How Shall We Escape?

marco_60

Active Member
Orbiter is right, 120 days for you, Phineas is arriving, but even more important is what will happen after this achievement :) ! You are nearer than me to get free and to eventually experience sex again without any fear of failing...
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Orbiter is right, 120 days for you, Phineas is arriving, but even more important is what will happen after this achievement :) ! You are nearer than me to get free and to eventually experience sex again without any fear of failing...

Thank you, Marco60!

After previous (and even lengthy) 'streaks' compared to now, I know that the 120 days goal is not some magical date (no matter how spiritual the number itself may be). True, I am experiencing the benefits of going so long without P, PMO, and MO, but I know that this time is different:

I know that for the rest of my life I will have to be vigilant and careful with my sexuality, knowing that if I feed into old behaviors, I will only resensitize the previous neural pathways of the addiction, and one can find themselves right back where they started (or ended up). This isn't due to the nonsense that once-an-addict-always-an-addict, but because of human nature and the power of habit.

So this time period is training. How I'm able to make it this far, how I'm able to abstain now for 111 days, and to the eventual 120 days is the same way that I will continue beyond this end goal, and simply live my life- with new habits in place of the old.

As for experiencing sex again, I've been blessed enough to not have had PIED, DE or ED. Any failures in the bedroom, while porn was a background cause, were all performance anxiety related. But along that front, my rewiring is with a real woman, my wife. But a big part of this, while obviously physical (instead of pixelated), is emotional for me. I still feel asexual toward her, most nights. But I strive to have sex with her at least once a week. Our sex overall has definitely improved, and we are having sex more often (before, it was once or twice a month!).

So we can say that I'm certainly rewiring along emotional and spiritual lines with her.
 

marco_60

Active Member
Phineas 808 said:
I still feel asexual toward her, most nights. But I strive to have sex with her at least once a week. Our sex overall has definitely improved, and we are having sex more often (before, it was once or twice a month!).

I have similar feelings towards my partner, P808. This contributes to create a performance anxiety, which however disappears when we are together. However, different from you, I have a serious DE, which I never had when I got orgasm through PM. I am convinced it is only a different form of performance anxiety.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Interesting, Marco.

I may have experienced DE once (?), but not sure. It being another form of performance anxiety sounds true... For me, I'll make sure she O's first, that way I can take my time, and 'get mine'. If it's a matter of going at the same time (O), then perhaps that can be true...

Seeing how different we 'perform' in front of a screen versus real life definitely places the blame for our problems in the bed room where they belong (on P-use), right?
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Day 112!

This is 14/15 toward my overall goal of 120 days.

This is also 3 months and 20 days or 16 weeks into this recovery effort.

Today I hit my goal of 112 days without P, PMO, MO, and without P-Subs or edging.

I have only 1 more mini-goal to hit before reaching my 120 days! This is only 8 days away!

How do I feel?

Yes, I am excited! I plan to celebrate with a long cigar and a big bottle of beer! It doesn't sound like much, but it's how I kind of ruminate and take in the good things God's doing in my life.

My libido is good, and- when we do have sex (my goal is at least 1x a week), it's good. I focus on the tactile, on simply being present in the moment, and enjoying her. She usually initiates it, but I think I prefer it that way. Sometimes, deep in the night, I'll initiate it.

I typically don't think about the former habits, except when I'm on this forum. Yes, I'll remember as I practice my new habits surrounding iPhone use, or interact on social media, but throughout the day, it's not on my mind.

Deeper issues or concerns?

Social media still remains a place to be wary, to be mindful and on purpose, as I interact or simply entertain myself. I still get algorithmic suggestions that sometimes hit me spot-on toward certain tastes. I know when to mindfully set my phone aside or change the pc screen, take deep breaths, be sure I'm in the moment (not fight-or-flight), and assess what my next step should be. 'Next step' because of how I've hacked into this habit, I know what will lead into obsessive thinking, or what will demystify a profile, etc, so that I can more easily dismiss it. This also reminds me that I'm in control- whether I stand or fall- and not an outward stimuli. This is said in the context that I'm already making decisions that don't put me in dangerous places, where I simply act according to old patterns of behavior.

