How Shall We Escape?

Porn is in my opinion one of the hardest addictions to quit if not the hardest. Maybe alcohol and cigarettes can fit a little bit in this category of hard to quit because of how often you can find yourself in places where they are used by people but I still believe that porn because of its nature to hijack a very important role that we have (keeping the species from disappearing) could be the hardest of them all. And also soft porn can be found nowadays everywhere you look (I even saw some picture on a bottle of rubbing alcohol at work). There is no doubt that the temptation to use is so strong. Porn subs are probably our biggest problem because of how much they exist in a spectrum where they are not called softcore pornography. All this shit has become normal and we have a hard time dealing with it. It didn't take long for me when I was 14 to "figure out" that I could medicate myself with porn. Once you enter this "comfort zone" it's not easy to get out. But I like how you don't escalate like me. I very rarely stop. I should probably start praying too. I don't want to be handed the escape, I want the wisdom and strength to make it happen myself. I want to feel that I'm not lost anymore when it comes to this thing and I think I'm on something but I'm missing something at the same time, I don't know what, and I'm one step behind the escape. Anyway, man, I feel you can make it, you are further ahead and more in control than me. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Thank you, Escape. It can be 'touch-and-go' (no pun intended) at times, and even anticipatory toward full on using. But I'm addressing it through various means as discussed above.

Porn subs are probably our biggest problem because of how much they exist in a spectrum where they are not called softcore pornography.

That's it. And in the past, I've given up on a streak because of feeling like, what's the difference between p-subs and P/MO? When I rejoined RN last November, it was with seriously saying 'No' to p-subs, and I didn't edge much back then either. This gave me a 'cleaner' feeling reboot or recovery. But for now I'm going for the win, and seeing that my not crossing that line is a sign of self-control. So also is my stopping whatever it is I started acting out on, shows self-control.

I should probably start praying too. I don't want to be handed the escape, I want the wisdom and strength to make it happen myself. I want to feel that I'm not lost anymore when it comes to this thing and I think I'm on something but I'm missing something at the same time, I don't know what, and I'm one step behind the escape.

Yes, prayer couldn't hurt! It can shift dependence from ourselves to God, when He often proves stronger than we are anyway.

You will find what works for you, Escape! When I give you different things that have worked for me, or whatever you read that's helpful, other methods exist too, that I haven't even mentioned yet, all these things are different approaches that one has to make their own. That's what I did, back in 2014 -16 is study the science behind addiction (not just porn), and all kinds of ways to approach it, looking for that 'hack'.

I've made all the things I've learned my own, and know what works and what doesn't work for me. You will do the same. No one can hand it to you, all we can do is share. It's up to you to pick up whatever tool or method and apply it, make it your own. If something doesn't fit, chuck it, or shelve it, until it makes sense for your situation.

Just never give up, and always try something different to beat this thing.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Glad you're here, Phineas 808 - I need some good support right now and this site is giving it to me.

I'll continue to stay strong and with the help of this community I do believe I'll keep winning the battle.

Thank you, Guitar! You will keep winning the battle, and you've already won in so many ways.

I know your struggles as you described them in your journal (to which I've responded), and in a lot of ways, I'm literally in that same place to a degree. Hopefully, from the nitty-gritty, and at times less than perfect skirmishes, you can find inspiration for your own struggles.

No matter what, always keep the bigger picture in mind, as we seek to train our brains and hearts to embrace the 'new normal' of living without these unwanted behaviors.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Thank you, Guitar! You will keep winning the battle, and you've already won in so many ways.

I know your struggles as you described them in your journal (to which I've responded), and in a lot of ways, I'm literally in that same place to a degree. Hopefully, from the nitty-gritty, and at times less than perfect skirmishes, you can find inspiration for your own struggles.

No matter what, always keep the bigger picture in mind, as we seek to train our brains and hearts to embrace the 'new normal' of living without these unwanted behaviors.
Yes. I've surrendered to the fact that it will be a life long commitment to stay away from it. It's not something that will just heal itself. I'm hoping the need fades and that I restore some of my function with normal sexual encounters. That is the goal. I may be able to heal some of those issues, but I'm sure I'll have to keep fighting the fight against the addiction.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Yes. I've surrendered to the fact that it will be a life long commitment to stay away from it. It's not something that will just heal itself. I'm hoping the need fades and that I restore some of my function with normal sexual encounters. That is the goal. I may be able to heal some of those issues, but I'm sure I'll have to keep fighting the fight against the addiction.

Same for me. It's an area where I'll have to be diligent about for the rest of my life. This doesn't mean a constant state of white-knuckling, as I mostly come into a place of peace and equanimity, and am not constantly pining away for porn.

But I do also have my moments (semi-often lately) where I'm thinking about it, entertaining the idea, and even acting out to varying degrees (orange-line behaviors) toward it. It's kind of scary. But this place will change for me eventually: either I'll full on lapse, and reset to 0, which will at least give me a 'fresh start', or through repetitious denial, or dismissing the urges, the urges and their rationalizations/emotions will subside.

Of course the first possibility is true, but more than likely it wouldn't just be the 'one-off', but a strong pull to repeat the behavior will keep me from just establishing a lengthy streak right away... (nature of the beast). The second possibility is of course more desirable.

The need will fade for you, Guitar. Keep on Keep'n on, as they used to say. Eventually, the neural pathways through lack of use, will subside and all but deaden. Neuroplasticity is your salvation. The brain will change, rewire, reboot, and your reward center will be acclimated toward sex in the real world, with real human beings. Touch, smell, sight, hearing, will all be geared toward real women, and not pixalized images.

