The Long Way Home

EarthWalker

Active Member
Hi, Wolfman.

I find listenting to Jordan Peterson helpful there are tons of his stuff on YT.

Wish you all the best on your journey.
EW
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Hey Wolfman,

Good to see you on here every once in a while. And do not worry about not coming on here much or replying to support. You have no obligation to us at all. As long as you keep up your streak it's fine.

That being said, I have to agree on beautywaytraveler on the fact that there is something else going on. I'm not sure on what exactly that is, but there is something going on.

If you are into meditation/mindfulness may i suggest the following meditation; its part of a longer video and it starts at around 37:00 minutes. It takes only a couple of minutes and it has helped me in determining what is wrong and whether or not to act on it or to let it go. Very helpfull.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq1k0kjjSqg


ANyway, good luck my friend
 

Wolfman

Member
beautywaytraveler: Cheers man, thanks for reading and for giving me your thoughts. I guess you're quite right, there is a bloody romantic streak in me and I won't deny that. I agree with you that being in the moment is important--I have been trying this and have occasionally succeeded. I just don't write about these moments here (I guess I'm more focused on what's wrong in this journal). But I can mention that a few weeks ago I spent hours by the riverside just dipping my feet into the water and listening to music, maybe writing a small poem or sometimes reading. It was supremely relaxing. Unfortunately, autumn has come and it's no longer the weather for that sort of activity--but maybe there are a few summer's days still left this year.

Shadetrenicin: Hey Shade. I'm naturally skeptical to mindfulness/meditation, but I try also to be open to new things, so I'll give your link a go :) Thanks! Always nice to see you stop by!

EarthWalker: Thanks for the Peterson suggestion. I've seen a few of his stuff and I can kind of get the appeal, but, having read Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Voltaire, Schopenhauer, Camus and Sartre in my youth I feel like there isn't really much Peterson can give me that these other authors haven't already amply provided me (Peterson himself often refers to these guys, and for good reason). I'm doing postgraduate studies yes, more than that I really don't want to say.

Some good, though also stressful, things have been happening recently and my mind is boggling with new visions and ideas. But I'm going to have to leave that for the next proper update!
 

EarthWalker

Active Member
fwiw: Doing PhD/post-grad research is very hard on mental health. Perhaps there are some mental health resources targeted specifically for PhD students? Maybe talk to someone about this?

EW
 

Wolfman

Member
This week has been a real struggle. After a recent trip where I partook in activism events, where I learned a lot about myself and had powerful experiences, I came back to my normal routine. 3-4 days after coming back, things imploded. I felt psychologically arrested. I was in some restless attack, some alarming sense of panic. I felt nausea, even though physically everything felt fine. It's like my mind is choking itself and I can't tell why because I'm so caught up in it.

I strongly considered getting a flight back to my parents place. Home has never been a place of inspiration, but I think even that would be better than what I then went through.

I kept thinking about how inconsequential my life is. My daily routines are just my own and I have no immediate obligations. I think there is a lack of reality in my life; a sense of being someone in the world. I'm working on a postgrad sure, but the darn thing feels so distant; far away as it ever has... even though I have the final deadline coming up in less than a year and that is not at all a lot of time. I should be crunching full-time, but I just can't muster the the energy. I don't know what's wrong with me.

I also felt a recent blow when a girl I've known gave me the cold shoulder and seemed to be completely in the throes of another. What is a blow to me is not that she's seeing others (our romantic adventure came to an end long ago and she's been seeing people since and it hasn't bothered) but our friendship appears to be more based on feelings of pleasure rather than something higher, more spiritual. I wanted to believe that we had achieved this higher state, but recent events made me think otherwise. I think this fact made the other things terribly difficult.

But change needs to come once more. I cannot make myself at home where I am now, so I think the best thing is to end my long trek studying in foreign countries and return to my homeland, and make a home there in a language I can fluently speak. I had the thought during my miasma that if I can make friends and set up base (however temporarily) then I surely can do the same in the place I come from, as I never really explored my own country very well.

In those days I sorely wanted intimate company and I spammed old contacts, hoping for a date or a hookup. I know this isn't what I need and it's pretty counter-productive, but I can't see what's right in this wretched headspace. I misplace pleasure for real intimacy; but the latter is nowhere in view and I don't believe it happens within a short space of time anyhow.