Much of my decisions is a refusal to be legalistic with myself, too, for the reasons stated above. For me, doing a scorched earth approach only leaves one in a white-knuckling, nail-biting place where it's only a matter of time before a lapse, because they've so disempowered themselves, and given too much power to outward (or emotional) stimuli.

In the spirit of extinction therapy, I'd rather desensitize those neural pathways by non-response, or at least a different response, rather than the fight-or-flight that breathes life into this monster.

This takes me deeper, particularly as a believer- though I think we can all find ways to apply what I'm about to say. What is needed for me now is a more deeper repentance. A heartfelt change of attitude toward pornography, p-subs, masturbation and edging that is an actual hatred of it. We may hate P/MO, but maybe only because we'll get caught by our wife, or lose our job, or it makes our noodle not work anymore. But can we hate this for its own sake? Can we hate this thing for what it is in itself? We may not like it, but morality comes into play here- at least for myself.

Care must be taken as I've been given such a chance to change, to be different to (as Joe Panic recently put it), to be the man that doesn't use porn.

Just as in the moment of temptation, between cue and response, there's that sweet spot, that sacred space where we can make a better choice, a better decision, so too is this moment. Between my old habits, decades old patterns of behavior, and my future with all its dreams fulfilled, is the sweet spot, this sacred space of (what will be) 120 days. Can I not now make a better choice for my future? I have this 'breather', I can- and plan to- take full advantage of that to be as I am now:

I am a man that does not use pornography.

...that does not worship himself (like an idol) through autoeroticism.

...that respects women, and not take advantage of them.

...that is not a predator, always on the take.

...that is in control of himself, online and in public.

...that is a man under grace, holy as He is holy.

I am forgiven of all my sins, past-present-and future!
 
 

LetItGoAlready

Active Member
What is needed for me now is a more deeper repentance. A heartfelt change of attitude toward pornography, p-subs, masturbation and edging that is an actual hatred of it. We may hate P/MO, but maybe only because we'll get caught by our wife, or lose our job, or it makes our noodle not work anymore. But can we hate this for its own sake? Can we hate this thing for what it is in itself? We may not like it, but morality comes into play here- at least for myself.

Big congrats on getting to - what is it - Day 117 now? Almost there! I too have come to believe that a change in attitude is needed to truly leave this habit behind. Along with understanding the purpose it has served in your life, it's also important to try and see the behavior from an outside perspective - a difficult thing to do when you're caught up in an addictive spiral. Even with some time and distance away from the behavior, I still have mixed feelings about P/MO myself. I want to hate it whole-heartedly but that "deeper repentance" as you say has been hard to summon. Here's hoping you'll get that point in your recovery soon. Take care, friend!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Thank you, LIGA!

I appreciate your support since November when I rejoined! I am confident I will find that change of heart, deep down. While I may not need to watch 'how to' videos on quitting these unwanted behaviors, I am certainly continuing to watch the 'why' porn or PMO are bad for you, or are intrinsically bad or evil, from a more moral and ethical standpoint.

I am about to write an update! I'll see you around RN, and look forward to your own success stories, as I'm sure you're chalking them up.

Take care, as well.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Day 120!

Having hit my overall goal (made up of 15 8-day mini-goals), I no longer have to count days!

This is also 4 months of this recovery effort.

Today I hit my overall goal of 120 days without P, PMO, MO, and with only minimal episodes of P-Subs or edging.

I was able to abstain, all without using support groups (besides RN), accountability partners, 12-Step programs, porn blockers, or porn filters.

Analysis of my 120 Day Abstinence Challenge:

Originally in Reboot Nation I had hit 120 days (Journal: The End of All Flesh) back in March of 2015, six years ago! But the overall goal didn't feel genuine, as at day 75 I began to lapse with P-Subs and edging, and felt my goal was compromised.

But, I hit other lengthy streaks after this, as noted in my page 1.

Before rejoining Reboot Nation, I had been escalating in my porn use in frequency and more hardcore. I also began going for PMO, and not simply P. I was averaging about 1-2x a week, with a continuous feed of P-Subs in between acting out sessions.

I began to count days again, as that helped me to be more focused and serious about quitting. But my results varied, as I averaged about every 8 days, sometimes every 6 days before lapsing. The most I could do was a stint of 34 days back on October 31, 2020. Then, afterward, back down to 6. This was a failed attempt to hit 120 days.

