My future is awesome!

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
PRECURSOR 2

Precursor to PMO: discomfort
Precursor to discomfort: excess duties or mismanagement
Precursor to mismanagement: avoidance or unrealistic
Precursor to unrealistic: lazy or lacking help
Precursor to lazy: self centered
Precursor to self centered: lacking goals and purpose


Therefore :
Recognize my purpose, make effort, get help and manage myself properly to get there while frequently recognizing my progress and efforts.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
My purpose is to be
Good father
Good husband
Good family member
Good contributor to society


For that I will need to take care of myself
Mentally
Emotionally
Physically
Financially


I will need to plan my days and goals well, do them positively and diligently, and recognize myself constantly

I will be
Independent and strong
Responsible and fair
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Words are careless and talk is cheap.
Don't take other people's words too seriously, especially not from those who has not made the effort nor put in the time and energy.

For us who made the effort and did the time, be proud of yourself.
Be very proud.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Lapsed and learnings.

I lapsed yesterday.

BACKGROUND
I have been tired and stressed for a while. My recent writings have a strong negative tone.
My injured knee has made life difficult with pain on stairs and no running
I have used P recently to destress without MO. It has likely added more stress and desire for release.

I have finally lost the battle and gave in.

OBSERVATIONS
1. Very strong creation of emotional attachment to the source. I wonder why I instinctively create this attachment bond which is obviously fake and false. Like a hoarder with their emotional attachments to their hoard.
2. Refractory: Immediate relief and relaxation. I let go of all baggage and felt completely at ease. No interest to pursue anything. No interest to MO further. Awesome state of calmness and contentment. I would like to recreate this without PMO. Perhaps meditation can achieve this.
3. Wife made comment that I looked v relaxed today. I am amazed that the extent of relaxation is observable.
4. Detachment. I felt less intent and interest to spend time with the family. This is a very bad aspect of this addiction.
5. Demotivation. I can clearly feel low interest to improve. This needs to pass.

MOVING FORWARD
1. I cannot relapse further. I need to stay completely away from any more P
2. I need better self care management. I have been sleeping too little, doing too much and not caring about my mental health with negative concerns
3. I need to raise my drive and motivation. Demotivation leads to poor outcomes and eventually depression.


(Original post was deleted in error)

Relapse on 23 Aug
First week. Calm and collected after release
End of first week. Cravings appeared. Reminded self of the 2 weeks needed for baseline return
End of second week. some stability, but still a bit unsettled. Lost my wallet. While unhappy it was manageable.
End of third week.
Collected. Feeling grounded. Feeling matured and independent.

Thoughts.
Clarity has been the greatest benefit of late. I realize some facts that somehow I was blind to before, probably owing to imagination and entitlement.
This is helpful because I can solve things quicker

Maturity is the other benefit.
Maturity is strength and independence. I care less about gaining acceptance and approval from others.
I don't need other people's attention.
I just go ahead and do my own things.

Management
I am more sensitive to my physical and mental needs.
I set plans and schedules and look forward.
I make sure I am not overextended or overstressed
I eat and drink and rest
I remind myself to be more realistic and less hard on myself. I reflect often to remind myself on my incremental achievements

While MO gives comfort and refractory calm, they are extreme, short lived and unsustainable.
Neediness is about being externally dependent and wanting more for the self, also unhealthy and unsustainable.

Clarity, maturity and management are self sustaining, sustainable and better in the long run.
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
PAINFUL AND IMPOSSIBLE

I am reminded that it is painful and impossible to change someone else.

So is revisiting the past.

So is wishing and wanting fantasies.

So let's not.

On the other hand, happy and possible things are
Making personal effort to improve
Planning and carrying out for the future
Thinking optimistically and positively
Viewing the world as good supportive and possible
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
PRECURSOR 2

Precursor to PMO: discomfort
Precursor to discomfort: excess duties or mismanagement
Precursor to mismanagement: avoidance or unrealistic
Precursor to unrealistic: lazy or lacking help
Precursor to lazy: self centered
Precursor to self centered: lacking goals and purpose


Therefore :
Recognize my purpose, make effort, get help and manage myself properly to get there while frequently recognizing my progress and efforts.
PRECURSOR 3

Precursor 1. Stress buildup
Precursor 2. Insufficient personal management
Precursor 3. Flawed beliefs, values and behaviors

Only good foundation can lead to good structures. Even good management based on poor foundation will only result in poor outcomes.