Somehow I feel like I'm just circling old down-trodden paths. A sinister sense of deja vu.

As I crossed the bridge yesterday when I decided to go for a walk I thought that, in spite of all this, I still am not resorting to PMO. I came dangerously close to looking up some P on the phone today but I stopped, paced about in the room and had a shower (where I MO'd just on sensation)... still, I find myself thinking more and more about O as a way out of my frame of mind; something to shift the scales. This isn't good. Not good at all.

Ahh, I wanted to write about other stuff but these things just floated up and poisoned everything.

EW: Yes, you're right. I'm feeling the pressure and I'll be glad to be done with this bit and look to new things. I dunno about mental health stuff, I tried going to see a therapist at the campus but that immediately didn't work. I guess I try to reach out to my closest friends and my brother to talk about this, but the talking will only be a temporary treatment until I can practically turn around my life-situation. Thanks for your thoughts man!

We're nearing a year on my no PMO... insane to think about.
 

EarthWalker

Active Member
Maybe you are expecting the answer to come from outside? What does your intuition say you should do?

Do you view your post doc as something meaninful for you? If you already got a PhD. Maybe quit your post doc and get a job or start a business or something. I don't know.

For the talk I think a therapist is a much better idea and/or your mentor. Mentors should mentor people. It is in the name. There are a lot of articles online phd/post grad depression and stuff. Even in the main stream a bunch of articles like this

https://www.theguardian.com/science/head-quarters/2017/aug/10/the-human-cost-of-the-pressures-of-postdoctoral-research
https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2014/07/stressed-out-postdoc
...

Good work on no PMO. Keep it up.

EW
 

Wolfman

Member
Time is a strange thing. We feel its flow as something irresistible and uncontrollable. So we have devised means by which we can mark off sections of time, collate snapshots and enshrine experiences in the dead, immobile snails of words. And in these markings, we find something of our own preserved and taken up through the temporal chaos; not as something entirely set apart from this chaos but as self-renouncing of that chaos.

I'm musing on the nature of time since today marks exactly one year since that fateful moment of despair and otherworldly resolve to deal with this problem once and for all. It feels at once so distant and yet near; what is a mere year, a simple cycle of all the seasons. It feels no part of me, since I no longer have those maddening desires bearing over me--the context has been changed, and changed for the better. And yet, this changing for the better comes precisely out of that turbulent time. It was the problem-ridden past self that dealt the deathblow to the problem, but subsequently also to itself. I can no longer fully identify with that past self and its context.

But still, because who and what I now am is a result of that problematic time, I feel connection to that period. Even though it is behind me, it is now, in a sense, also ahead of me again. The desires for porn and the habit of resorting to it as a mechanism to deal with life's problems are no longer there--or to a substantial degree diminished--and yet I feel that so much of life's context still repeats that dreaded framework. Sometimes I feel like nothing's changed. But here I think we are prone to forget our previous achievements, so much so because we are removing something from our life so that it's absence isn't really a reminder of having achieved something--as achieving something usually means there is something substantial there that can act as a constant reminder of it, as when one builds a piece of furniture or a house, they are literally there in existence to remind us of our work--but we have achieved something. It's just that this is more the achievement of carefully taking apart an unstable house with rotten foundations; cleaning this mess has demanded surgical precision and a philosopher's patience.

However, just cleaning, just removing, just abstaining is not enough. One can't well do a proper job on a empty stomach. So we need to put back in the things into the house which are right and sustainable. I've kept up my strength exercise and stretching--I actually feel its a pretty solid part of my life right now and I would like to even go further. My eating and cooking habits are fairly decent, rarely do I have anything unhealthy. I've kept up my guitar practice and keep on learning new songs. The activism stuff has been really rewarding, even though activity was for that dipping these past few months--except one major thing that recently took place. I feel things in my work are not going so well, and I wonder if the academic life-style is really for me. I enjoy the contents but I'm not sure if I can just do research and write all day. I really enjoy teaching, so I would rather pursue something in that direction for its own sake. One thing that hasn't been so good is that I've returned to video games on a more regular basis for the past 4 or so months, with some intense binges now and then. Most of the time it's an empty sense of entertainment, but even that is needed from time to time (however, I would want to just get rid of it altogether... man, I just don't know).

