stepbystep's journal

stepbystep

Active Member
Thanks mpj86 - those are awesome suggestions. I?ll definitely try these out. One thing I could work on is exercising more and put that extra energy to use.

Thanks Phineas for the support! Let?s do this!

Day 5 no P. Day 0 no MO. Unfortunately I MOd today. I was lying down in bed it just felt so good to do it. I felt okay afterwards, not the usual feeling of anxiety for PMO. In any case, I do want to do hard mode so I?m getting right back up and on track.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
I?m a man that no longer uses porn. Recovery takes time. It takes consistent work every day. It?s for the long run. Things like coming here and posting help. I?m never giving up.
 

Orbiter

Active Member
stepbystep said:
I?m a man that no longer uses porn. Recovery takes time. It takes consistent work every day. It?s for the long run. Things like coming here and posting help. I?m never giving up.

Damn straight!

Keep going Step. The lapses of the past are chances to learn, we are not doomed to repeat them. We can do this!
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Day 4 no PMO. Staying on track. Today my main task is to focus at work and be productive during the day, relax in the evening, and sleep early.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Day 5 no PMO, day 10 no P. Doing okay. Taking it one day at a time. Working through the book "A Gentle Path through the 12 Steps"
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Good job, stepbystep!

It's in the little things we do, the consistencies where our habits are finally changed.

Proud of your accomplishments.
 
Hello step,

Continue fighting good job to strike day 6, each time to feel like relapsing remember the feeling and the sensation after not getting your goal, remember why you want to quit and go anywhere but anywhere you know you cannot do PMO, I know you can do it man you just have to find the strategy that works for you. Wish the best my friend!

stepbystep said:
Day 6. Nothing to report other than I'm reading and working recovery a few mins every day.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Thanks Phineas and zackergeet!

Day 14 no PMO. Day 19 no P. Hanging in there. Have been getting less sleep recently and not been doing a lot of recovery work. My goal is to get back to that from today.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Thanks Phineas!
Before I got the chance to do recovery work, I relapsed. This stretch was longer than usual (day 21 no P, day 16 no PMO)

Starting yet again. Day 0.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Thanks Phineas, appreciate your support as always!

I've been away from the forum for a while, mainly because I felt that simply coming in posting about my day count is not really recovery work. It was good to give me a reminder of how long my stretch was, but it didn't do much more than that. I have been actively working my recovery offline though, using the 12 steps. I know these forums are not 12 steps focused, but it has really helped me work on recovery work.

I've been attending online meetings often when possible and connecting with a real person over the phone once a week (my sponsor). Even with doing this over the past month or two, I've been struggling and slipping pretty often (once a week). It has been slowly getting better especially the more effort I put on working on recovery over the last week. I've decided that my "bottom lines" (the term they use) is P and MO, meaning I must avoid them. I tested out a bunch different things like using MO and avoiding P, but at least right now, they are so inter-connected that MO is leading me back to P. So, I'm going hardmode for at least 90 days to reboot my brain.

So, what do I mean by consistently working recovery? Well, firstly, consistently for me means spending time every day, even if it's only a few minutes. And, recovery means that I'm doing things like:
- writing up a clear plan when triggered (reaching out people when I have urges, etc)
- writing a long term plan (exercise, staying busy with new activities)
- working on some program (reading recovery books like ones by Dr. Carnes and working the exercises, YBOP articles and actively taking notes)

Today was a tough day as I was unfocused at work. I did feel triggered so I reached out for help. Doing better now. Day 8.
 

EarthWalker

Active Member
Hi, stepbystep. Ha. I can relate about the day counting. Nowadays what I find helpful is tracking the dates. I have some dates written on my wall. Like 17.9 which was my first major breakthrough. Now I have in mind 11.4 and 3.5. So that I remind myself of what happened on the days.

Can relate to being unfocused at work. I find this P addiction is pretty heavy on the brain system. So it takes a while for the brain to also physically change back. I am giving myself a lot of rest. I don't stress about my work performance. There are days where my productivity is super low but ... I chose my mental health first.

I came across this. Maybe you will find it useful.


Great to see you moving forward. Keep on going.

EW
 
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Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Hey, stepbystep! Dr. Patrick Carnes is great, he helped define for me back in the early 2000's what was going on with me (addiction!).

