've been falling into. Recovery shouldn't be reliant on good circumstances and explaining it on such grounds in a way legitimizes/justifies the lapse itself. I dropped the ball and a big part of it is i'm making the same mistakes.

I've been thinking about lapses in judgement and two things come to mind. First & foremost my judgement is off when i'm tired, which seems to be a lot. Secondarily, it's off when i'm drinking and particularly when i'm hungover. These two states often feed into each other and of course when I am hungover, I am also tired.

This journal has years of documented lapses that have been attributed to drinking. Also most, of my PMOs happen at the end of the week at a point where i'm most tired. I also struggle to maintain any good habits when i'm persistently tired.

So drinking and recovery are at this point completely incompatible for me. I can't do one and do the other. I'd previously arranged to have some social drinks with a friend this weekend but after that, there will be no more drinking. None.

Managing my energy & health needs to be a primary focus from here on if i'm to make any progress, otherwise I will keep falling into the same pattern of 'crashing' at the end of each working week. If I am to have the energy & focus to do this, I need regular proper sleep...or at least to give myself the best chance possible by being in bed at a regular time & up at a regular time. This is going to require some temporary lifestyle sacrifice as a lot of my external/social activities happen in the night time but recovery needs to be (at least for awhile) the primary focus in my life. This will not always be compatible with doing everything and accommodating the wishes of others and so be it. Recovery needs to come first.

Wishing you all well today!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Yes, take care of yourself first, Orbiter!

What you have going for you right now is that you recognize the pattern and are willing to look at that.

All these things are just parts of the habit, even the tiredness and drinking. Addressing these will definitely undermine the other thing. Or, if you're tired at the end of your work week, what are the next steps in your ritual that you could disrupt?

Standing with you!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Yes, take care of yourself first, Orbiter!

What you have going for you right now is that you recognize the pattern and are willing to look at that.

All these things are just parts of the habit, even the tiredness and drinking. Addressing these will definitely undermine the other thing. Or, if you're tired at the end of your work week, what are the next steps in your ritual that you could disrupt?

Standing with you!

Thanks Phineas, I am hopeful that this is the case. I will continue to assess this pattern as the days progress.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Man, I have the exact same problems as you, drinking and being tired as triggers. Being drunk and being hangovered have killed many promising streaks in the past. For some reason, caffeine is a trigger for me as well, it amplifies my urges, I don't know, it must be because it's a stimulant in a way?
 
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zackergeet

Active Member
JANUARY - WEEK 2
Today is DAY 1 in my current streak.
PMO
P
M
O
6
0
1
0

Well that didn't work out!

Experienced some disappointments over the previous week which, along with being on break and drinking too much, has probably been a strong emotional/habitual trigger. I haven't been exercising or doing anything. I've completely relapsed. I feel like all the momentum & energy I have built over the last few months has been completely sucked out of me. I feel awful.

I could go into further detail of the circumstances, but I feel that in itself has become an unhelpful, redundant exercise and a trap i've been falling into. Recovery shouldn't be reliant on good circumstances and explaining it on such grounds in a way legitimizes/justifies the lapse itself. I dropped the ball and a big part of it is i'm making the same mistakes.

I've been thinking about lapses in judgement and two things come to mind. First & foremost my judgement is off when i'm tired, which seems to be a lot. Secondarily, it's off when i'm drinking and particularly when i'm hungover. These two states often feed into each other and of course when I am hungover, I am also tired.

This journal has years of documented lapses that have been attributed to drinking. Also most, of my PMOs happen at the end of the week at a point where i'm most tired. I also struggle to maintain any good habits when i'm persistently tired.

So drinking and recovery are at this point completely incompatible for me. I can't do one and do the other. I'd previously arranged to have some social drinks with a friend this weekend but after that, there will be no more drinking. None.

Managing my energy & health needs to be a primary focus from here on if i'm to make any progress, otherwise I will keep falling into the same pattern of 'crashing' at the end of each working week. If I am to have the energy & focus to do this, I need regular proper sleep...or at least to give myself the best chance possible by being in bed at a regular time & up at a regular time. This is going to require some temporary lifestyle sacrifice as a lot of my external/social activities happen in the night time but recovery needs to be (at least for awhile) the primary focus in my life. This will not always be compatible with doing everything and accommodating the wishes of others and so be it. Recovery needs to come first.

Wishing you all well today!
Good luck @Orbiter hope you find the right formula to avoid the triggers and accomplish you goals. Best of luck.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all your support.

I need to be honest that i've basically relapsed over the last fortnight. I have been PMOing almost every day since the start of the year. I haven't been exercising, I haven't been doing much of anything. My mind & body seem to have just said 'no more'. I made a decision in the end to leave it.

I actually feel like as of late, the harder I try, the worse the binge that follows.

I threw out all of my alcohol a few days ago and haven't had a drink since the planned last drinks with my friend. I don't miss it and I don't think I will.

PMO has been regular. The nature of it is habitual & unmemorable. It's pure mindless impulse at this point, like something else just takes control.

It's been a disappointing start to the year. I'm genuinely exasperated at how, especially after all the work i've done and all i've put into this over all these years, page after page of this journal and the others on other forums in the past, how I am still here.

I at a loss as to how I got here or for that matter how to get myself out of it.

This is the first time, in all the years of 'recovery', that i'm actually starting to lose hope I can beat this.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
This is the first time, in all the years of 'recovery', that i'm actually starting to lose hope I can beat this.

Hi Orbiter,

sorry to hear about your recent struggles. Personally, I've felt the hopeless so many many years. I know you're going to get right back up and keep working your recovery and beat this addiction.

I think you've hit the nail on the head on taking care yourself by exercising and avoiding alcohol. I have a few questions for you. I'm sorry this may be repetitive and the answers might be obvious from your previous journal posts. But I have such short term memory.

- have you told someone in person outside this forum about your problem (therapist, friend, etc)?
- what kind of barriers do you have in place to access porn? do you usually access it from a particular computer or phone most of the times?
- do you have anyway to reach out someone if you are triggered besides the forum (phone calls, text). Basically a way to get help at anytime
- do work on a particular recovery program (I remember you mentioned the EasyPeasy method last time) ? how often do you work on this in some way or form (reading book, working on exercises if any)? (daily, weekly, month)
 
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