I am, though, struggling with a vision for the future. The years are slipping by and I can physically feel my mind slowing down. After gaming binges, I can feel my head aching, as if it's racing to keep up with itself. It never used to be like this before.

Most of this past month I've felt out of sorts, like I am not myself. And then I have moments, like today, when I am full of energy and purpose once again. Today I feel like an individual, seeing my actions as my own, feeling real in the world. What could I do to live a life of perpetual purpose? Can it be done? Would we be wrong to think that something like that can be done? Perhaps one just needs to realize that one already is, always, living a life of purpose, just not always directed inwards? Maybe the problem is a cycle of feeling bad then good then bad again, which is like a porn cycle just much less intensive?

So much of my life, particularly this last year I have felt as a survivor. Just trying to survive the day, the month, the situation. Make do with what I have, with the people I know, etc. But it's supremely draining. I feel I have no base, no place that is home where I can just let go and know I'm taken care of. There is my parents place, but there are things there that choke my soul. Still, it is likely the next frontier of the issues I need to deal with in my life.

EW: Thanks for those articles. I am working towards a PhD and I'm in the final stages of it, so quitting is not an option. It is extremely stressful business and it's up in the air now whether or not I continue after. I do find it very meaningful--the contents have really been part of my interest for a long time--the problem right now is more practical, getting a good work routine. Because of the pandemic, things have become vastly more isolating, but I'm attempting to remedy that via virtual meetings and such stuff. Not ideal, but better than nothing.

It's been about 365 days since I last PMO'd. Thanks everyone for checking in.
 

J01

Active Member
Awesome on the one year!  Hope you can focus on finishing the phd-roll up the sleeves and bear down on it and get on to the next stage! 
 

Wolfman

Member
Thanks jixu!

Oh man, my moods and inner life are so volatile these days. Sometimes I find myself stressing with no apparent reason. MO'ing has been occurring more frequently and I can't seem to just relax. Going home to parents next week and I'll be there for quite some time. It's always a mix of relief and dread. But concentration where I'm at now is at rock bottom--so I need to change things up. Somehow, for the next 6-7 months, I need serious discipline to pull this off. Discipline which I had before, but which was then fueled with regular intervals of PMO. That is not an option anymore. That's not my existence. And besides, it wasn't PMO that really gave me the energy but it was the people I had around me. I don't have these people anymore and due to the pandemic things have gotten so much harder, but I am doing stuff to mitigate this and it's working somewhat.

I realize (at least, it feels like it) that I'm not feeling like myself. Like I'm being tossed around by currents outside and apart of me. That my time isn't my own and that it feels like I'm just waiting, trying to get this or that task done, to move on etc. I have managed to do a few things that I feel are a genuine part of me: the weightlifting and playing guitar. Despite that, I generally have the feeling I don't know who I am anymore. I'm obsessed with this question. Who am I? What am I doing? Like, what am I actually doing in my day-to-day?

I want a life of meaning and purpose. I want to build something. But all these are just so vague right now. Maybe that's the issue. My goals are just not determinate enough, and that I don't have a clear path. But I do have my studies to finish and that is something very definite and real. It just feels like what I'm doing there isn't going to go anywhere, as the job market (even before the pandemic) was terrible. --But why do I bother? If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I didn't get into these studies for the sake of work anyhow; I got into it for the passion. And the passion is still there, just it's got a low fire right now.

Another thing that bugs me is that I've hardly written anything for my creative project. I think I got a good sense of who I was when I was doing that, but it's gotten side-lined and I've put all my worry unto the studies (and present anxieties).

I think also that everybody's got it hard right now. Literally everyone I know is going through some tough shit. Should maybe try to give more attention to others.

Maybe too much is going on. Maybe I need to slow down, rebuild routines, like I did last year when I was doing hard mode. Past strength can be a future source.

Anyhow, needed to rant. Needed to write. Thanks for checking in people.
 

J01

Active Member
"To Carthage Then I Came."  Your musings seem like book 5 of the confessions.  In a post a long time back you noted how a rereading of Augustine had not taken hold as it had in previous years. Maybe take a copy with you to the parents place-if you get hit with a heavy dark night of the soul maybe pull it out and give it another shot; throw in a Psalm or two for good measure. Keep working on the degree-push on, you can finish it off.   
 

