stepbystep's journal

stepbystep

Active Member
Day 9. Just taking it one day at a time. This morning I had past images and videos flash through my head and I got urges from those. But, that does not mean I will use. I do not use porn anymore.
 

Orbiter

Active Member
stepbystep said:
Slipped up :( . Getting right back up. Last two streaks were 9 days which is much better than my normal 5 days.

Sorry to hear about the slip up but also happy you're taking the positive attitude to it that you are. Two lapses in 18 days is indeed tangible progress and I think you appreciating that and avoid the trap of the all-too-easy black & white, all-or-nothing, shame-based thinking is in itself a win for you.

Stay strong step, you've got this!
 
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escapeandnevercomeback

Guest
You can do it, man. You can achieve how many days you want. After surviving to see day 24, I know everything is possible. If I hadn't believed I could, I would've relapsed on day 12. That day was nuts. It was tightrope. In the past I would've failed but not this time because I told myself I was strong enough to do it. We have more potential than we think. We have the ability to go through this suffering. It's not impossible because others have done it. Don't rely on motivation alone. Motivation comes and goes. You could be motivated for a few days then the motivation fades away. Be driven. Have quitting porn as the goal and be mad about achieving it.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Thanks escapeandnevercomeback, that?s inspiring! I?ll hang in there when things get tough.

Day 3. No urges this weekend. But the hard part is the work week. That?s when I?m most tempted. Today I?m planning to stay focused. I?m not a person who uses porn anymore.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Day 4. Doing okay. No major urges. I think things will change as I approach the 1 week mark. Going to stay focused and busy today. I am not a man who uses porn anymore
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Good going, stepbystep!

While it's good to recognize our particular patterns, try to not be defined by them. As you said, week1, or the work week as challenging for you, and they very well may be.

However, try to reframe it, like, week1- or the work week will be just as any other day, free of porn. I'll just simply take it one day at a time, and not project too far out...

Or, simply refuse to define any particular time period as challenging, or any situation as challenging, just live it without giving thought about it, mindful in the moment (not mindless), but dismissing these sneaky thoughts as the lower brain trying to set itself up for 'a hit'.

Blessings!
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Sounds good Phineas, each day is a new day and it?s like any other day. Will be reframing my thought process this way.

Day 5, hard mode. Today I was focused. I did have a phase when fantasy kept popping up based on previous porn sessions. But I did not give them thought as soon as I realized I was fantasizing. I imagined a big red x in my mind and a stop sign. That stopped it in its tracks.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Somehow made it through today. I reached to a bunch of people. I went out for a walk. And, I made sure to stay away from my phone and worked on the computer while not alone in the living room. Whew!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Good going on staying clear, stepbystep!

Wishing I was more keen, and able to be more helpful in your moment of need...!

Keep in mind, brother, you can outlast any urge. The lower brain makes us feel like our life depends on our acting out, but it's not true. Urges can't kill us, nor can they make us do anything. Your higher brain has the veto power, and you did what was necessary to deny the urges.

Next time when the urges come, try observing them as an outside person- like you're watching yourself in a movie, but with compassion and no judgement- no matter the temptation. And just breathe deeper, slower, while observing. You'll notice the urges subside, without you having to run here or hide there. Repeat this for any returning urges, and you'll see that you are stronger than any urges, and can outlast them, each time.

It's when the urges make us dance like a puppet, whether toward fulfilling them, or even toward fighting them, that they become stronger. But, as we learn to dismiss them, we end our habit.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Phineas 808 said:
It's when the urges make us dance like a puppet, whether toward fulfilling them, or even toward fighting them, that they become stronger. But, as we learn to dismiss them, we end our habit.

Nice analogy Phineas! They definitely make me dance like a puppet. Hopefully over time as I do not act on them, their grip on my will loosen over time .
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Day 10. I know it?s going to be a tough day ahead as I?m working alone. I?m going to leave my phone in another room to make it harder for me to use for middle circling. Today I will be porn free because I?m a man that doesn?t use porn anymore.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Unfortunately, I slipped back to pmo. It's tough. I tried my best. 10 days was definitely an achievement and not easy. I'm finding days 7 - 10 to be an incredibly difficult barrier. I just get so horny after 7 days. Anyway, I'm not giving up. That's for sure. This time around my plan is to increase my physical exercise, stay as busy as possible, continue reading recovery literature, and continue working the 12 steps.

Day 1.
 

mpj86

Member
I think it's important to get past that 7-10 day mark - with each passing day it has a kind of snowball effect as there is more to lose by relapsing.

Interesting that you mention about getting horny after 7 days, it's never been about that for me, PMO has always been about feeling sad and depressed and needing a dopamine hit. So I guess the good news is that your libido is doing well, though it can make the reboot more of a struggle of course.

Some thoughts from me based on my experiences:
- fill your days with as many healthy, social, natural dopamine enhancing experiences as possible - exercising, socialising etc. This is not always easy during Covid times but do what you can. As your urges are caused by horniness, especially important to direct that sexual energy elsewhere into exercise.
- respond to urges in a mindful way - this is especially doable for you since you've previously resisted urges (this is something historically I've been unable to do). Notice how the urge makes you feel and use CBT techniques to get through the thoughts in your mind. Example - "I have had an urge, is it inevitable that I will act on it?" - "no, there are various occasions in the past where I resisted urges so I have the capability within me to do this again and again".
- make a list of reasons why you want to give up PMO forever and refer to it regularly - maybe even daily - make it your Bible.
- visualise yourself in a year's time and think how good it will feel to be 1 year clean
- continue to identify yourself as an ex-porn user. The issue with counting days is that it feels kind of inevitable that it will end somewhere - people who are 5 years clean don't consider themselves to be on day 1500 or whatever, but counting days is useful for tracking progress. Maybe when you get past a certain point start to reframe it as '1 month clean' etc.
- this is an important one that I realised quite recently - find out what the precursors of PMO are for you - for me this is compulsive mobile phone/internet use caused by my brain asking for more dopamine, perhaps it will then involve browsing dating sites or apps etc - PMO is then the next logical step. Shut down those precursors early and you then create a buffer zone which helps with discipline.

I would also seriously consider a porn blocker - K9 Web Protection used to the go-to but it has been discontinued. After trying countless alternatives I've recently installed Norton Family and it works exactly as K9 used to although there is an annual subscription. To make this watertight you can sign up with a dummy email address and throw away the password for both the dummy email address and Norton Family. I use a crazy system whereby I have 100 password-protected Word documents each containing a password that leads to the next one, this means I will need to open 100 documents to get the actual password. This means if I need to make changes to the subscription I can (with a lot of effort) but in practice I'm not going to spend half an hour opening documents just so I can look at porn. If you have a friend or family member who knows about the problem you can just give them the password for safe keeping.

Not everyone agrees with using porn blockers but I've always found that they help by making porn use impossible (or at least much, much more difficult), so it's a significant tool along with willpower in the fight against PMO addiction. There is also a good mobile phone porn blocker called BlockerX.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Sorry for your struggles, stepbystep!

Looks like we lapsed on the same day! (mine was MO)

Let's stand together, and walk out our victory, as we'll be tracking together.
 
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