I've finally stopped. Now to hold on. My story to recovery

imsorrynotsorry

Active Member
Hello Shade,

i think a hard mode for a couple of weeks helps to distance from PMO and sex in general. Just to pause that part of life for a while. Maybe an option to consider?

The intimacy part, i relate. My picture of me being intimate is or was wrong most part of my life. Intimacy for me know is to know what the partner wants and give this to him. On the other side, our partners do know it so much better? I guess not. Intimacy/sex in our western society is a bit messed up and hard to identify, in my personal opinion.

One step at a time, this is a process.

Imsor
 

SebUK

Active Member
ShadeTrenicin said:
So day 2, It's been a while since last run I was > 45 days I think. So let's reset everything and pretend I'm a newbie at this again.

Complacency has played a part in recent relapse I guess. I wrote that I needed the forum as a sort of extra. I still think that this is the case, however not being on the forum is also a sign of me not giving the addiction the much needed attention it requires. It's a chicken-egg paradox. But it's safe to say that the forum is a much needed tool in my current state of recovery. While i've been away i've not been at it alone. I've had contact with another member of this forum via other means of communication. This has helped a great deal in terms of accountability and discussion. I am deeply thankful for his time and energy.

What i've learned about myself is that my latest relapse did not have the negative impact i've expected it to have. I've been able to really accept it, rationalize it and forgive myself. This is really great, but also a really really really big pitfall; normalizing a relapse. This can be a huge gateway into relapsing more. The biggest challenge I am facing now is how to keep myself alert and active without a enforcing a negative enforcing like beating myself up or something like that. I think that self love and self forgiveness are key in dealing with any addiction. But how do you keep yourself constantly alert without being punishing?

I think this is the point that EarthWalker was trying to make in one of his previous posts in this thread and something that i've told other members on here as well; beating the addiction should be done for purely selfish reasons. 100%. Not for your partner, your family, but yourself.. To me this is where the self-love comes back into play again. If you really love yourself you will automatically find a way to keep off the addiction. It's the same when you choose an unhealthy dinner option in stead of a healthy one. When you choose to drink more than is good for you and feel the effects the next day. You know that these choises are not good for you on the longer term, but it's that short moment of instant substitute gratification.

I would dare to put it like this; If a person was fully content with himself and his current situation he would not feel the need for things that will have a negative impact on his well being.
If we over indulge in alcohol, drugs, food or porn, there is something within us that makes us unhappy. We use said things to compensate that feeling. And normally we know that it's not good for us and we pick ourselves up and limit that behaviour, but sometimes it will form into an addiction.

For me i've found out a little bit more about this. In talking with my wife and our therapist we've came to the conclusion that i've never experienced sex on an emotional level. I've developed this addiction before I've met my wife and my idea of sex was formed behind a webcam focused on the interaction I had with the girls on the other side. But it never was emotional. This has lead to me being distant in bed, not really wanting to be touched, closed for any pointers etc.  What i have been missing out on all these years was true intimacy with the person I love. It has developed to a point that I now have fear related feelings regarding to sex. Everything is new and opening up and being vulnerable scares me. This has been the reason why i've never intiated sex, listened to what she really wants or to enjoy sex as something fun.

That is the current situation for me; I am afraid of true intimacy but also really craving it. I am yearning for it. This is the part inside of me that is missing. This is the part that I'm trying to replace with porn.
This is a very insightful post and I can relate to it a lot.

I remember when I first started dating and having sex. It was all about the intimacy. Like 90% intimacy and being 'in love' and having butterflies and the 10% was the sex, which was exciting and I wanted it, but it was kind of a bonus. Then I had some bad breakups and I started building a wall, and I also started looking at porn. Then when I was with a girl, my priorities flipped around, sex became the goal and intimacy a kind of bonus. But the bar for achieving intimacy was high - I had built a very big wall to protect myself from being hurt again. Obviously this impacted the sex too - it became more mechanical and less satisfying for both parties.

So I think you sound a lot like me - you are afraid of true intimacy but also craving it. A shit situation to be in! But sounds like if you are at least aware of it, that is a good first step.

I also 100% agree about the self-harm part and using it to help us feel less unhappy.
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the replies guys!

@imsor, while im doing well the goal oriented approach of doing hardmode and or reaching x amounts of days is something i miss indeed.