Wolfman

Member
In the past month I've MO'd 3-4 times to pornographic images. It started with looking at escort sites for the idea of making something happen there, but then the pictures of the women just spoke to me so vividly and directly. In the last days I thought this would fade away, as it didn't pick up intensity for more than once a week. But today I did it again and I realized I was slipping back towards the desert. This desert with its lucious mirages. It's all fairly "vanilla" with girls in scant clothing, showing their nipples--no vidoes--but there's no gray zones here. I've failed and now I must learn what's gone wrong.

I knew already I had betrayed myself after the first few times and I hoped it would just go away. But wishing things to change in a situation that's basically the same is madness. I don't have willpower like. I know I don't.

So I asked myself. Why did I do it? Why after all the suffering, struggle and pain would I do it? The word 'relief' came to me. I needed relief from everything. Now I'm thinking I might've confused that with safety and rest.

The past month I've been home and since I have few friends here and I basically don't do any of the social activities I would otherwise have had, there's just been a lot of video gaming. But I think this is another trap. Maybe not as hard hitting as porn, but damn I can binge for hours and it leaves me tired. Physically it feels like my brain is slowly on fire. It's weird. This never happened to me before, when I was younger. But now it's like it becomes draining playing video games. I feel like everything I used to do before has just served to burn my life out into nothing.

Which leads me to another think. Do I just have an addictive personality? Am I obsessed with finding release, some great emotional high? Rationally, I try to not think about life this way. I try to be realistic, to just take the present as it comes, but it's so hard to stay with the present. Too many ghosts in the past and monsters in the future to really just be. Maybe I can't just be, so I shouldn't be trying--but then am I not admitting to saying being anxious and troubled is a good thing, in which case I am, and so there is no problem?

Apart from all this, the past month has been quite decent. I've been getting on well with my studies, which is my priority right now. I've gone on a few dates with this girl, but I feel like we don't connect on the spiritual level and so I don't want to pursue it. Maybe the fact that I am MO'ing is a bad indication that this is dating really isn't going nowhere, because I remember before when I was with someone I really liked, the first thing that dropped was any and all interest for porn--really, I didn't even need the resolve, it was all automatic.

I'm thinking I need to get my shit together and prepare for another 90 day hardmode.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.

jixu: thanks for the suggestion! I've found my Confessions by St. Augustine, but I've yet to flip to the section and actually read. I'll take a peak before I go to sleep tonight.
 

akpal2

Well-Known Member
sorry to hear that 1 year PMO free ended in a blaze.

I have also just started a new hard mode today. Or at least trying to start one.

I wish you luck in your new hard mode. FWIW I am also doing a PhD. It is stressful
 

Wolfman

Member
Thanks akpal. But whether it's PhD, the pandemic or some other tough situation, there is still no such thing as a good time or excuse to PMO. In a way, it is in adversity we come to learn just how serious we are about quitting this.

Strangely, I haven't felt let down too much or defeated. I sense I should be feeling a lot more anger and pain at transgressing, but I'm not. Maybe this is a good thing. There is little point chastising oneself. What's happened happened. Need to focus on what went wrong productively and make practical changes to meet that. Need also to be kind to myself; I don't fail because I wanted to and yet I must take responsibility for it. How would I treat myself if I was somebody's best friend?

Things with that girl seem to be over. We haven't communicated in 4-5 days now. I feel a little sad about that, but on the other hand in my mind this is the best way. We never 'clicked', and if I can't talk to someone meaningfully about the things that occupy me, well, even if the physical attraction is there (or because it is there), it feels like my being is split between an animal that just wants the carnal stuff and some ephemeral entity that longs for meaningful exchange. I'm not opposed to adventure, but it needs to be a little bit deeper. Otherwise, it's like I immolate myself because I cannot reconcile myself with who I am and what my body is doing. Woah, maybe this is overthinking--but as I said, we never 'clicked', so my actions have not sprung from an afterthought but from a starved moment.
 

akpal2

Well-Known Member
Wolman, I am on my 8th day of avoiding hypersexual thoughts. I am having a hard time concentrating on work. Now that I have resolved once again to let this beast go away, I am finding just how much time it took from my life and I am unsure how to use the free time available to me productively without relapsing. The inability to concentrate and focus due to (probably) withdrawal is leading to its own issues. I need to make progress in my phd and this withdrawal is definitely hurting me.

