My future is awesome!

Nico

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
Thanks - a lot of wisdom and good points in here, I will reread this if tempted :)
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Thanks - a lot of wisdom and good points in here, I will reread this if tempted :)

Hi @Nico, after many many cycles of relapse am I only here. Let me condense some more key points for you here.

1. All addictions isn't about the abused material. We started because life was not satisfactory back then. The addiction took root because it was body alterning, too fast and too strong. True recovery is about making life satisfactory so that the addictive material is no longer attractive or necessary.

2. One must look at the addictive cycle objectively. Why did I use it? What were the precursors? Was I too bored/ stressed/ tired/ angry/ depressed etc for some time? Address these first.
What was I trying to achieve?How did release impact me?

3. knowing the full cycle, especially it's follow up costs, is important. Remembering that a relapse takes 4 weeks to return us to normal will make one think very hard if there are better alternatives.
Week 1. calm but dulled
Week 1 end. Cravings return and stays
Week 2. Unstable and unfocused
Week 3. Mental clarity slowly returning
Week 4. Mental strength returning.
Week 5. Strong, well centered, stable. Not because of the relapse, but because the last 5 weeks were spent developing self and not being dependent on non-relatable far away sources for support. This strength comes form achievements, recognition and self respect.

I don't see relapse as a bad thing. Sex is instinctive and part of what it means to be human.

But relapses must be seen as a very high cost very short term band aid, and never a long term form of self care.

Ask yourself, would you use cigarettes/ drugs/ opioids/ gambling/ alcohol to soothe yourself ? If not, why?
And apply the answers to PMO.

Final supportive advice.
Recovery is not possible if all one focus on is resisting.
It is replacement and repair that matters.

Take good care of yourself.
I'm always here to help :)
 
Hi Nico, this is really inspired but also impressive in how you have been more clinical in your approach. I'm new and frankly need help, I have a six month plan to just not use porn at all, new and in need of a partner so if anyone else can give anything like this level of guidance I'd really appreciate journaling up.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
COMPARISONS

I want to illustrate different methods we can use to introduce change in our life.
Notice that they all include:
1. Reason for change to motivate
2. Reduction of old habits
3. Replacement with alternative
4. Reinforcement of new behavior
5. Recognition and Reward of effect and achievement

Here are some examples:

COFFEE
I do enjoy coffee, but the effects of coffee is too negative. It affects other aspects of my life.
Why I want to stop
1. It spoils my sleep
2. After a few days, I become dependent on it to stay alert across the day.
How do I quit?
1. Stop all coffee
2. Drink more water
3. Sleep early

VEGAN
I'm not, but I did go meatless for an extended period to experiment and experience.
Why I want to stop?
1. Cleanse the body
2. Lower uric acid
3. Lower organic and hormonal influences
How do I quit?
1. Have more snacks or fruits available
2. Prepare more veggies during meals
3. Create more non-meat reward system
4. Remind myself why I need to stop


FASTING
To lose weight, to be more alert, to be less food dependent
Why I want to fast?
I recognize scheduled meal times is a habit born out of convenience and tradition rather than necessity. I want to eat only when I want to, what I need to. And quite frankly as I age I need to eat less
How do I change?
1. Make food less available.
2. Avoid meal time cues
3. Focus on the meal while I eat (no phone)
4. drink more water
5. Track my meals


FITNESS
cos I gotta
How do I change?
1. Schedule timing
2. Increase sense of accomplishment and reward
3. Tracking for motivation
4. Variety to make it more enjoyable

JOB CHANGE
How do I change?
1. Focus on the new skills needed. Work on improving them
2. Make friends with new colleagues to learn from them
3. Keep a list of acheivements to recognize improvement and progress
4. Find a mentor. Keep improving



You can see that there are patterns and processes to create change, that change is happening in many aspects in our life, and that kicking a habit or addiction is no different than making change in life.

It is actually not difficult if we recognize the need to change as higher than the need to remain the same.

Do not jump into change blindly. Get the process right and success rates will naturally be higher.
 
Last edited:

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
INFLUENCE AND DISTORTION

having discussed about the process to change in my last post, I do recognize that addictions are more difficult to change due to their life, body and mental altering effects.

THE ADDICTION CYCLE

1. Bio chemistry change
2. Behavioral change
3. Psychological and belief change
4. Delusional effect
5. Environmental change
These effects are mutually linked and dependent, so change is even harder.

Biochemically, addictions hit faster and higher than normal life experiences, and this creates attraction and dependency. Also, the body compensates the hightened experiences by lowering its baseline state. That means when not stimulated the person lives in a depressed state, which is miserable, and this reinforces the need to repeat the addictive cycle.
Stability is eroded.

This cycle leads to reduction of interest on all other activities and the focus on the addictive source as the only one that can deliver pleasure.
Self dependency is eroded.