@SebnZ thanks. I also completely resonate with the mechanical love making. Very similar indeed. Thanks for your imput


Today om ok but struggling. Hence me being on here for accountability.. I feel like my goals are to vague. I actually miss the reaching x amount of days. My problem i guess is that idd like it to be more goal oriented out of lazyness. While in fact it should be oriented out of a need to take care of myself. But i feel like the addiction is still to much present and too strong for the need to take care of myself because an urge lets me think that PMO IS taking care of myself while i fully know that its not.

 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Last two days have been quite okay. Ive been very busy with work and stuff around the house. On the one side this distracts but on the other side it leaves me in am unaware state because ive not beem standing still enough which i feel is critical in really knowing where my mind is at.
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Soooo.... I relapsed this afternoon. The wife was asleep and i was looking something up and 'it just happened'. Its exactly what ive described before. I was too busy to notice my emotions the pasy days /week. I could therefore not properly feel what was going on and therefore adress my issues and thus anticipate a relapse.

All the signs were there. Too tired after work to put energy in other things. More craving for substitutes (weed, bad food, more tv) neglecting my meditations. These are all telltale signs of the fact that something os bothering me. And because ive neglected the emotional side of things I do not speak my mind. So then things bottle up and couple that with fatigue and the whole circus of emotional avoidance and substitute gratification starts with PMO as the main and final act.

This relapse left me really empty, fragile and vulnerable. I told my wife and she was visibly shocked and emotional about it. Not in a negative way, she was very supportive. But still. It was an emotional moment for us and even now a couple of hours later I am still raw.

So now what..  I knpw all the tools are here.. I know the end goal. Bit I am really struggling with the psrt between day 0 and day 365. I feel lost. I know that st the first days I jist hsve to approach it one day at a time. Mayne that is a nice approach in generel; trest each day as a fresh day. Renew the vows of a porn free life every single day.

This is DAY 0
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Day 2.

Yesterday was a shitty day in terms of emotions. I was low on energy and not in a good place. And while the day started out great, somehow it slowly descended towards a negative demeanor..
I still do not know exactly what has happened but I felt as if I was without a goal/guidance.

This same feeling made me have a small urge towards PMO just now until a work contact called me and forced me back into my focus for work and all thoughts of PMO were gone.  Although I am aware of this mental mechanism, it is important that I have actively witnessed it.  I think in all the times that I've relapsed and PMO'd before admitting I had an addiction, this 'boredom' was a big part of the trigger. Even if I do have stuff to do but my mind looses focus there is mental space for me to allow thoughts of PMO. 

So halfway through day 2 and I think I am doing well today.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
I would describe the 'boredom' personally as a distinct form of 'idleness'. I wonder how much of this is a product of life & daily circumstances and the other intentionally putting ourselves into this state so we can unconsciously 'slip back' into relapse.

I think the issue of balance comes into this.

Being too idle = Relapse
Being too busy = Get worn down & exhausted, become too idle and then relapse

It's such a frustrating cycle and more so because I don't think there's any simple, fool proof solutions like leaving the phone outside the room or whatever for this. Every day is different, every situation of 'idleness' or temptation is unique and I think we need to do a self-check every day, not just of triggers but of our overall well being.

Was I more hungry today?
Have I had too much to drink today?
Am I feeling tired today?
Is there something or someone frustrating me today?

Listening to ourselves, being aware of these problems and addressing them as best we can as soon as we can BEFORE they wear us down into idleness is probably a habit we could all stand to build (addiction or no addiction).
 

SebUK

Active Member
Orbiter said:
I would describe the 'boredom' personally as a distinct form of 'idleness'. I wonder how much of this is a product of life & daily circumstances and the other intentionally putting ourselves into this state so we can unconsciously 'slip back' into relapse.
I tend to agree with this. Boredom is in a way an excuse to relapse. "Nothing to do...except porn maybe?" is my typical thought pattern. But of course there is PLENTY to do, I just don't want to do it. Or more precisely, it doesn't give me the buzz and instant gratification porn does.

I'm fairly sure this is due to porn fucking up my/our dopamine/reward pathways, as per the YBOP literature.

Since I've stopped looking at porn, and stopped drinking coffee, I think my general motivation is slowly increasing. It is definitely not how it was pre-porn, but it's getting better.

