Orbiters Journal of Recovery

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.
Dear @Orbiter ,
Please don’t be disheartened by your recent setbacks . These set backs are not telling you that you won’t be able to make it .

the fact that you hit 12 days clean streak , had you not been striving for it you might have been in trenches and miserable over 6/12 of those days or even worse 10/12 of those days .

I agree that we reset the counter to a big Zero each time we relapse and we should . But the point is we won so many daily battles before the big relapse .
We earned so many clean days as we peaked out into a relapse . Is that not an achievement that we actually earned may be 4,5,6 or even 10 clean days on our way to a relapse ? I feel it is some sort of achievement for sure compared to a guy who relapses every other night to PMO .

so we are all better than someone but also behind a few others Let us keep striving for the summit .

we are all headed there to the summit of 100 days clean streak.
And we will make the summit -
One by One”

you may hit the summit after next 4 or 45,000 relapses and I may hit it after next 5 or 50,000 relapses who knows . We don’t know .

Let’s keep marching my friend . Keep up your good work as you’ve been doing last year no problem at all . Never say “No this is not for me!”

The day we say those words we loose .

MI30S
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
All okay Orbiter? We haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is fine.

Hi Step,

It has been awhile. Things are much the same as when I last posted, neither particularly better or worse. Unfortunately I am still stuck in the 'recovery/relapse' weekly cycle and I still fail to make any meaningful progress.

I haven't been updating because I feel like this journal is no longer the tool of change & growth for me it once was.

Around the time of my last post, I re-read through my journal in search of answers and, apart from some now obvious mistakes in the past that were highlighted by myself and others, most of it was pages and pages of the weekly 'recommit to staying clean, binge five days later, get a pat on the back from the forum for going five days, repeat' cycle...again and again.

I'm not sure what direction recovery should take for me at this point. After my last post, I briefly did some brief work with the recoverynation.com workshop but found the level of work at the start was difficult to manage on top of my other life commitments and falls very much into the 'break free by changing you and your life' which I feel is perhaps for people who are much further in recovery than myself.

Do I double down on a program like that or do I instead keep things simple and just focus on urge/trigger control and addressing false beliefs until the habit somehow weakens? I don't know

Perhaps it's motivation that's an issue but of course motivation comes and goes anyway so recovery can't be reliant on that.

Am I committed to this? I feel like i've been trying my best and putting the work in but perhaps I haven't. Perhaps my best just isn't good enough to beat this. If so, then what?

Have I just been procrastinating this whole time? Years of kidding myself that I was recovering when all I was doing fitting a weeks PMO into one or two weekly binges instead.

Come April this year, it will be ten years since I began this journey and not only have I failed to make any meaningful progress in that time, in some respects my addiction has slightly escalated.

Ten years...what was it all for?
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Ten years...what was it all for?

Hi, Orbiter...

I know those 10 years (this coming April) will not be all for nothing! You will know by this April what it was all for... if you want.

The (suggested) challenge is, and I did this for myself September of 2020 before I rejoined RN, list all your streaks in order from the shortest (be it 2 days) to the longest, and make each one your successive goal. It might look like this:

1st goal: 3 days

2nd goal: 8 days

3rd goal: 15 days

4th goal: 30 days

After hitting each goal (even if it's 1x day!), celebrate that! What do you consider a really fun or exciting reward? Do you have money set aside? Treat yourself like your best friend, and take him out for [fill in the blank] each time a goal is reached.

Find in your journal your 'longest streak' and make that your ultimate goal to beat. Use these goals as 'training wheels' for just living life free from P and PMO! If MO gets in your way of recovery, include that as well.

Brother, I know what it is to struggle with this thing year after year, for decades (in varying degrees), but believe in your self, that you can and will change! Make April of 2022 (10 year mark) your challenge for significant change! Don't give up, brother!!
 
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EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
Hi Orbiter.

Thinking will never give you answer's you don't already know.

This is where I think we all fail. Thinking our way out of this addiction. Maybe this is why women have easier time dealing with this. They are more naturally biased towards the feeling part. Does this feel right?

But as I am levelling up with mindfulness... When we quiet the thinking...then awareness can begin.

Wishing you well brother
EW
 
Hi Step,

It has been awhile. Things are much the same as when I last posted, neither particularly better or worse. Unfortunately I am still stuck in the 'recovery/relapse' weekly cycle and I still fail to make any meaningful progress.