Progressively the mind also forms the same opinion that
1. The addictive source is necessary
2. Other activities are unattractive
3. They are unable to achieve pleasure or success by themselves or through other means
4. That they must have it and cannot do without it
Psychologically the addict begins to look down upon himself as unable or incompetent.
Self esteem is gradually eroded.

Concurrently, the reliability of addiction source, comfort and false sense of security creates and maintains deep delusion within the addict. He thinks all is well and he is attractive and successful. This further reduces his efforts to improve on himself and his relationships, and the occasional moments of clarity, truth and reality are too much for him to bare.
Reality is eroded.

And following his activities his environment changes to conform to those effects
1. Other activities are not practiced, so options reduce
2. The addict does not see their own achievements elsewhere, so they become negative and pessimistic
3. Time is spent so much on addiction that passions, possessions and skills dwindle over time.
4. They do not develop deep relationships
Alternatives are eroded.

Life is difficult when it is empty and hollow of meaning and purpose.
The addict thus depletes himself to the point of depression and dispair. It is a very deep and difficult hole to crawl out of.


RECOVERY CHALLENGES

When the addict tries to recover, they
1. Cannot find other things to do or look forward to
2. Cannot find other things to feel good about themselves
3. Have fewer possession to be proud of
4. Have fewer friend to socialize and feel good with.
5. Are pessimistic and negative about everything, including their chances of success
6. Have little or no faith or trust in themselves to make change

That's why recovery is so difficult and unsuccessful for so many. They simply have nothing to look forward to.


SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY

That's why recovery is not just about reduction. It is more about replacement and restoration, and reinforcing new reward systems.

We need to address
1. Fast and high feeling of pleasure
2. Broadening of activities that bring pleasure
3. Building of self reliance
4. Improving optimism and positivity

Restore self by building many replacement activities and recognize and reward achievements frequently so that it becomes more attractive and pleasurable to do, and build the confidence that we are able, attractive and accomplished
 
Last edited:

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.

Reposting this podcast again to highlight how important it is to understand the addiction process.
So much to learn and reapply on our own recovery.
 
Last edited:

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
The porn state is a dream state
Where everything desired is achievable
At no cost
At no effort

Carry this dream into reality and we are surely doomed.
But you won't know what you are doing
Because how can one in dreams know they are dreaming?

Don't be deluded
Don't think that you are the subject of everyone's attention and desire
Don't think that your opportunities are limitless
That anything is possible
That you can do whatever you want, when ever you want, and be always successful, no matter that reality shows otherwise.

If you do, all that matters to you, all that you love, will leave you.

Don't gift yourself a fate of lies.
Wake up from this dream.
Wake up from this nightmare.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Sensing a little desire arising
Why? A quick fix desired
Why? Seeking a little pick me up
Why? May be bored. May be aimless. May be too much exposure to related discussion
Why? It's late. Can't sleep. Nothing to do. Too free
How? Need something fast.
What else can be fast?
Is fast a right expectation?
Alternatives?
Journal
YouTube
Podcast
Plan for tomorrow

Catch the problem early.
Put my time to better use.
Focus on self improvement not self centering
 
Last edited:

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
So here's the crux.
Imagine the hunger sensation
Whenever it hits, there's a free bag of chips nearby ready for consuming.
This person never learns about going to bed hungry
This person never learns to endure
This person never learns to take better care of his health
He grows fat with complacency
He grows fat with entitlements

So now he finally has to quit
It's obviously difficult.

We are that obese person
Except it is cravings not hunger which we have not learnt how to endure.
And just as stomach sensations can mean different things (actual hunger/ gastritis/ acid imbalance etc), cravings can also mean different things (stressed/ bored/ lonely/ tired/ habitual/ scheduled etc)
Yet we lump all that under one umbrella of sex since the day we knew how to abuse.
We just react, not knowing why it's there, not knowing what it's trying to tell us, therefore never ever solving the real needs.

So no problem
Cravings are like hunger.
Just bodily sensations
Just emotions
Not life threatening
Yes it is trying to tell us something
But it's not necessary to act on it urgently
It's not necessary to act on it in old familiar ways.
We can find and apply new ways to deal with it.
We can find out what we are really dealing with, and apply effective means.

All things will come to pass
Even hunger
Even sadness
Even cravings.

Learn to let go
Learn to leave it alone
Learn to endure
 
Last edited:

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
THE MISSION TEMPLATE

Here is a simple template and sample to pen down items meaningful to you to direct your efforts and serve as reminders what needs to be done.


WHAT IS MY MOTIVE
To be a good father
To be a good husband
To live a good life

WHAT DO I NEED TO REPAIR
Understanding of self
Understanding of inner needs
Ability to endure abstinence

WHERE WILL I GET MY REPLACEMENT
Sources of success
Sources of pride

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO
Journal
Rest and recover
Self recognition
Build supportive social network
Recognize, appreciate and maximize what I already have
Explore and expand areas of interest and satisfaction

WHAT IS MY EMERGENCY FIRST AID KIT
what do I do when cravings hit
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Pleasure is not just sex
Pleasure is not just limited to things of sexual nature.