One thing to think about Shade - what is your diet like? I cut down massively on sugar and cut coffee at the same time I stopped looking at porn. This may or may not be a factor in my success (so far), but I'm fairly confident it is. Sugar and caffeine both tend to f*ck with my energy levels and bouncing energy levels are what makes me feel 'bored' and feel like a relapse.

Another thing is your job. When I lived overseas, I used to have a job I hated. It was a massive trigger for a relapse. If I came home tired and stressed, and my wife (ex now) was not at home...recipe for disaster. Do you like your job? That could be something to consider.
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Hey Guys,

Today I'm at day 4 again and I'm doing well so far. Yesterday was better than day 2 and today I'm feeling quite okay!

Thanks for the response SebNZ and Orbiter.

@Orbiter
Orbiter said:
Being too idle = Relapse
Being too busy = Get worn down & exhausted, become too idle and then relapse

I do agree with this! And ill mention some more about being to busy (mindless) later on in my post.  But going further into what you mentioned here:
Orbiter said:
= think we need to do a self-check every day, not just of triggers but of our overall well being.

Was I more hungry today?
Have I had too much to drink today?
Am I feeling tired today?
Is there something or someone frustrating me today?

I would dare to go further because once a day is not enough in my opinion because several things happen throughout the day and not always at the same moments.

It was actually my wife who introduced the body/self check. When working together at home we are setting timers at regular intervals and at that allotted time we would do a quick check in to see how we are doing both mentally and physically. The goal was to improve the way we work (we both tend to get stressed up) and to recognize stress and take appropriate action. But this works for the addiction as well.

I think this is also an extension of (my) mindfulness meditations (which i still dont do every single day). So far i've noticed that because of the mindfulness meditation i am more able to recognize my feelings without judgement. Because I can do that I can also take action without emotion. More and more I am able to allow emotions to exist without the need to act on them. I'm far from mastering the skill but the improvement is noticeable.

While things like blockers, phones not being in the bedroom and stuff like that help. Ultimately I feel that the actual change needs to come from within. Personally I feel that mindfulness should be one of the first things that should be taught to addicts. What i notice is that some people are hesitant of mindfulness because it seems a bit vague and/or spiritual and untangeable.  But in essence it's quite straightforward, easily applicable and not spiritual at all. To me mindfulness is the ability to look at yourself calmly, objectively and compassionately (stepping back a little from disturbing thoughts and powerful impulses and emotions so that you can experience them without acting on them)

It's opposite, Mindlessness, to me is one of the things to overcome as an addict.

A quote from the book 'Rewire, change your brain by Richard 'O Connor, PhD. where I've underlined the part I wanted to share with you all;

If you don't know what mindfulness is, I'm sure you're familiar with it's opposite, mindlessness. Mindlessness is the state of being so preoccupied with the list of things we have to do that we realize we don't remember how we got from point A to point B. It means reacting without thinking, not being aware of the present, always preoccupied with the next thing on our list, irritable, rushed, emotionally unavailable, anxious , and depressed. Mindlessness usually means the conscious self is so overwhelmed with controlling our feelings (anxiety, anger, guilt) that it can't pay proper attention to the decisions we have to make. In our stressful world, all of us experience the mindless state at times. It's an easy pathway to self-destructive behaviour because it blinds us to consequences, makes us feel entitled  to a reward, or makes us feel so stressed out that we need a tension reliever. Mindlessness is based on the desire to escape from anxiety and tension as quickly as possible. Mindfulness, on the other hand, means developing the ability to tolerate that anxiety and tension without being swept away.

SebNZ said:
One thing to think about Shade - what is your diet like? I cut down massively on sugar and cut coffee at the same time I stopped looking at porn. This may or may not be a factor in my success (so far), but I'm fairly confident it is. Sugar and caffeine both tend to f*ck with my energy levels and bouncing energy levels are what makes me feel 'bored' and feel like a relapse.

Another thing is your job. When I lived overseas, I used to have a job I hated. It was a massive trigger for a relapse. If I came home tired and stressed, and my wife (ex now) was not at home...recipe for disaster. Do you like your job? That could be something to consider.


