How Shall We Escape?

JerryTX

Active Member
Phineas

Again I have got encouragement by reading your journal.  This is a tough battle for sure and I'm only at Day 10.  I have gone months before but never kicked this addiction.  I feel determined to do so. 

You should check out Craig Groeschel's book Winning the War on your mind.  It has been great along with his recent sermon on Quitting Porn.  www.life.church.tv 

Good luck and keep up the fight.  1 Corinthians 10:12-13
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, Jerry!

I'm so grateful that you're finding encouragement in my journal.

Yes, never give up! And I appreciate your determination to end this for good!

Thank you for the link, I'll check out that sermon- I'm sure it's good... Yes, so much of this is of the mind- but also of the science of habit. Quitting the habit is one thing, but killing the 'idea' of porn in our heart and mind is often quite another battle, perhaps more important.

Indeed, great reference from Paul!

 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Old Man Duplicitous (an obituary)

Old Man Duplicitous,

Never again will you sneak out to the living room when all are asleep, to click through the cable T.V. channels for a quick hit, a quick fix: 'Girls Gone Wild' or phone-sex infomercials.

Never again will you cruise Central looking for prostitutes, to voyeuristically stalk them, talk to them, just to get a glimpse.

Never again will you visit porno book stores (x6) sitting in that lonely booth, facing the lying screen, "I missed you!"

Never again will you call 1-900 numbers, just to hear their tantalizing advertisements!

Old Man Duplicitous,

Gone are the days when you waited for your family to fall asleep while traveling, to click through the channels, hoping to 'stumble' onto a porn-channel.

Gone are the days where the end all was to be alone in a motel room, with endless access to porn.

Gone are the days dreaming that you had unfettered access to to porn videos.

Gone are the days when a sports arena meant for others family fun, but for you endless opportunities to lust!

Gone are the days when any public venue was akin to a meat market!

Gone are the days when walking a trail was spent looking for discarded porno-mags, or regretting recent failures!

Gone are the days of diving into a porno book store's garbage bin, hoping to find discarded pornography!

Gone are the days of perusing the wife's woman magazines, just to lust after the female advertisements!

Old Man Duplicitous,

Your lies and double-life are over! No more sneaking about. No more hiding, fearful of being discovered. No more deleting histories, cookies, or covering your trail.

No more pretending to be normal, pretending to have it all together, when all the while a dragon lurked in the background.

Old Man Duplicitous!

No longer are you kept on life support through p-subs and edging, I pull the plug!

Your death sentence is carried out, an old rugged cross where you've been judged.

My rebirth, as a phoenix from the flames, occurred in Christ's glorious resurrection.

Old Man Duplicitous, R.I.P.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Day: 20

This is 2/9 toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.

This is also 2 weeks, and 6 days into this recovery effort, building on previous streaks (139, 19).

Today I hit my goal of 20 days without P, PMO, MO, and without P-Subs or edging.

I have only 7 more mini-goals to hit before reaching 90 days!

How do I feel?

I feel 0 urges toward P, PMO, or MO. I had a sexual reaction to something I had seen (no peeking, no p-subs), but took it as a natural reaction, something to be dismissed as nothing more.

There has not been any real temptations, and nothing that even creeps up close to it. There has been only the minimal time I've allowed myself on social media, when I get up in the morning and before bed. My posting and overall time on FB has markedly decreased since November. I still have a presence (and expression of ministry), but it's like the AI is 'begging' me to come back, lol...

I feel clean and happy, and that I'm on solid ground regarding my recovery efforts. But, this is no call for complacency, nor for hyper-vigilance.

I also beat what was a strange perceived limitation with the amount of 19 days..., because it was that many days after my 120 day goal was reached that I lapsed to P, MO. And, during my consequent 30 day probationary period, I lapsed again (to MO) after another 19 days. So, I feel good that I've now 'officially' passed that strange threshold.

Deeper Issues and concerns?

Our household has seen a roller coaster of emotional challenges as our daughter is soon graduating, and there's no shortage of drama. But I am learning how to be an adult, and control my emotions when my teenager obviously can't.