It is about feeling good.

What can make one feel good?
Much more than momentary sex can?

Recieving love from loved ones
Completion of task
Achievement of goals
Recognition of personal effort
Realizing tomorrow will be better (because of effort made)
Looking forward to the future
Helping others
Being present and recognizing benefits received (eating, good weather, fresh air and water, going to toilet, clean sanitation etc)

There are obviously many, and they happen across the day. Never take any for granted.
So if we collect them all day long, we'd all be very happy and feeling good come bedtime.
 

Gracie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Great information! Especially the coffee. I am having a physical problem and can only drink water. Started last weekend and so far so good. But, I know if I have a cup I will not want to stop. Cutting down on sugar as well.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Delusion is to feed on and make real ones desires and imagination without any real world involvement.

With enough repetition one will begin to believe all their desires and imagination to be true.

Persistent delusion will lead to distortion.

That's when things gets messed up and one can no longer differentiate reality from imagination

PMO is delusional
It will distort how we view and engage with the real world
It must be stopped
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
Great information! Especially the coffee. I am having a physical problem and can only drink water. Started last weekend and so far so good. But, I know if I have a cup I will not want to stop. Cutting down on sugar as well.
Thanks!

Yeah it's hard to stop when we like and enjoy it so much.
But reminding me of the repercussions helps me to resist and move on.
I'm fortunate that I can still have an occasional tea or fruit flavored water.
Perhaps you can find ways to make soup or other flavored water.
Replacement is key!

Take care of yourself!
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
We have this addiction because we are
Self interested
Self centered
Self indulgent
Attention seeking.
These characteristics often lead pursuing selfish needs over purpose.

These problems will remain even if we are successful in getting rid of this addiction.

So the rehabilitation includes not just restoration of meaningful lifestyle without addiction, but far greater effect to remain addiction free is to completely devote ourselves into purpose so that the self-indulgent addiction supporting behaviours will not return.

I am bored because I was without purpose
I am socially anxious because all I think about is myself
I need to feel good because of self interests
I argue awkwardly because my aim was to gain attention not solve problems.

Let myself go
Let purpose be my goal

Too much love for self only begets hurt
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
How does one spell porn addiction?
It is spelt as:
Please me addiction.
Pleasure me addiction
Pay attention to me addiction
Perform for me addiction
Get what I desire addiction

Let's be clear.
consuming Porn is 100% one sided. They as performers, we as consumers.
There is no relationship.
There is no 2 way street.
The performers will never know us, what we feel, what we have with them. Never.

All the talk about:
Seeking comfort
Seeking intimacy
Seeking attention
Stress reduction
Solving anxiety
All these are deluded excuses.

It was always about satisfying self centeredness.

Wish to have our partners perform for us in the same way? That's a pretty big ego.

He who fucks without care or concern fucks only himself.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
BUSY DAYS ARE GOOD DAYS
Keep the wife happy
Keep good company with my son
Getting my work done
Getting things done means having many accomplishment opportunities to recognize myself.

All the while making sure I'm
Getting some sun
Getting enough sleep and rest
Not overly stressed
Acknowledging and being grateful
Being smart and seeing the good.

When I'm busy I have no time for selfish indulgence.
When I'm busy I'm also busy feeling good about myself

Busy is good.
Weekend is even better with more sun and more sleep

Have a good weekend people!
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
What does PMO deliver? Comfort
Why do we need comfort? Insecurity
Why are we insecure? Immature
Why are we immature? dependent
What are we dependent on? Care
Why do we need care? Because we are unable to self care

These years of PMO has kept us in a child like state. When we start to PMO is when we stop to grow in independence.

But from the moment we stop PMO, we restart the maturity - independence process.
Independence leads to maturity.
Maturity means strength and resilience.
With resilience comes self assurance.
With self assurance comes comfort.
Anxiety is reduced.
Strength is improved.


Maturity is the prize of recovery.
It is what it means to be a man.
To stand tall without support.
 

TakeActionNow

Respected Member
The longer we don't abuse, the less the addiction makes sense. Binging on these performers make less and less sense to me.

How can a young adult care, comfort and support an older person like me more than I can to them?

The only reason I can think of is a desire to regress back to their age. Or even further back, to the parent-child care stage.
And frankly that desire runs contrary to the concept of life.

Life has many key stages. As we grow older, we become more frail. Its purpose is to guide us towards the path of letting go and eventual mortality.

And this is where maturity steps it. It is the true strength that helps us carry on, inspire of adversity, inspite of increasing difficulty. To understand and accept some things, and find ways to overcome others. That regardless of the outcome, we can find it within us to persevere and continue on.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: GBS
Top