Thinking of @TakeActionNow and his recent comment that "The power to change comes from replacement. Just as we cannot exist within a vacuum, pleasure abstinence cannot exist without suitable replacement." Today was a day where there were a couple of times where little bits of pleasure came out of nowhere. If you are feeling down, think back to some times you have not thought of in a while. Some good instances from your past. They can make you smile.
It has been a good couple of days. One aspect of that has been taking the time to reach out and re-connect with people that I had not been in touch with for a long time. These are people that had been close to me or ones that I had more connected relationships with in the past ... whether that be through work or other friendships. The holidays provide a nice reason to check in and see how they are doing. Just another way of working on real relationships compared to the fantasy connections we have made through porn.
Thinking a lot about being proactive vs reactive. Especially being proactive in actions I want to take compared to reacting to what happens around me or to me. Winter seems to make that a little more challenging as being proactive for me often involves getting out to do something. Still doing well.
Following up on the post a couple of days ago on Harpoon's thread ... I've got a list of 4 actions I try to keep in mind in an effort to more proactive vs reactive during each day.
The first is Play ... doing something that brings me joy. Knowing I need to find other things that generate some dopamine in a positive way.
The second is Create ... doing something using my mind to make something new. It may just be cooking a meal from scratch or writing something. I'm thinking of getting a guitar. I played ... or tried to play ... an instrument in school when I was younger. The idea of engaging my mind to do something positive.
Speaking of engaging ... the third is Engage. This addiction can be very isolating. I know it is a part of it that I really struggle with. So I try to make an effort to really engage with others each day. It may be in person or it may be by phone, text or other means. Again ... something that generates some dopamine in a positive way.
The fourth is Let Go. I can put out all of the effort I have in the first three but there will always be negative things that happen. So I try to finish each day thinking about what I can control and what I can't. Not doing this was a huge issue in my prior work. I tried soooooo hard to control what was happening, yet I had very little control on a lot of the decisions being made. This led to all sorts of behavior to soothe and escape.
And in case anyone was wondering, I added the tortoise pic as a reminder to be slow and steady ... or as noted in the change to the title thread "Measured and Balanced".
31 days done ... one day at a time.
I hope everyone has a successful day today ... that will make it a happy holiday!
It has been a strange couple of days. Noticed a cough starting later on Christmas that had added congestion and some aches by Monday. Did take a test to confirm it is not covid ... but feeling pretty blah and tired for the moment. The other strange part was a dream on Sunday night that started as a travel dream ... a place that I had visited a few years ago and am going back to later next month. Then part way through it became a sex dream based on some of the porn I had watched a few months ago ... but it was still set in the place I had traveled to. Let's just say I was really aroused as I woke up. Let it go ... but had not had something like that happen before.
Finally feeling a bit better. I'm certainly experiencing and remembering more dreams lately. Not any more sex dreams like the one from the other night but seemingly a change in sleep patterns. Am curious to see where this will go. Can't comment yet on how I am feeling after sleep as I have a cold all this week which has led to other changes. No wine or other alcohol this week as I try to get over the cold. Also, I have not been out walking. So will be interesting to see how next week goes. Weather still looks ugly so may be stuck inside for a while longer.
It's been a weird few days. Feeling better but still have a nagging cough that has not gone away. Already had a doctor's appt scheduled for a physical/annual wellness check. This was the first appt with a new doctor as I moved to a new area earlier last year. Most of the appt was fine but he did say it was time for some medication to help with something I knew was likely coming. This was a more pointed response/action that I have received in the past. I need to apply the measured and balanced approach I have used here to a few more aspects of my life.
Just want to say I really appreciate being able to read all the other threads here. While there is a big common denominator for all of us here, each of our situations are different in a lot of ways. It is good to be able to read about the different challenges and approaches that we try and use.
Yesterday was one of those good days where it was filled with activity and engagement. Between playing golf with some friends and then making dinner for my aunt and uncle who live nearby, I was able to look back at the day and realize there are lots of reasons not to soothe or escape through PMO.
Just checking in. It was a good week of staying busy. Three main thoughts came up during the week. First, the seasonality of winter doldrums probably makes this process more difficult. Not as much daylight, fewer opportunities to be outdoors can make the process of engagement with others more difficult. Second, the thought taking hold that after 50+ days of no PMO, it can actually be a long-term change in behavior. The challenging times are always in the moment, some kind of trigger; however, being able to look back at 50+ days reminds me it can be done. Third, this is the essential first step, but then there will be a point of making that contact, meeting someone and starting the process of real intimacy that will be different than how I had experienced it in the past. Lots of thoughts ... but reminding myself to be the tortoise ... measured and balanced.