I haven't been updating because I feel like this journal is no longer the tool of change & growth for me it once was.

Around the time of my last post, I re-read through my journal in search of answers and, apart from some now obvious mistakes in the past that were highlighted by myself and others, most of it was pages and pages of the weekly 'recommit to staying clean, binge five days later, get a pat on the back from the forum for going five days, repeat' cycle...again and again.

I'm not sure what direction recovery should take for me at this point. After my last post, I briefly did some brief work with the recoverynation.com workshop but found the level of work at the start was difficult to manage on top of my other life commitments and falls very much into the 'break free by changing you and your life' which I feel is perhaps for people who are much further in recovery than myself.

Do I double down on a program like that or do I instead keep things simple and just focus on urge/trigger control and addressing false beliefs until the habit somehow weakens? I don't know

Perhaps it's motivation that's an issue but of course motivation comes and goes anyway so recovery can't be reliant on that.

Am I committed to this? I feel like i've been trying my best and putting the work in but perhaps I haven't. Perhaps my best just isn't good enough to beat this. If so, then what?

Have I just been procrastinating this whole time? Years of kidding myself that I was recovering when all I was doing fitting a weeks PMO into one or two weekly binges instead.

Come April this year, it will be ten years since I began this journey and not only have I failed to make any meaningful progress in that time, in some respects my addiction has slightly escalated.

Ten years...what was it all for?
Any point in my life when I am faced with self doubt on reboot and sobriety I would ask myself this question. So last 10 years I have been trying and did not achieve that success I longed for ? So what ? Should I abandon all this to find peace ? Will I be able to attain that peace with enemies lurking in my backyard ? Will they let me have the peace I deserve ? The happiness I want ? No .. never .. the day I give up my quest my enemies will rejoice and dance that I have lost the inner strength I had all the while and finally they have broken down my soul . It means victory and total control to the addictions . Is that what I want ? No ! For gods sake …

So when am I better off? Am I better off dying while fighting ? Or am I better off dying while I am conquered and enslaved ?

I don’t wish the later to my enemies… how can I wish that for myself ?

addictions in lives are a disease . Would you continue to treat the disease until the patient survives ? Or would you stop the treatment so the disease can totally destroy the patient ?

Make your choice carefully .
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Hi Step,

It has been awhile. Things are much the same as when I last posted, neither particularly better or worse. Unfortunately I am still stuck in the 'recovery/relapse' weekly cycle and I still fail to make any meaningful progress.

Orbiter, it's so good to hear from you even though you've been struggling. I can relate with you because this is exactly how I've felt for so many years.

I haven't been updating because I feel like this journal is no longer the tool of change & growth for me it once was.

I understand. This is the exact conclusion I came to sometime last year. I decided that instead of simply posting my day count regularly, I would make longer posts once weekly or biweekly with the insights I had. That's helped me a lot to make my time effective on this forum, and at the same time, find more time outside to focus on recovery.

Around the time of my last post, I re-read through my journal in search of answers and, apart from some now obvious mistakes in the past that were highlighted by myself and others, most of it was pages and pages of the weekly 'recommit to staying clean, binge five days later, get a pat on the back from the forum for going five days, repeat' cycle...again and again.

I'm not sure what direction recovery should take for me at this point. After my last post, I briefly did some brief work with the recoverynation.com workshop but found the level of work at the start was difficult to manage on top of my other life commitments and falls very much into the 'break free by changing you and your life' which I feel is perhaps for people who are much further in recovery than myself.

Do I double down on a program like that or do I instead keep things simple and just focus on urge/trigger control and addressing false beliefs until the habit somehow weakens? I don't know

There were a few things that changed the course of my recovery personally and broke the 5-10 day cycle of relapses: working with a support person (therapist, recovery partner), working a program, and also trigger management (barriers to porn, etc). For me, I needed to spend time all of these things. I don't do all of these things every day, but a good start was just 10 mins day. Consistency was key.

I would encourage you to think through the questions I posted in my previous post as they really helped me (summarizing here):
- have you told someone about your problem?
- do you have any barriers to accessing porn?
- do you have accountability any time of the day or night (someone to reach out to by phone)?