Clarity and maturity are important in recognizing and establishing good values.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Addiction is hijacked external care.
Knowing why we PMO (external)
And how to deal with it correctly (internal)

Growing up, we faced some issues. But instead of looking inwards and working on how to solve it, we seeked outwards and spent time to avoid it.
This is flawed self care.

MO based on external characters is external care. (It is fundementally about attraction and intimacy)
Taking care of self through planning, management, rest and recovery is internal care.
Knowing what are good values, beliefs and behaviors is the foundation of proper internal care.


Therefore there are 2 key distinctions:
1. Internal and external care
2. Hijacking by others

1. We seek external care (PMO) because we lacked good internal care. Therefore our aim is to improve our internal care.

2. Hijacking is external parties abusing us by taking advantage of our weakness for their own benefit. These are porn syndicates and sex traffickers, drug pushers, tabacco and alcohol companies, and casinos and gambling dens.

So
Stop others from abusing us
Stop ourselves from abusing us
Start taking better care of us
Learn more how to take better care of us.
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
It is not simply sex and pleasure we are addicted to
It is mainly not knowing how to better care for ourselves, and not having sufficient self love, self reliance and self respect.

We deserve the best
We can give ourselves the best
We will work hard to give ourselves the best.
 

Nico

Member
I can relate to all this, I appreciate your reflections, analysis, clarity, and inner work. Your posts have me thinking about the balance between discipline, accepting and resolving to work on our flaws or defects, and being kind to ourselves and forgiving ourselves. I love that we can share our processes on here and benefit from others'
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
If there is something on my mind, generally it sticks and stays and irritates me until I get it done.
It made me think about instant gratification and OCD.
These features could be part of my nature that inclines me towards PMO:
- Urgency
- Emotional
- Difficulty to manage self
So whenever I feel I'm reacting too fast, I'd tell myself to chill and wait a bit.

Knowledge makes self management a bit more skilled, just as knowing the refractory phase is 2 weeks and the relationship between dopamine, prolectin and androgens changes the way our body and feelings react and respond to external stimuli.

Other things that I can keep track of are events that irritate me, which hopefully I can resolve before boiling over and needing release. I generally take 3 days to deal with emotional issues and this knowledge helps me to hold off any silly decisions.

Everything has a cycle.
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
I can relate to all this, I appreciate your reflections, analysis, clarity, and inner work. Your posts have me thinking about the balance between discipline, accepting and resolving to work on our flaws or defects, and being kind to ourselves and forgiving ourselves. I love that we can share our processes on here and benefit from others'
@Nico you're most welcomed.

It took me a while to get to this habit of reflecting and writing down, and now that I've started I found it to be the best and most important tool on this journey.

Journalling is most helpful when it comes to trying to understand matters of behavior, feelings and the heart, and this board has been the best place for me to pen down my thoughts.

There's always some common themes circulating at the same time and I kinda feel we're all learning and moving forward to recovery together.

I'm glad my thoughts may be helpful to you. And so I encourage you to write down whatever you think, and let your words shed light to yourself and others.

Cheers my friend.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
It starts innocently as a bag of chips at 10pm.
Which became daily
Which became unavoidable.
A behavior that become a habit that eventually became an addiction.

You think about it if you stop. Unable to sleep without a pack.
You walk into stores thinking about it. Seeking.
You fill your cupboards in case you'd run out.
You become preoccupied.

Addictions are not simply unavoidable habits.
They occupy thoughts and distort emotions.
They create cravings when before there was none.
How does one who can breath free air and drink freshwater suddenly become a slave to smoke and alcohol?
How does one with the time and freedom to be with friends and family become a prisoner within his own room, locked away from others to surf porn, play games and gamble hard earned money away.

The freedom we gave up
The craving we introduce
The opportunities we missed
The love we squandered
The suffering we create
The pain we fill ourselves


The menace lies not without.
It resides within.
Shore up your strength, for this will be a difficult battle.
There is no room for weakness.
There is no time for self pity

No one is my enemy but me
No one is my savior but me

I will not fail
I will not give up
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
We seek what we lack

Why do we seek beauty? Were we ugly?
Why do we seek intimacy? Were we lonely?
Why do we seek pleasure? Were we in pain?

It's not they that needs addressing
It is we.