After rejoining Reboot Nation, I had a more earnest and diligent approach. I targeted my social media usage: IG, FB, YT, and deleted entirely Pinterest. I also changed my relationship to the iPhone in general, the habits surrounding it, even if innocent on the surface. These mini-habit changes helped me immensley toward my overall habit change goals.

Mostly, I put it out of my mind, and followed pretty much everything listed in my 16 Principles of Recovery as tried and true methods and mindsets that have helped me gain the most traction. These were hard won strategies gained through literally decades of trial-and-error.

My going for the low hanging fruit strategy of having mini-goals, 120 = 15 x 8, helped me also.   

Thoughts and impressions going forward:

My wife and family benefit from a more focused husband and father. My wife and I enjoy more frequent and more intimate sex, and more and more I'm able to focus 'in the moment' without relying on imagination to keep Ol' Willy engaged.

I have more focus on my dreams and goals, and am more excited about my future. I have hopes of fulfilling my dreams of spiritual ministry. I am able to focus on being fruitful in every area of my life.

There is, too, an indescribable joy of being free and unshackled by my former habits and/or addictions. I am no longer obsessive, no longer controlled by the drives of my lower brain. I am no longer keeping this beast in some secret ICU unit of my mind, on the drip-feed of P-subs or edging. Let it die, pull the plug already!

These 120 days have been training. So, this is not the end, but the beginning of a life without P, PMO, MO, P-Subs or Edging. I know how to handle situations. I am keeping my new habits toward phone and pc usage. I can entertain myself through social media, T.V. shows and music, without allowing them to cue me toward urges, or their fulfillment. And, if and when urges do come, I know how to surf these, and dismiss them.

I am excited and ready for a future pregnate with potential, even at my age. And in all vigilance, I aim to protect and deepen this new found lease on life!

Thank you, Gabe Deem, for all that you do (and for your support)!

Blessings, All!
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Wow Phineas - not only a tremendous accomplishment @ 120 days ... but all the hard earned lessons along the way that you are sharing are helpful beyond words.  Thanks for all you do! 
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
@ Orbiter ~

Thank you so much, Orbiter. Your support during this process has meant more than you may realize.


@ Nick Simons ~

Thank you, Nick! Welcome to my journal!

It's an honor if my posts and commentary are of help.
 

LetItGoAlready

Active Member
Way to go, Phin! You the Man!!!!

Originally in Reboot Nation I had hit 120 days (Journal: The End of All Flesh) back in March of 2015, six years ago! But the overall goal didn't feel genuine, as at day 75 I began to lapse with P-Subs and edging, and felt my goal was compromised.

Victory for you this time seems much sweeter.  So glad you were able to get 120 days without feeling like your goal was compromised. After all, it's not just about keeping the commitment and racking up days. The sincerity of the commitment matters also, and you have proven to yourself that you can go the distance with discipline and integrity.

That's huge. I'm so proud of you!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Way to go, Phin! You the Man!!!!

Victory for you this time seems much sweeter.  So glad you were able to get 120 days without feeling like your goal was compromised. After all, it's not just about keeping the commitment and racking up days. The sincerity of the commitment matters also, and you have proven to yourself that you can go the distance with discipline and integrity.

That's huge. I'm so proud of you!

Thank you so much, LIGA! There are truly but few who have been faithful in their support of my recent efforts, and you're certainly one of them!

Yes, that uncompromised feeling was so important this time around. As stated in a previous post, I wanted a more honest reboot, a recovery effort I can truly feel good about.

And it seems that things are falling into place in going forward. Just last night, in lieu of my victory, I seemed to be hit with deep emotional needs and longings for connection and intimacy. My mind did 'go there' in terms of what I could do (illicitly) to take care of this, but I employed my efforts to dismiss any urges.

But the thing that dawned on me, and forgive if I can't go too deep into it without coming off as hyper-spiritual (if that's a word), is that God is here to meet me for those deeper needs that yet remain. These deeper needs came like a tsunami, even as I celebrated my victory! And I knew in theory (and past experience) that God does indeed meet me in those needs, but it was made succinctly clear to me this morning what the way forward is going to look like.