Be blessed!
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
I want to make a brief entry regarding an apparent ambivalence toward using.

It seems like I'm being wishy-washy, or making compromises, or not caring about my recovery at the moment. While this is possible, I want to say that this is not the case.

I'm recognizing that there's two parts of the brain that explain this: the lower limbic system, where these urges and addictive voice come from, and the cerebral cortex, our thinking and judgment center, where the 'better part' of us wants to do the right thing, the healthy choices.

I'm currently 134 days without any P, PMO, or MO (-1), still, even with my latest struggles.

I feel good, even though I had thoughts of using a while ago (home alone), but I didn't act on them, no strong urges to act on them. I'm continuing on, and am actually in line to beat my longest streak on here (139 days), which I will report on next week- and the Lord is willing.

Be strong, everyone. Dismiss the urges.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
I want to make a brief entry regarding an apparent ambivalence toward using.

It seems like I'm being wishy-washy, or making compromises, or not caring about my recovery at the moment. While this is possible, I want to say that this is not the case.

I'm recognizing that there's two parts of the brain that explain this: the lower limbic system, where these urges and addictive voice come from, and the cerebral cortex, our thinking and judgment center, where the 'better part' of us wants to do the right thing, the healthy choices.

I'm currently 134 days without any P, PMO, or MO (-1), still, even with my latest struggles.

I feel good, even though I had thoughts of using a while ago (home alone), but I didn't act on them, no strong urges to act on them. I'm continuing on, and am actually in line to beat my longest streak on here (139 days), which I will report on next week- and the Lord is willing.

Be strong, everyone. Dismiss the urges.

I don't perceive it as an ambivalence personally, more that you've reached the point where you're perhaps working out how exactly to move from 'i'm one hundred and something days clean' towards 'I don't use P and honestly can't remember or even think of the last time I had an uncontrollable urge to'.

For something to be sustainable in the long run, we need to be accountable but reasonable with ourselves about how we manage & dismiss urges right? Perfectionism and an all-or-nothing mentality can often be little more than a thinly disguised excuse to give up and give in. I guess at this stage accountability for you might be more about recognising if this is a 'once off' that was managed or is becoming a pattern of behavour that needs to be more seriously addressed. Beyond that, perhaps laying down the final blows on some of those troublesome cues might be the additional priority as well? (weekends alone, social media etc.)

You're in territory that is uncharted for me so I there's only so much I can say but I do see where you're going with this. Stay vigilant & stay accountable for your actions but do keep up the great work Phineas!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Good stuff, man! Discipline is the thing. Building a discipline for breaking the repetitive habit that is this thing.

Thank you, Escape! This is true, and it plays out for me even now. Something as simple as getting ready in the morning, where I used to look at my iPhone prior to getting in the shower- while sitting on 'the throne'. Instead now, it's been my discipline for a while now to read a book instead.

Even with my latest bouts with p-subs, etc, centering around social media, when I get ready in the morning and my phone is still in my hand, I'm like, "What? I don't bring my phone with me when I get ready...", then I'll leave it behind.

In that way, the line is clear for me- if I'm acting out, I'm acting out, but discipline has definitely helped me offset bad habits with better ones.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I don't perceive it as an ambivalence personally, more that you've reached the point where you're perhaps working out how exactly to move from 'i'm one hundred and something days clean' towards 'I don't use P and honestly can't remember or even think of the last time I had an uncontrollable urge to'.

For something to be sustainable in the long run, we need to be accountable but reasonable with ourselves about how we manage & dismiss urges right? Perfectionism and an all-or-nothing mentality can often be little more than a thinly disguised excuse to give up and give in. I guess at this stage accountability for you might be more about recognising if this is a 'once off' that was managed or is becoming a pattern of behavour that needs to be more seriously addressed. Beyond that, perhaps laying down the final blows on some of those troublesome cues might be the additional priority as well? (weekends alone, social media etc.)

You're in territory that is uncharted for me so I there's only so much I can say but I do see where you're going with this. Stay vigilant & stay accountable for your actions but do keep up the great work Phineas!

Thank you, Orbiter! That's exactly right- not an ambivalence as such, but being in that space after hitting my abstinence challenge goals, and wondering where to go from here- as one who doesn't use P, PMO, or MO.

There are also some additional dynamics going on: my relation to RN, how to relate as someone who comes by to help (as I'm not deleting my account as before), and not someone who 'needs' to come on here- though I may need to..., if that makes sense.

Again, there were habits being established (via repetition) toward p-subs and edging. I have and focus on addressing social media usage, and dismissing urges. Currently for a few nights back, this has not been an issue for me. Or, if I've had urges, I successfully dismissed them.

Yes, accountability: first toward myself. If I can't be true to myself, everything else is a lie.

Thank you for your support, brother.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I updated and added a couple more principles to an earlier post, and reposted it in the 'Porn Addiction' forum:

18 Principles of Recovery

I rearranged a couple of principles (better prioritizing them), as well as making a couple of more principles, including a new #1!

This post is timely for me personally, as it helps me to focus or refocus on what's important going forward, even after hitting my latest goals.

Come check it out, and show it some love.
 
I updated and added a couple more principles to an earlier post, and reposted it in the 'Porn Addiction' forum:

18 Principles of Recovery

I rearranged a couple of principles (better prioritizing them), as well as making a couple of more principles, including a new #1!

This post is timely for me personally, as it helps me to focus or refocus on what's important going forward, even after hitting my latest goals.

Come check it out, and show it some love.
Keep up the good work with the 18 principles. They are helpful for us.
 
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