I hope you are coming along well after the brief relapse.
 

Wolfman

Member
I kept saying to myself I would return when I am ready. I'm not ready. I guess, in a sense, I never will be. Maybe I can become ready by returning.

Since the of last year the PMO has been intermittent. Sometimes I last 5 weeks, other times just a few days. But every time, I feel I get a little weaker, that my defenses break down and that I'm getting back on that path I tried to hard to escape.

I realized that when I broke my long streak that existence without this sublime bliss is not something I want for myself. I remembered how good it felt and that I want this goodness in my life. But--I don't want it like that. I don't want it in this crude instrumental way, but there just doesn't seem to have been another way for me--at least not something consistent.

I feel a little lost these days about this. On the one hand, I should get back into doing another 90 day hardmode to break the immediate impulses. But I struggle to have any vision of things after that. Some people advocate that it is better to go without masturbation (even without PMO) when you cannot find a partner. But I'm not even sure that's for me any longer. Over the past months I've thought about just many people dates on gone on and that how it's all virtually gone to nowhere. Maybe I'm just not cut out to be in a partnership. And yet, I'm drawn to be with someone, even if only for the sexual and romantic adventures. I would like to believe that I wanted something more stable and permanent, but if it hasn't happened yet--will it ever? The opportunities have been there, but I was usually the one breaking it off.

On the other hand, studies are incredibly stressful right now. I don't feel like I'm doing enough and yet I never have time. This stuff is such a danger: the stress softens me up and makes me vulnerable, but it doesn't alter the fact of just how damaging this P stuff is. But I know this, I've preached about it in this very thread and still it's like I forget myself, I forget the fighter I used to be, the hunger I had to become someone else, a better "me".

I try to look back at the situation for the past four or so months. Perhaps, apart from the stress, I really haven't had a friend. I haven't, apart from my brother once, shared with anyone my recent setbacks, or even how I'm struggling in general. Maybe I should start there. Share this shit with someone. For now, I share it here.

Thanks guys for checking in.
 

Wolfman

Member
A lot of revolutions of late.

On Saturday I crashed hard. Spent hours watching P and then PMO'ing twice that day. Whatever my previous shakiness, I could no longer ignore this as now a serious problem. But I still didn't have conviction. The conviction that I had before where I absolutely wanted to rid myself of this thing. I felt that if I didn't have this conviction lying at the base of my actions, I wouldn't be able to resist meaningfully in the long term.

What held back the conviction was that there is something in P that I don't seem to be able to access anywhere else. I don't know if it's how the brain has gotten wired over the years, the bad luck(?) I've had with relationships, or an illusion of another sort. But the the experience was an unparalleled sense of bliss - how can I go on living denying myself this (irrespective of whether it comes from P or not).

I didn't feel as broken down as before, when I first started this journal. I felt pretty helpless on Saturday, but not the rock-bottom helplessness of nearly two years ago. But the problem was serious. What do I do? How do I find the motivation? The strength to truly deal with this? I felt that I cannot make things worse for myself only to get to rock-bottom again. To go to rock-bottom voluntarily seems like a betrayal of my former self; as I if can just activate that state of being mechanically as some sort of switch or technique, to then "fix myself". What was felt back then was existential hopelessness no-one should want to willingly seek out. And to seek it out would be to ridicule that past experience, as something habitual. It seems wrong on so many levels. Lastly, there is no guarantee, if I hit rock bottom, or find a new bottom, that is by itself no guarantee that things will by themselves turns around. Why then does this thinking persist in assuming there is a guarantee. This whole way of thinking about the situation needs to go: I can't go lower in order to higher. I already have that built into me.

So to attack this issue, I different tack is needed. I wrote this out on Saturday evening.

There is no cure. No complete treatment for porn. All there is, is work and the principle - one's own determination to be free.

There will never be a day when I am free from it without letting my guard down. I will always have to work against it, always fight and always endure. Always toil and always fail. Always making it a big deal even when it no longer is. Always feeling like it doesn't matter, like it doesn't change anything, like I am basically the same person as before, only worse off, perhaps enjoying less. Perhaps being less.