I am navigating some other issues regarding my long time friendship, and seeing a role for it in my life, albeit unconventional. But I've decided that my emotional health and well-being is greatly benefitted with that one in my life, and detrimental in their absence. No fault.

A main driver of the former addiction is a deep rooted need for intimacy, and this need cannot be met entirely by my loved ones... There's an inadequacy even on my wifes part, perhaps due to our own relational challenges, to meet these needs. But, in my paradigm, we are after all spiritual beings who are supposed to be connected to God. So my focus has been a deepening of this spiritual connection as the answer for my deeper emotional needs, while also strengthening, deepening my human connections.

Peace.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
It should be noted, I'm currently tracking a general abstinence challenge of 90 days which includes everything, P, MO, PMO.

In that regard, the above 20+ days are strictly in reference to MO, whereas I'm actually 41 days without P, or PMO.

I don't like to use multiple counters, and in a sense, I'm not. However, I decided to not disregard that it's been more days since actual P has been seen, going back to March 25, 2021. And actually, the MO at that time was after P was viewed. So, really, I could track all 3 categories, but this doesn't serve my purposes currently.

But this could all be in a sense a moot point, that although actual P was not seen since March 25th, there were p-subs (visual and auditory) used during the lapse of April 13th.

The overall streak currently tracked will thus include everything, but it will also be important to track P and MO separately at least for now. These will be more loosely tracked, or updated only on an occasional basis once I complete this abstinence challenge.

Blessings.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Tuesday all hell broke loose in our home, and this involves our 18 year old daughter. There was fighting between her and I, and this escalated on her part where she is currently absent from the home...

More can be said about that, but needless to say, it was a very upsetting and emotional time for all involved. My heart is heavy, and has been since. My wife was away from the home for most of the day and into the night on Tuesday.

While I was very upset, I did my best to work through these emotions throughout the day, and into the night. I found other ways of calming down, going on a walk, journaling, watching the news, deep breathing exercises, and just sitting outside in the cool evening breeze while drinking coffee.

Later on, while watching T.V. (I was waiting to pick up my wife, and it was getting late into the night), I did sense in myself a desire, more of a need to look up something sexy to watch, like p-subs. I noted this feeling, and navigated away from any dangerous or risky videos or channels, and diverted my attention with innocent viewing.

But I noticed that, while I didn't see a direct causal relation, a very similar episode with my daughter occurred in late February [not tracked in this, but only in my hard journal]. I struggled somewhat with p-subs during that time. This may have contributed to an ambivalence toward P-use, and strange need for emotional connection that were present in early March, even as I celebrated my 120 days abstinence challenge.

I note this now to remind myself that, while old cues are changing and don't seem to affect me as before, there are still correlating events and emotional stresses that cause deeper longings on an emotional level which still yearn for p-use, or p-subs to substitute for normal human affection or connection.

Or, it is simply me trying to find normalcy and tranquility through the old behaviors I used to depend on before.... But now I'm forced to reach for other ways of coping with life. The little things that used to cue me don't, but there are still a couple of issues occurring in my life that present stresses that put my abstinence to the test. This is, however, what this current abstinence challenge is intended to do, better develop deeper coping strategies. But they must come naturally, and not be some kind of contrivance.

Be well, all.
 
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J01

Active Member
Sorry to hear what you are going through. Try not to go full nuclear on your daughter if there are lesser options. This is way up there on the stress chart. Hope you can navigate clearly through the storm. Nice move coming on here and doing some venting and reflection. You are indeed being tested. Seek His mercy.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Sorry to hear what you are going through. Try not to go full nuclear on your daughter if there are lesser options. This is way up there on the stress chart. Hope you can navigate clearly through the storm. Nice move coming on here and doing some venting and reflection. You are indeed being tested. Seek His mercy.

Thank you, Jixu... Good to see you.

It was a very upsetting episode which, if I could have better listened, rather than trying to fix (something very thoughtless and reactive she did), things might have turned out different. Although, I can't blame myself for the actions that followed, as they were her own decisions.