And I'm very hopeful.
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Hey Phineas,

Just a quick note to say that your latest post re God being there to meet you resonated with me - although in a slightly different way.  I can honestly say that what has kept me going / picked me up the most after I have relapsed / binged (particularly over these last few years) is a strange sense of calmness and peace that God will be there to fully accept me - the good the bad and the ugly - after I crash and burn.  This has done tons to massively reduce my shame immediately afterwards and has helped me to shake off the dust and press on ... because I now believe / feel that he is totally on my side wanting to provide unconditional love as he sees and understands my painful struggle.  I see him not as wanting to punish me but rather as being there to 100% support me as I find my way out of my self-imposed darkness.  No judging, just a safe place to lay down my burdens and rest.

Thanks for your deep thoughts.   

 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Just a quick note to say that your latest post re God being there to meet you resonated with me - although in a slightly different way.  I can honestly say that what has kept me going / picked me up the most after I have relapsed / binged (particularly over these last few years) is a strange sense of calmness and peace that God will be there to fully accept me - the good the bad and the ugly - after I crash and burn.  This has done tons to massively reduce my shame immediately afterwards and has helped me to shake off the dust and press on ... because I now believe / feel that he is totally on my side wanting to provide unconditional love as he sees and understands my painful struggle.  I see him not as wanting to punish me but rather as being there to 100% support me as I find my way out of my self-imposed darkness.  No judging, just a safe place to lay down my burdens and rest.

Yes, Nick! This is what began to turn the tide for me, and flip shame on its head for me back in 2013: the radical grace of God!

This understanding that you mentioned is so important to my own recovery efforts, knowing that God has already forgiven me of all my sins, past-present-and future. Shame was a major driver of my addiction, and absolute grace was the cure.

Many think that to truly embrace grace is dangerous because people might think that they can sin without consequence, or that one is teaching that sin is no big deal. It can't be further from the truth! If anything, God's law is truly revealed as expressing what God fully expects of you and I as having been saved, as having been predestined to be that holy person He has seen us in Christ before the world began.

Does this make sense?
 

workinprogressUK

Well-Known Member
Phineas 808 said:
I am excited and ready for a future pregnate with potential, even at my age. And in all vigilance, I aim to protect and deepen this new found lease on life!

Congrats Phin. Sincerely. Wishing you every success for a fulfilled and happy future  :D
 

Nick Simons

Active Member
Hey Phineas,

Absolutely agree with your thoughts on acceptance, grace ... ultimately allowing us to let down the heavy burden of shame.  All interconnected ... and when you can start to let go of the shame, fear subsides and when that happens you start to turn the corner ... on a path of hope.  It's not an easy path but I think it is my path out of here.  Thanks for your thoughts and guidance. 
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
@ WIP UK ~

Thank you, brother!

Have to regain that fire, and apply it to bettering ourselves, not wasting all that creative energy!

@ Nick Simons ~

You're welcome, sir!

It's not an easy path but I think it is my path out of here.

Much, much easier given the alternative. If it is difficult, as it was for me in the beginning, it will get easier as you see and agree with that truth more and more.

This has helped me bounce back faster than anything else, accepting that forgivenss immediately, accepting that gift of righteousness.

Even in my prayer, instead of asking for forgiveness (which isn't wrong either), I simply say, "I thank you, Father, for forgiving me of this sin, also..." Then I proceed to ask for His strength, or align my words, my self-talk with what Scripture says about me as true...

Blessings.

 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Hi Phineas,

Hope you are continuing to enjoy the fruits of your hard-earnt victory against the forces of addiction. How has everything been going since? Have there been any surprise challenges on the other side of your 120 days goal?

Wishing you all the best!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Orbiter!

How has everything been going since? Have there been any surprise challenges on the other side of your 120 days goal?

It has now been a week since I hit my major or overall goal.

I continue to celebrate, but it was kind of weird. I was hit with strong emotional needs, I can say....? I was out in my backyard, smoking a cigar and having a beer (my little celebration), but was distracted with longings for emotional connection.

There were also nagging thoughts to use PMO, but no strong urges, really.

I continue to be vigilant about my social media use, and am just really applying my 120 days of training to real life.

I did connect with my wife the other night, and it was good for both of us.

So, other than navigating some internal and relational struggles, I'm doing pretty good. I have no regrets, and am grateful for the process of the past 4 months. I've created a space where real and lasting change can occur, and that's what I'm aiming for.

Thank you for reaching out, even as I was fading into people's distant memory, lol...!
 
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