No amount of surrounding ourselves with beauty will make us beautiful.
Only we can make ourselves beautiful.

No amount of watching others being intimate will we have intimacy.
We must create our own intimacies.

It is not that our parents/partners did not love us enough.
It is we who did not love ourselves enough.

Pleasure exist outside of us because it does not exist within.
The answer is so simple.
Love ourselves
Make ourselves proud
Make it such that it becomes wonderful to be with ourselves.

And when we are too busy enjoying being ourselves, we naturally do not need to seek others to make us feel good.
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
When in doubt and seeking comfort,
Ask myself
What do I really need?
What would really make me feel comforted and comfortable?
Look at the situation around me, is it intimacy that I really need?
Or is it escaping that I am doing?

Let me address the real issues, and not simply go for something convenient and completely unrelated.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Why is PMO the main or only source of feel good?

Is it because we as men do not have alternative feel good avenues?
Or we have not learnt or practiced better self care (since we're always expected to be "tough") ?
Or is it because we on this platform are predisposed to this addiction?

For those who are not here,
Some are singularly focused on making money.
Others gain satisfaction from helping others.
Success generally is a main source of feel good.

What are the other ways to feel good?
What are the other ways to feel good about myself?

Accomplishments
Achievements
Acceptance
Agreement
I must focus my efforts here and reward myself incrementally. The more I feel good about myself, the less I need external synthetic ways to feel good.

What do girls who don't PMO or have sex frequently do to feel good?
Likewise the guys.

Generally they have a preoccupation or a purpose such as a hobby, reading, socializing or project.

It's worth finding out to give myself more options and avenues.

These alternative paths will not substitute in the short term. It will take time to develop the habit and build the reward system.

Better start now. :)
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Addiction is hijacked external care.
Knowing why we PMO (external)
And how to deal with it correctly (internal)

Growing up, we faced some issues. But instead of looking inwards and working on how to solve it, we seeked outwards and spent time to avoid it.
This is flawed self care.

MO based on external characters is external care. (It is fundementally about attraction and intimacy)
Taking care of self through planning, management, rest and recovery is internal care.
Knowing what are good values, beliefs and behaviors is the foundation of proper internal care.


Therefore there are 2 key distinctions:
1. Internal and external care
2. Hijacking by others

1. We seek external care (PMO) because we lacked good internal care. Therefore our aim is to improve our internal care.

2. Hijacking is external parties abusing us by taking advantage of our weakness for their own benefit. These are porn syndicates and sex traffickers, drug pushers, tabacco and alcohol companies, and casinos and gambling dens.

So
Stop others from abusing us
Stop ourselves from abusing us
Start taking better care of us
Learn more how to take better care of us.

I realized there are actually 3 spheres of effect. "External" is inaccurate to describe properly.

Internal - the way we treat ourselves
Near - the people who knows us and cares about us
Far - the people who don't know us and are in no contact with us.

Porn sources are grouped under far.
People we know and lust for but are in no relationship with us or don't know or don't care intimately of our wellbeing are far.

Never, never let our salvation depend on the people of the far. They are never truly there for us. They can never help us.

Self love and self help can only come from our internal or people near and dear to us.

In fact, my son is a key source of help for me. He is the reason I want to improve. He is the purpose I dedicate my new self to. Even though he will never know what I am going through, he is near, and he is dear, and he will always be a source of help to me, through his direct contact, love and forgiveness.

No one far can ever compare.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
With porn, we live in imagination.
We think all is well
We think we are able
We think we are independent
We think we don't need

We neglect those who are near
We think they can be substituted
We think we have options
We think we can be better off with others

But these others don't really exist
These options don't exist
What we do have really can't be substituted
If we leave behind those who are near, we are actually left with nothing.

Porn distorts reality so much that we become blind to who and what is important, pledging ourselves to corrupt idols who don't know or care about us, making us even more bankrupt than before.

The addict is a blind person.
Blind to his real needs
Blind to his circumstance
Blind to his disease
Blind to his blindness
Only distance from the disease may he slowly gain his senses back.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member

Once again Dr Huberman, professor at Stanford university has done an excellent podcast on addiction.

While this episode is on nicotine, at least 90% of the content is relatable to any forms of addiction.