But it is indeed a storm, and I do sense a susceptibility that I normally don't sense. It seems even with many stressful situations that used to send me toward acting out with p-subs or worse, I can now easily weather. So for this to affect me in that way tells me that there are deeper emotional or inner cues that are occurring.

Yes, great advice, and timely. In a matter of days (between today and next week?) I'll be seeing her, and will have to layout some ground rules- or, at least demand that she not foster a volatile situation in our home- and she may take our fight as an excuse to turn things around on me. So these things will have to be carefully navigated, and I'm not the best communicator, as I'd like to think.

Thank you for your prayers, should the Lord lay this on your heart.
 

EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
Hi, Phineas.

My first thought with what you shared that came up was control. Do you want to control your daughter? Or do you want to give her space to figure stuff on her own?

I am seeing a big improvement in my relationships when I stopped projecting my own expectations onto others. Like how my mother is suppose to act etc. Obviously healthy boundaries must be set.

But at the end of the day I can only be responsible for my own emotions and thoughts.

Imho this guy has some good ideas:


I can't find the exact link to one of his videos. But he talked about how instead of saying something like "You are always late" or whatever... you say something like "When you came home late I was worried something might have happened to you". He talked about this:


Hope you will find it useful.

Wish you well and to have a good relationships with your daughter. Obviously every relationships has some ups and down. Hopefully incidents like this can be used to improve the relationships not make it sour.

EW
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
EW, thank you for coming by my journal.

I appreciate what you're saying, and I know for most of us 'recovering narcissists', control is a big thing. In this case, however, I kind of wish it were something so typical as that. But, no, it wasn't so much that I wanted- or generally want to- control my daughter. I've always given her the wings and the space to fly. She always knew her boundaries, and generally respects those, but we've always encouraged her to express herself, and find her freedom.

Your words, however, are not without application here. The thing that erupted in our home, without giving away too sensitive of data, was something that she did in response to her seeing someone at her school that she didn't want to. Her response was very reactive and impulsive, and could have set a lot of negative things in motion.

The ensuing chaos in our home was a result of me wanting to get ahead of what she set in motion, and so, there's the control factor. What I should have done was to listen more, stay calm, consequences be damned. I think I would've been a better parent had I done that, instead...

As things stand now, she's back home (which there was a question that she may not be able to until after the weekend), so grateful that her mom and I have her for Mother's Day. Things between us seem calm and placid for right now, and I'm seeking simply to be supportive of her. Much of what occurred stems from a traumatic event in her life that was outside of our immediate ability to prevent... So, for her right now- and for us- it's all about healing.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Tracking... In response to deep and complex emtional challenges of late, there's a part of me reaching out for some normalcy- to self-medicate in order to bring stability, comfort, and equanimity in the wake of what have been above board chaotic and painful emotions and turmoil.

Yesterday (yes, on Mother's Day!), at a restaurant, I made a connection with a waitress who served us. This was something non-verbal, we made eye-contact, and she reciprocated my appreciation of her beauty and elegance. This was nothing done overtly, nor disrespectfully. It was nothing that was outside of my typical dealings with females, perhaps, but maybe there was that added need fueling our interaction? As I paid the ticket, I discovered her name, called her by name in order to give her payment, and the connection continued, albeit amicable and slightly platonic, nothing more.

However, this started a thing: I searched her on FB (didn't find her- she's out of town), not that I would've necessarily started 'a thing' with her. Curiosity, continued to want connection, intimacy, in general. Saw on another's profile a liked page that contained a picture which caused urges...

Later on, there was a continuation of acting on this with p-subs and edging.

I'm not surprised mostly, other than to say that the stresses of life lately are far greater than anything I've become accustomed to, with the ability to handle stressful moments in general. Things that used to 'trigger' me or cue me, no longer do. However, relationship issues occurring on two fronts are a challenge.

Last night, after I did edge for a little while, there were also some p-subs involved previously, I turned over and went to sleep. I didn't continue into late hours, I left my phone in my office to charge, and didn't get it again (it might have become p-use at that point).