@SebNZ,

My diet is way above average in general. Standard vegetarian with a daily intake of >400 gr of veggies, I focus on not consuming added sugars and we try to have our diet well balanced in fibers/proteines/fats.
However, there are two big butts (pun intended ;) ) I am a massive coffee-lover so I do drink way to much coffee. The second is that besides my very healthy diet, one of my instant gratifications is shitty food (fat/sugar, but mostly fatty) so my sugar intake can vary from day to day. This is something that I should control and for this i should reference myself back towards mindfulness...

Job is something i do absolutely like. Of course at times its rough, but that's the case with everything in life.


Thanks for reading guys
 
Hello Shade Trenician,

I see that you have had a rough bout these last few days. I hope that it changes for you.

With respect to your and your wife's implementation of set intervals to do a quick check I would suggest that you two can randomize it. Randomization has been proved to be more effective (though I cannot remember the particular study now) in terms of behavior change. The brain is opportunistic and it will learn the structure of the intervals and respond accordingly, namely you will only find yourself to be in check during those certain periods, other than that automaticity will take over. Randomizing the checks will break that down. Just a suggestion.

I personally have gone through much trouble in trying to become mindful, so much trouble. I don't think it is necessarily possible to be completely aware all the time, there will always be times where we don't make it. Much light reaching the speed of light. 95% of the way there is "obtainable", but every partial percent after that makes it highly improbable and requires tons more energy.

Wish you well!
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Hey beautywaytraveler,

thanks for that advice! I really like it and today we sort of already implemented it in a more natural way, so thanks!

Regarding the mindfulness, I do not pursue a fully aware state at all time. I am not a monk. However, I've been living mindless for the great majority of my life which has lead me to surpress things or not give attention to things. So becoming more aware is something that would greatly benefit me. Also mindfulness does allow me to better react to situations at times, it is a great tool but not a goal of life.

So today is day 5 and i'm feeling good. Yesterday I had an urge and there was intent but I was saved by the doorbell and then a discussion with the Mrs.

For the past 3 weeks i've been trying new medication for my ADHD, dexamphetamine instead of methylphenidate (ritalin) and the results are promising. With a lower dose I can focus really good but keep much more in check with my body and emotions. Plus I get a ton of work done. Finding the right dose is still tricky because to much can also make me somewhat detached because I can get so caught up in work that I forget everything else. I only need it for work and that's why I had so much trouble with ritalin because it made me an emotional zombie. But the new dexamphetamine really does not have that effect. So I am happy because work is much more efficient and I am still the same happy jump around guy I used to be without medication. Plus I save a ton of energy!



See y'all tomorrow hoping that the orange man is no more
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi Shade,

Mindfulness can be tough for us at the best of times but i'd imagine maintaining calm & focus would be even more so battling ADHD as well. Do you feel this? Do you think there are times where it impacts your life & PMO addiction more than usual? Dexamphetamine sounds like a positive step if through it you can find both focus as well as maintain an emotional sensitivity & awareness, which is where I feel is a pitfall of a lot of people i've known who have certain conditions that require medication.

Congratulations on the five days and taking control of those temptations! Hopefully the last few days have been rewarding & successful for you.

Wishing you and Mrs Trenicin well!

EDIT: Grammar
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Hi guys,

Thanks for your post Orbiter! It sometimes is more difficult, but I don't see the ADHD as a battle anymore. I've seen it like that for a long time but I am glad that I have moved past that phase. To me it's something that is a part of me and that for certain situations I need to take extra care and sometimes medication. But that is mainly for work because that is were I need my medication in order to keep up.

Today is day 5 once more, had a relapse last weekend but i've crawled back on the horse once more. Also i've had a great conversation with my accountability partner last tuesday and those talks always give me that extra boost. The same with the forum might I add.

The plan we've came up with is to reach inauguration day without PMO-ing in a friendly competitive way. We try to mention each day if we've moved toward recovery or relapse and if the other person fails to checkin for 2 days we will contact eachother for accountability sake. This does help and we've been at it like this for a while now.
So today for me is day 5 and inauguration day will be someting like 70 - 75 days! Seems like a fair goal to me.
Also, the approach is to live each day as it comes and focus on awareness and recognizing early triggers (increased alcohol intake, decreased accountability effort, taking short-cuts, stuff like that) To me/us it seems like those signals are early warning signs that a relapse is very likely to happen withing the following days if no appropriate action is taken.


Will keep everyone updated
 

J01

Active Member
Impressed by your commitment, thought processes, and attitude.  I myself have been dangling in the single digits a bit lately-let's keep going, we can do this bro!
 