Yes, it's important to have a bottom line, what constitutes for you a lapse or relapse. Those boundaries are so important. Like yourself, MO is too closely related for me to P, PMO, and so I include those typically in my efforts. An exception might be if I mindlessly did MO in the middle of the night, and it didn't involve conscious fantasizing, etc... Otherwise, I include it.

You're doing great, and wishing you well on your hardmode and recovery efforts.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Thanks EW and Phineas!

Can relate to being unfocused at work. I find this P addiction is pretty heavy on the brain system. So it takes a while for the brain to also physically change back. I am giving myself a lot of rest. I don't stress about my work performance. There are days where my productivity is super low but ... I chose my mental health first.

Agree with this fully. The way I'm prioritizing my life is 1. Staying away from P and MO, 2. Physical and mental health, 3. Family / friends, and 4. Financial and career. Sometimes there are tough days, but I need to keep in the mind the most important things in my life.

Dr. Patrick Carnes is great, he helped define for me back in the early 2000's what was going on with me (addiction!).

Yes, his books are really helping me to address the real issues behind my addiction. For example, I tend to minimize my problems ("It's not too bad to MO because everyone does it and even the medical community says it's healthy." The problem is that I'm not like everyone else. Some people have a problem with alcohol and some don't. I have a problem with MO. Another problem I have is rationalization: "When I was using P and MO, I was very successful in school and my career. " I never remember all those times that I almost got caught using P and lost my dignity and career.


Day 12 today, but this week has been very tough. I was feeling cravings every day, especially the last few days. Luckily, I did reach out to my sponsor and recovery groups and that helped a lot. One thing that's key for me is not to keep my craving a secret. If I do, I put myself in much higher risk to use P.

This week I again had struggles at work and feeling like I'm not as important. I have a lot of anxieties as well about growing my career. I kept telling myself the important thing is to work consistently over a long term and my career will be just fine. These anxieties are triggers for my addiction. I've gotten better about not putting so much importance on this, but it's still a trigger since it's been that way for so long by habit.

I need a clear plan for the weekend so I can stay busy. I'll work on this now.
 

stepbystep

Active Member
I've mentioned this before, but one thing I struggle with constantly thinking about career growth. I'm so obsessed about moving up the ranks at work that it gets in the way of me focusing on the present moment (and it triggers me to fantasize about porn). These thoughts come up several times during the week and it's a waste of time. The key is for me to focus on doing good work over a long period of time and growth will happen. Of course, it's okay to think about growth once in a while (a few times a year, not a few times week!) to make sure I'm doing what I want and my current role is moving me in the right direction.

Another thing I struggle with is committing to hardmode. While I know staying away from porn and MO and all other sexual activity would be good for me to reboot, two beliefs get in my way:

1. My belief that regular MO is a healthy activity. That's what is written everywhere online, by men's magazines, medical community. I know for me MO is tied closely with porn, but eventually, when I'm very horny or sexually energized, I rely on this belief to get myself to eventually go back. I could think that maybe I'm not a normal person, just like some people can enjoy alcohol once in a while and others cannot, I cannot MO regularly. But, I struggle with getting myself to think that way.

2. My belief that the longer I stay away, the worse porn I come back to when I relapse. I'm not sure if this happens every time. But, I did notice this many times in the past. I would get so sexual and would fantasize over a period of days before relapsing. The fantasies would include how I use and thinking of how a certain kind of porn would be great to go back to. And, I would go back to worse porn than if I had just allowed myself to MO regularly (without porn or more "mild" porn).
 

stepbystep

Active Member
One thing that's one my mind in the last day is my powerlessness and unmanageability in my life because of my addiction. This doesn't seem like a very positive statement, and it's seems to be counter to the positive attitude that may allow change to happen.

But, the reality is that this attitude really changes everything. Truly believing this powerlessness means that I have no option but to ask for help. If I could do this all by myself, I wouldn't post on this forum and look for support. I know I cannot completely rely on my beliefs because they have led me to go back to my addictive behavior over and over and over for a decade. This means I need to work through my beliefs and get feedback from others so that I can slowly change myself.

If I slip up, I want to learn from it. I cannot beat myself up. I can learn, get help, work recovery, and keep persevering.
 
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