Is there honour in this? Is there self-respect? I know from the outside how damaging this is to me, but this is not the view from inside. From the inside I find some otherwordly sense of freedom and bliss, and I have to say no, never, to this.

I don't know if I will experience this elsewhere. Perhaps I won't. It may never be ever experienced, and even what I experienced is but a shadow of the real thing. But haven't so many things already become past. All we can really do is begin new things, to do poetry with the world. Touch things truly with your mind, it is all working to be free.

I need the hunger again, to starve myself. But to do that, I need the faith. Only faith can carry me through--that is the principle. The source-principle.

What I'm trying to do, I think, is to scout out just what it is I envision in the end-state of all of this, or basically the future. Maybe I had an idea that I could get off PMO for a time and then that would be it, like taking some certificate. You did the thing, now you can "move on". But maybe that was too naive. Maybe it's a never-ending battle that'll always be there for me. So I imagine the worst case scenario of being PMO-free: that nothing much actually changes, that I would only exclude a number of "wonderful" things, in short a net negative. Do I still want this? What could possibly motivate me? There doesn't seem to be a good prospect, so what is rational in taking this path willingly? How can I get the conviction, or faith, that I need through this bleak vision?

One of the issues I've had of late is that I can't seem to relax or find fun in doing stupid things. Work has been so intense that everything else in life seems just like frustration or a lower-quality sense of being. Where I have this sense of forward momentum in my work, other areas of life don't offer the same kind of quality. I've come to expect quality relaxing, quality fun, in addition to the quality work. And so I avoid series, video games and such stuff, and what do I do? I fall right back into P. How stupid is that? I avoid the apparently "stupid" things only to do the dumbest sh*t of them all. In my reflexions after the PMOs on Saturday, one of the first things was to see this stupidity and to start by forcing myself to include basic relaxing things out of, if nothing else, duty. Because I was royally shook up, I thought it would be good to revisit an old favorite and just watch that as part entertainment and part inspiration. I watched the first Rocky film that evening and I took note of a few new things.

One of the great things about the hero in these films is that it's not about being the strongest, the smartest, throw the mightiest punches, but how much sh*t you can take, how many times you get knocked down and still be able to get up. The heroic thing is then not to avoid falling but in finding faith that you will get yourself seriously punished and in that very same scenario, know that you will have the strength to get up. On the night before the final fight, Rocky takes a walk and finds himself in despair. He knows he won't beat Apollo--there just isn't any chance in hell for him to do that. He lies down in bed and relays his inner conflict to his girlfriend Adrian. She listens to him patiently and then asks what he'll do. And here's, what I think, the stunning part: Rocky doesn't brush away his expectation that he can't win, this is a serious expectation calculated by him, and to think otherwise would be fantasy, but he instead finds another goal. Nobody has ever gone the distance with Apollo. He could be that guy, who takes the punishment and outlasts the fight. This becomes his conviction, his faith and his strength. And it defined the character in these series, the guy is literally hard like a rock! (No puns intended!)

So I'm thinking that given I can't win the fight against P--there will never be a situation where I am "completely over P"--what I can do is to "go the distance with P". Where then is my conviction coming from? From the very fact that this has become a problem and I have poured all my attention and thinking into it. Even if I can't spell out a definite idea that's guiding me, something *is* prompting me to take this seriously and work out a solution--even if no solution presents itself. If it wasn't an issue, I wouldn't have bothered so much as I did with the PMO's over the weekend (I would probably has been in the state of slight indifference which I was previously in these past months) -- but that just isn't factually the case. The conviction comes from the fact that I'm actually caring. This care which has forced me to recalibrate my visions of the future and find better and more robust strategies to deal with this--even to go into strategies that may not make much sense! So P-free state isn't promising much, I may not be better off--do I still want to try to deal with it? Yes, I must because I already am. There isn't really an option. There are no two paths here. The P *is* the problem; I cannot "unproblem" it. I'm already in the ring and the sooner I make that explicit the better I can deal with the punches as they come and be prepared to get up, however many times it needs to be done; however many times I fall, I'll stand up one more time. There's no situation where I'm knocked down so much that I can't raise myself, however slow that getting up may take.