It discusses
1. Motivation and purpose of preliminary engagement
2. The bio mechanical effects substance abuse has on the body
3. Behavior, motivation and discomfort that encourage repetition
4. The withdrawal experience
5. Activities that promote recovery


Essentially, recovery isnt simply stop and be recovered. If it was so simple, there would be no addicts on this planet.

Knowing the mechanics of addiction gives us more tools to help us manage the withdrawal period better and have a better chance of recovery.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Phases of addiction

Phase 1. Benefits seeking and fast acting. Curious
Phase 2. Repetition for benefits. Awareness
Phase 3. Behavioral patterns altered. Habits formed.
Phase 4. Narrowing of activities that provide pleasure. Dependency
Phase 5. Baseline reduction. Misery.
Phase 6. Repetition for survival. Necessity.

No matter the benefits someone is seeking, addictive substances will soon take over the body's natural state and create strong bonds that are physical, emotional and psychologically altering.

KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCES
1. Very fast acting
2. State altering. Alert, pleasure, focus, calming etc
3. Bio mechanical and neurological effect
4. Shock, surprise element
5. Narrowing of activities that provide pleasure
6. Severe discomfort if not repeated

PROCESS OF BECOMING AN ADDICT

1. INITIATION
Why smoke?
1. Social pressure
2. Weight lost
3. Nicotine's sense of pleasure and focus enhancements

Why PMO
1. Social attraction
2. Highten state of pleasure
3. Refractory calming (problem escaping)

2. REPETITION
Why repeated smoking?
1. Fast acting
2. 1.5 hrs effect.
3. Nervous discomfort

Why repeated PMO
1. Fast acting
2. Lowered baseline. Need repetition to feel normal/better
3. Refractory prolectin and androgen effect
4. Problems unresolved. Escapism
5. Social anxiety and reduced self efficacy

ALTERED BEHAVIORS
1. Repetition seeking
2. Social avoidance
3. Source Collection
4. Egocentricity
5. Pleasure seeking
6. Time scheduling effect

DIFFICULTY TO QUIT
1. highten physical and mental discomfort states
2. Unable to draw pleasure from alternative sources
3. Repeated failed efforts
4. Attraction of addiction experience
 
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TakeActionNow

Respected Member
It took a seriously long time for me to get to where I am today, mostly because my approach earlier on were too simplistic and not comprehensive enough.

I list the key activities that made significant difference

1. Rebuilding of self
Because addiction narrows the activities that provide pleasure, we are truly miserable when without release. Only through making effort to do things, and giving self recognition on achievements did I slowly learn to appreciate what I've done and can use accomplishments to gradually replace PMO as a source of pleasure.
I remember a time when nothing I did could make me happy. PMO really destroyed any ways for me to feel good about myself.

2. Journalling
Nothing else helps the mind collect, organize and process each day like journalling. Through journalling I can reinforce learnings and truly felt progress happening. Without progress, one invariably feels hopeless and pointless.

3. Science & knowledge
Addiction is scientific in nature. How the abuse affects mental, chemical and biological states. What are the duration and cycle. What can be supplemented.
This knowledge is imperative in helping to plan schedules around withdrawal states so that we understand what is going on and how to extend clean periods.

4. Substance Avoidance
Of course key to recovery is substance avoidance. But even more so is a mental approach that ALL activities relating to the substance must be avoided. This includes fantasy, recollection, discussion, collection, and alternatives must all be avoided.
The reason is not a desire to be celibate. But rather, the necessity to rebuild pleasure awareness from other sources that were destroyed during the addictive cycle.
The bondage to the substance cannot be properly cut if material similar to the substance were used as a source of replacement. The association is too strong.

5. Purpose
Take the attention away from the miserable self and focus on someone or somewhere else. Preferably not a intimate partner because when sex with them ends, PMO begins. Preferably also something that should not cause too much stress or anxiety. Hobbies, self improvement, social engagements are all good.
Derive non-sexual related joy, pleasure and achievement. My focus now is my son, my home renovation and my personal studies.

6. Self management and preventive measures.
There are always precursors to relapse.
Not just triggers, but buildups and avoidable surprises.
So self care is imperative:
Rest and recovery
Stress management
Optimism and positivity for the future
Letting go



Recovery is not simply about quitting.
It is more about rebuilding what were destroyed because of addiction:
Relationships
Self esteem
Self worth
Self trust
Self respect
Dignity
Goals
Purpose
Values
 
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