Perhaps it's motivation that's an issue but of course motivation comes and goes anyway so recovery can't be reliant on that.

Am I committed to this? I feel like i've been trying my best and putting the work in but perhaps I haven't. Perhaps my best just isn't good enough to beat this. If so, then what?

There's no doubt that you're committed and doing the necessary recovery work. It's very clear from your posts how committed you are. Most people do not even think they need to stop, and you're way ahead in the amount of effort you're putting in and willing to put in.

For me, I found that it's not just about working my hardest. I worked incredibly hard to find myself a week later to have a moment of weakness and relapse and have to start over. I found it was necessary for me to reach out and get help as much help as I could (recovery partners in the real world, therapist, etc). Recovering from addiction is very, very hard and a long process, and it's was really important to get help.

Have I just been procrastinating this whole time? Years of kidding myself that I was recovering when all I was doing fitting a weeks PMO into one or two weekly binges instead.

Come April this year, it will be ten years since I began this journey and not only have I failed to make any meaningful progress in that time, in some respects my addiction has slightly escalated.

Ten years...what was it all for?

One thing that I've realized in my recovery is how hard I'm on myself. That kept me stuck in the cycle further. I had an all or nothing viewpoint. And, yes, I'm in the exact same boat as you: I was in a weekly or bi-weekly cycle for at least 10 years. But, have I had meaningful learnings along the way (recovery or in life otherwise)? Yes! I'm sure it's the same for you!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Phineas - I will have to consider the days, as most of them don't extend beyond 13 days but it seems like a good idea. I like it and need to get around to giving it some proper effort.

EarthWalker - "Thinking will never give you answer's you don't already know." - An interesting reflection. Something I should consider further...

Man_in_30s - I think the point of defeat, if we are to frame this in such a way, would be to give up entirely. Which I guess by this point I will never entirely be able to because I know it's a problem and I understand the consequences.

Being stuck in the aforementioned cycle is however not much better if there's any difference at all. If we're talking choices, is it really better PMOing regularly or holding out every five or six days and calling that recovery? I don't see either as working towards anything. Whatever the other choices are, they've escaped me so far.

It's tough for me to imagine what recovery is because i've been addicted for most of my life. I find it increasingly difficult to relate to the successes of others on this forum and I struggle to imagine myself in their position or anything resembling it. Not positive or uplifting to say but fuck it, it's honest and that's just where it is right now.

Stepbystep -
- Recovery programs
* The easy-peasy method is one but I feel that it's almost a useful placebo and the concept quickly loses power after a few auto pilot
sessions
* www.recoverynation.com is another which is based more of a 'improve life, find values & direction to break free' approach to recovery.
While I feel this is a meaningful at a certain stage. It is not at the point i'm at and I am finding it difficult to make the time to write the
necessary essay length reflections it requires. Perhaps this is something for further down the line to 'cement' recovery but I just don't feel
i'm there yet.

- have you told someone about your problem?
* I have discussed it with my therapist. She seems somewhat skeptical but also seems to accept that this is a problem for me. She sees it as a
way of escaping difficult emotions and an intimacy substitute. I agree but was already long aware of this.
* I have had some brief discussion with friends about this problem who have been skeptical if not critical of it. I stand by my view points but
it can devolve quickly into discussions that are counter-productive to any efforts to free myself of this addiction.
* Other than that, this forum and my journal are the main circle of support in this.

- do you have any barriers to accessing porn?
* I have personally found barriers to porn do little to stop me from accessing and in some cases, by virtue of the resistance make the cravings
worse. I believe filters, keeping the blinds open etc. are only as effective as the resolve of the addict. If i'm going to lapse i'll find a way. That's
my experience so far anyway.

- do you have accountability any time of the day or night (someone to reach out to by phone)?
* Unfortunately I do not

To be honest, I am somewhat skeptical about reliance on the external to deal with this as I don't believe real 'sobriety' can be dependent on other people to maintain it. It is also a considerable burden to place on others in my life who, as I mentioned, don't believe this to be a real problem. Perhaps there are answers out there but I have so far not found them in my life. Understanding & learning of my problem has also failed to create meaningful change at this point. I'm burnt out and fed up. I can't keep going on like this but I don't have it in me to pull another streak together at this point. I don't know how i'm going to get out of this.
 
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