So this is my weird, back-and-forth thought process about this. It may be that one day one can be "free of P", but that's just not the mentality that works for me right now. There's no vision that contains anything else than the situation I now find myself in, taking the beating--the urges, desires, etc.--and getting through it.

But for practical things. I'm still exercising. I had a great session yesterday where I worked upper body and then went for a long jog. I was totally drained by the end of the day. I also will take time and force myself to do stupid things for relaxing: watch series, play video games or some other thing. Because, at the end of the day, these waste-of-time things far outperform the dumbest thing of watching P.

So we'll see how things go. I should also try to check in here more often but not as a way of relaxing or when I have to much work to do elsewhere.

One last thing: with the new resolve comes new milestones. First things first, 90-day hardmode activated. Gotta get in shape to be able to "go the distance with P", and nothings better for that than a 90-day "montage". Thanks for checking in guys.

It's been 1 day since I PMO'd.

 

Wolfman

Member
Well, it's been an interesting first week.

On same day that I wrote my last entry here I was just shooting with euphoria and inner determination. I don't know if it was owing to the recent PMO or my newfound resolve, but my mind was in cloud nine. I was strolling through the streets and my head was just playing all motivational tunes that I know and bathing in a spiritual ecstasy. I didn't worry too much about where it came from, the important thing was that I fully identified with my resolve in this heightened state of joy. I was once told one should make one's most important decisions in life when one's joyful, since joy is the most expansive mind.

Anyhow, lots of work this week. I also stepped up my exercise routine to 3 per week. Having now done one week of that I'm feeling the drain that's putting on the body. But it's a good drain. I still need to figure out the right measure of sleep since just last night I slept well above 10 hours.

I also made sure to leave space for silly stuff and entertainment. Playing games or watching series. Just putting the brakes on myself.

I met up with friends. One who is my best friend in the area and I told her of my recent struggles, the return of an "old problem". I didn't have to spell it out to her, she understood what I was referring to. It was good to be able to tell someone in person. I also had messaged earlier to my brother (perhaps I should update him as well).

It's not been without sudden urges or flashes of P caressing my mind from times. But these have been mostly brief and I'm capable of shoving them away. More pressing was yesterday when I just couldn't go on working on my studies anymore. I didn't feel like doing anything. A little depressed actually. I tried going for a walk, getting a coffee from outdoors, having a slow morning, but it seemed my head just had reached a limit. Nothing to do then but just relax. There will be many more days like these--but they not be the majority of my days.

So the new balance seems to be working so far. I feel physically and mentally tired, but spiritually motivated.

Hardmode: 7 days.
 

Maglue

Active Member
Hey buddy...
I'm day 3 hardmode...

How old are you..

Message me sometime if you want to chat...

I'm on a new journey ... I had one relapse but I learnt heaps from it..

Let's get this
 

Wolfman

Member
Hey Maglue, thanks for visiting. I'm 31. Good luck with your hardmode!

...

The past few days have been rough. Yesterday I was really unmotivated and I had a hard time doing anything enjoyable. There was a work-meeting and I did find a bit of zest during that, but today the shadow was back and I couldn't find the motivation to get on with my studies. It was very easy for my mind to think about P as a way of respite and encouragement, but I tried to brush these images away. Maybe I just need to go on an extended break. So today I decided I'd just go out, climb a nearby hill and go wander in the forest. It was exhausting to climb the many stairs of the hill, but once atop I ate an apple and just lay my face down in the warm, spring sun. When I got back to my home I added a little workout with some dumbbells to allow my upper body to expend some energy. I feel so much better now. Being outside in nature reminds me that I'm not the only thing that exists.

I feel that a bit of motivation is returning, but I'm not gonna push it -- or, maybe this evening, we can see -- I'll give it anyway a fresh start tomorrow morning.

Anyhow, I thought about what are the important things that have worked for me, and seem to (hopefully) be working right now. I realize that some of the stuff I did before only got me to a point and that some recent adjustments had to be made. So allow me to put into a formalized list. Maybe this will be helpful for someone out there. Or just helpful for myself to organize my thoughts further. Starting with what is, I think, most important.

Of course, it goes without saying that sees PMO or P as a problem and one admits to oneself as much. This I take to be a pre-condition for the "list" below, which is meant to be the path of dealing with the problem, once it's been identified as such.

