Congrats on 4Day: 40
This is 4/9 toward my current abstinence challenge of 90 days.
This is also 1 month and 10 days into this recovery effort, building on previous streaks (139, 19, 53 [19, 35], 2, 14).
Today I hit my mini-goal of 40 days without P, PMO, MO, with no episodes of p-subs or edging.
I have only 5 more mini-goals to hit before reaching 90 days!
How do I feel?
I am feeling okay. I've been getting thoughts about using P, but I recognize them as the lower brain (limbic system) wanting its dopamine hits. I've also been feeling low libido, and am not sure why. It may be attributable to performance anxieity that my wife and I worked through the last time we made love, which is perhaps over 10 days ago. Sometimes I lie in bed, and I want to feel an erection, and I know I could if I encouraged it- but, I don't want to encourage it in a way that would compromise my current recovery efforts. I think it's a matter of time, when my wife and I have sex again, that I'll be ready to go. I don't think it's any kind of flatline, as I haven't had to deal with those issues, nor do I have PIED.
I'm not obsessive. I'm not white-knuckling, as my approach typically is not dependent entirely on will-power. I'm staying true to habit changes I've put in place, including a positive regular reading of my Focus Checklist, whether in whole or in a targeted way.
I'm almost half-way through my 90 day abstinent challenge, and I plan to celebrate that, too. Every little success deserves a celebration in this mother of a fight!
Deeper issues and concerns?
Making love to my wife is important for many reasons in the relationship, and we haven't for 2 weeks or more. This is a regular (or irregular) pattern for us, whereas I'd like sex to be about every week, at least. Last time was with performance anxiety on my part, as mentioned above.
I'll be possibly out of town when day 50 comes around, on our 27th wedding anniversary. So, I may post about it after the fact? We'll see.
The daughter began to project on me last week, and I didn't recognize it as such right away, and the episodes made me feel very angry and sad, until I saw what was going on. But she's better toward me now. At the time, that was a powerful emotional cue, but I sought to handle it mindfully, and not let it affect me as it did back in May.
I'm certainly in a better place, have traction, and intend to go the whole distance of this abstinence challenge. My concern would be, what if I feel nostalgia toward P, or have P-memories, or wish to revisit a video from the past? This happened last time toward the completion of my last abstinence challenge (of 120 days). But during that time, beginning in February, there was certain things on Youtube, innocent in themselves, but could be used in nefarious ways, that I think struck a deep cord in me while I was asleep, and that this, along with the P-nostalgia, led to my eventual P-use back on March 25th. So, my question to myself is this:
How can anyone say 'NO' to such pleasure??
But I have to ask again,
> Is the person who uses porn someone that my wife and daughter can be proud of?
> Am I willing to further damage my brain, its reward system, and hence real-world sexuality and pleasure for a quick rush?
> Do I want to miss out on the possibility of using my gifts and talents to help others, and fulfill the God-given destiny that I have?
> Don't I want to be an authentic version of myself that I can feel proud of, and without being a fraud?
> Don't I want to feel clean, pure and good about myself?
> Having a clean conscience, don't I wish to live life in freedom from this, and enjoy all the opportunities that will come my way?
> After all these years, don't I want to finally be done with this thing? Can I truly anticipate a life without P, PMO, and MO?
Again, it's imperative to utilize AVRT (Addictive Voice Recognition Technique) and see any thoughts on future P-use as lower brain activity, even what we may call the 'beast-brain', and not give it what it wants...
You are so true about once you relapse its harder to get back on track. In April I did a 20 day streak of no pmo and relapsed since then i have been going in circles only reaching a maximum of 7 days without another relapse. I feel I am finally ready to break this cycle and I want to take this all the way this time. Today is day 3 and I am driven to make it. It's time to get my life back and be the person I want to beIt's definitely harder to replicate the streak once you relapse. I've seen it happen too many times (with me and others, I've never had the same longer streak back to back). I'm not sure exactly when my best streak happened (25 days) but it took me more than a month, maybe 2 months to get back to 25 (fortunately, I've surpassed that). I think the more you go without porn, the easier it gets to say no. But one wrong step can always mess everything up, that's why we can't lose the focus, we can't get relaxed now thinking it's over. This shit is not over.