SebUK

Active Member
ShadeTrenicin said:
Today is day 5 once more, had a relapse last weekend but i've crawled back on the horse once more. Also i've had a great conversation with my accountability partner last tuesday and those talks always give me that extra boost. The same with the forum might I add.
I agree; posting on the forum gives me a nice little boost.

Did you figure out what caused your last relapse?
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
How's things going on the journey to inauguration day? Any updates? How's the daily self-checks & awareness techniques going?

Wishing you well Shade, stay strong!
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
jixu said:
Impressed by your commitment, thought processes, and attitude.  I myself have been dangling in the single digits a bit lately-let's keep going, we can do this bro!

Hey Jixu, Like you i've also had a couple of setbacks after my double digit streak. I feel like it drags you to a new low. But that low is also an inspiration to get going again. At a certain point it just makes you detest P so much that you're clear of it for a while. The pitfal of this is that we shouldn't rely on those low feelings. However, like me you've done 60+ days as well so we can do it again!

SebNZ said:
Did you figure out what caused your last relapse?

Hey SebNZ, I've been avoiding my feelings. I've not outed my feelings. I've not paid attention to my body. In short i've failed to address my emotions and so they bottle up and the old defence mechanism kicks in; P. This is something i've written earlier about, the early tells of a relapse. When I stop standing still, paying attention, talking less to my wife and my sleep worsens I can say that a relapse is eminent.

Orbiter said:
How's things going on the journey to inauguration day? Any updates? How's the daily self-checks & awareness techniques going?

Wishing you well Shade, stay strong!

Hey Buddy, thanks for checking in.


All is going well actually, 'celebrated' the first week (today is actually day 10) clean in our inauguration day challenge yesterday with my accountability partner. In all honesty I've got three solid factors helping me out right now; 1. The Mrs. 2. UKGuy, my accountability partner, 3, this forum. Other than that the low that I've described in my response to SebNZ is something i've felt after my last relapse. It made me sick to my stomach in such a way that I have yet to have an urge. So all is well actually. Busy as fuck with work and the Mrs. The reality is that after 7 months the Mrs. is still at home only being able to work 2 hours a day. So she's applied to go to a rehabilitation clinic to get help with her Covid recovery. There are many unknowns at this point and the medical system here is quite overloaded in such a way that we've been waiting to go to the pulmonogist (is that how you spell it? In any case; lung doctor). That's why we've taken the step to go to the rehabilitation clinic. There she will get medical, physical, and psychological help. So for the coming time I've put all extra things on hold because there is a great chance that I will have to drive her to and from the clinic a couple of days a week, work, cook, and do the laundry. I don't mind doing it really, but it's going to be tough. But, in the end it will help my wife and that is all that I want.


On a more 'positive' note; I've found a themesong / anthem for us porn addicts; it can be a great lighthearted encouragement for us not to relapse!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh4tHpUflDA

I can only hear him sing:

Relapse; don't do it
When you want to go to it
Relapse; don't do it
When you want to come
Relapse; don't do it
When you want to come
When you want to come

All in favour of making this our anthem?


Thanks for reading guys
 

stepbystep

Active Member
Congrats on day 10! That?s really great. How did you find your accountability partner? Do you converse on phone or on the forum?
 

ShadeTrenicin

Well-Known Member
Thanks SbS,

My accountability partner is someone on who's thread I've been responding on the forum and he on my thread and through the incidental personal messages we found that we tend to have the same take on things. During difficult times we've offered additional help outside of the forum and we've taken each other up on that. So every now and then we have a video chat and almost on a daily basis we converse via whatsapp. I am very grateful to have him as my accountability partner because we provide support, accountability and also friendship.

Today is day 11. The urges are beginning to come back. I do feel strong in letting them be and accepting them without acting on them. I am in a bit of a danger zone though, haven't slept well in a while and I've noticed the increase in more and more fatty food. This is an early tell for me. Also the phone has crept back in my room the past 3 days. So, it's time for some action.
First of all just writing my post on here and being aware, no more phone in the bedroom and meditation.

That's it for today!





 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Sounds like everything is going great! Having an accountability partner seems to be giving you a renewed focus.

Congratulations on escaping the single digits! Hopefully I will be able to join you there sometime soon.
 
Top