1. Faith / conviction: the only times it's ever worked for me to stop for any meaningful length of time is owing to a deep seated conviction that there is a necessity to this act of stopping PMO. This necessity has to infuse me completely, because if there remains a whisper of doubt, however small, the cracks will deepen and broaden and put the whole thing into jeopardy. And so, the necessity cannot therefore be too brittle, because cracks will occur. From failures and relapses to "milder" urges and temptations. One is constantly under attack. So the necessity has to be a living thing unto itself, not a mere static goal or a milestone far away, but a growing entity. This entity or necessity holds for me the power of who I can become, and who I am becoming--every step of the way.

As necessity it is like an authority, a sort of commandment coming from deep within me. A part of me is deeply suffering and part of this misery is because it is blind. Blind to life, to my surroundings, to the projects I could undertake, to the relationships I could form. A blindness I have shared in the dark cover of PMO. But all of these things are now only possibilities. I suppose this part of me would wish to be more in actuality. Not simply continue to trade one imagined scenario for the next. But become rooted in the here and now. Let the possibilities spring from what's actually around me, not rootless in my imagination.

I believe myself to be free and that's exactly why this entity needs to be something of necessity for me. I know, superficially, that I choose this. That I'm the one pressing the buttons. But this doesn't give the matter the urgency and seriousness it needs. And it's not like I'm willingly deceiving myself (or maybe I am, who knows), but there has to be this entity, the "place" where the problem first emerged, why it became painful and why I could even conceive of something other that it. I guess you could call this the "unconscious", but that would ring false, since it has a "voice" -- the imperative that is born seemingly out of nowhere amidst this sea of contingency. It has a kind of supernatural quality, because I can't see how it can be "natural" to deny pleasure and P, if we take the perspective of P as a "normal thing" (sidenote: so the issue is not P per say but the high-speed internet variant that has supersized P into something much more vicious, but for all intends and purposes for us here, P is mainly the high-speed internet one, so it makes little sense to speak of P as something apart from that. The difference is, as they say, academic.).

2. Practical change: P has co-opted so many things and ways of regulating ourselves into this single one-solution-for-all-problems, such that we may just be doing less than what we could've otherwise have done. The excitement, novelty, relaxation, etc. that P provided needs now to be provided by a plethora of different activities.  And this means changing up things practically. Put the conviction gained into objective terms, instead of being merely a concept, turn the necessity into concrete changes: exercise, start cooking (or cooking more interestingly), try to be more outgoing or welcoming of new people, try to learn new skills, activities, join a club. Take an interest in things. There is really so many things a human being could do. Even if it's a seemingly small thing as taking a walk just for the sake of it. It's crazy how much potential is locked in our minds but we just get distracted from enjoying our own basic sense of being alive.

For myself, exercise has been a big thing. I've recently increased it to three times a week. My cooking remains basic, but I rarely have any fast-food. I have not been sick for something like two years now. I still yearn for some new activities, especially where you can meet new people, but covid has made that hard. Oh well, we'll just have to get creative.

3. True rest: I noticed this when I lay down on the grass in the sunshine to the sound of only very few people chatting in the distance, that a real sense of rest and peace is hard to come by. Watching netflix or playing video games isn't really as restive as just taking the time to go somewhere to completely turn off. You feel a different kind of release (one I suspect PMO has also been co-opting).

I don't know to what extent this can be instituted as a regular habit. It seems also to do violence to habituate this sort of deep rest. Perhaps just check yourself from time to time. When you're feeling drained or depressed; go out and put yourself in a place you're not normally at but that's also peaceful.

OK, I initially thought I would just write down 5-6 easy bullet points but the first one got me going into some detail and I felt there was a lot there. I'll keep thinking about this and continue the list. There are a few more I have thought about that I haven't written up here but I feel like I've written enough for today. Thanks for checking in. I hope what I wrote here can be useful to someone--but bear in mind that this is how it seems to work for me--it may not therefore work for you. As much as we're all sharing and figuring things out here together--which is a genuinely amazing thing--we're also different, with different histories and backgrounds, hopes, dreams, expectations, etc. Stay self-critical!

Hardmode: 9 days.
 
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