I come here for self-accountability, and that it beats isolation, which is perhaps a driver of these former habits, anyway.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Day: 30

This is 3/9 toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days, or we can also say 1/3 through.

This is also 1 month, or 4 weeks and 2 days into this recovery effort, building on previous streaks (139, 19).

Today I hit my goal of 30 days without MO, but with 2x episodes of p-subs and edging. Though this is also 50 days without P, or PMO.

I have only 6 more mini-goals to hit before reaching 90 days!

How do I feel?

I feel that things are normalizing for me, that equanimity, and along with that, control is being regained. I do still feel somewhat vulnerable or weak toward former behaviors, particularly edging, though p-subs are no longer a temptation at the moment. I am careful to monitor my behaviors, that if I saved something, followed someone, etc- if I did so to simply not obsess about it- (that is a particular strategy of mine to offset obsessing) to go back and cut any possibility of revisiting or repeating.

It's a strange place, and weaker than I've felt in a while. But at the same time I'm careful to not get legalistic with myself, judgmental, or entertain shame. I have to keep or sharpen focus, but to do so without falling into either of those traps. But I do also feel hopeful that I've not lapsed further, and have not taken these things too far.

Deeper issues and concerns?

My daughter graduated yesterday, and though it was a stressful day in many regards, it was also hopeful and celebratory. I think our relationship is normalizing for the most part, and we're connecting emotionally. I will continue to build on our previous progress, despite the recent- what could be seen as- set back.

On another front, I decided (again) to discontinue my friendship with my former co-worker, which was non-romantic, but still a secret from the wife. This is a difficult challenge, as it was one of the reasons that began my full blown relapse back in March of 2020, along with the lockdowns related to the pandemic. This time it feels more natural, as there seems to be no desire to continue on my part- and that one doesn't pursue me either. We're not enemies, we may have been the best of friends, but I just can't continue for several reasons. I will probably miss that one eventually- but it does seem easier this time around.

I continue on, hopeful and with renewed vigor toward abstaining from addictive behaviors that threaten all I hold dear. I also have intentions to, not only abstain and break habit patterns, but to also heal from the brokenness of past traumas, and to become more fulfilled and intimate as a person.
 
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Gabe Deem

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
I continue on, hopeful and with renewed vigor toward abstaining from those addictive behaviors that threaten all I hold dear. I also have intentions to, not only abstain and break habit patterns, but to also heal on ever deepening levels concerning the brokenness and past traumas, and to become more fulfilled and intimate as a person in my all relationships.
Congrats on your progress, Phineas! I enjoy reading your reflections and life lessons as you navigate this broken world. You're a great man. Thanks for being here and for being an inspiration to others.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Congrats on your progress, Phineas! I enjoy reading your reflections and life lessons as you navigate this broken world. You're a great man. Thanks for being here and for being an inspiration to others.

Thank you so much, Gabe! I'm so grateful that you take the time to support and encourage, and visit lonely ol' journals like mine!

You continue to be an invaluable resource in this journey.

Blessings!
 
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Chris Oz

Well-Known Member
Awesome progress Phineas!

Congrats to your daughter. And as far as your detachment from your coworker leads to improvement in your life with addiction and family, then you can rest in the fact that you're doing the right thing.

Keep pushing back
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Congrats to your daughter. And as far as your detachment from your coworker leads to improvement in your life with addiction and family, then you can rest in the fact that you're doing the right thing.

Thank you, Chris. It's not always easy to see this, but all things considered, you're right.

Blessings.
 

JerryTX

Active Member
Phineas,
Just catching up and it sounds like you have been through a rough spell but have come out of it. Lot's of similarities between us... Son graduates next week... hasn't lived with us since June of 2020--Long story but mutually agreed upon as we moved to TX and he was miserable during COVID and moved back to our home state to finish HS. He graduates next Friday! Anyway all of these emotions like you mentioned do play a part in the struggle. Keep up the fight and more importantly the journaling and sharing as with yours and others we all find solace and comfort knowing we are not alone. Praying for you and the family!
 
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