How Shall We Escape?

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Good luck and I agree we must move forward focusing on the future and not the past. This week has been stressful and extremely busy and will continue through next week for me. I have had little urges/etc due to I have had little time.. But like you mentioned above it is amazing how you can go from none to all of a sudden the P demon is staring you in the face!!! I have been focusing on what is called the 1st 15. That is the first 15 minutes of my day are spent in the Bible and Prayer. Funny thing is sometimes I just "check the box" to get this done but when I go to it with intent and purpose it's amazing how GOD speaks to me. This sets my day up for success and creates a mindset. Happy December RN and praying for this site.

I really like this post JerryTX. Though not a religious man myself and I may be somewhat missing your point here, I have being doing a wake up exercise & meditation routine before I do literally anything else. I do this almost every morning and it also takes around 15 or 20 minutes. I just wake up that much earlier to fit it in.

This morning was honestly a textbook 'check the box' situation but it is still amazing to me with even just 'checking the box' how something like this first thing in the morning can completely change your day. It really 'sets up the day', prepares, focuses and puts you into a much better mindset for dealing with even the more difficult parts of the day.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I have been focusing on what is called the 1st 15. That is the first 15 minutes of my day are spent in the Bible and Prayer. Funny thing is sometimes I just "check the box" to get this done but when I go to it with intent and purpose it's amazing how GOD speaks to me. This sets my day up for success and creates a mindset.

As I wrote on your journal, Jerry, great strategy!

This early time in the morning, whether one is praying or meditating, reading or writing (in a hard journal), this 'me-time' is essential for starting out establishing who we really are, who we intend to be for the day, for our life.

I agree, and praying before reading the Bible is important for those who do. To ask for our heart to be prepared to receive the word of the Lord sets us up for a time of personal revelation and divine guidance.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Phineas, you're doing great, brother! I'm happy to see that you are finally on the right track after so many years. Keep up the good work in December!

Thank you for the encouragement, brother! This far in, I still need that brother-in-arms to support and encourage. Your own efforts will be strengthened and focused as you focus on others- I know that to be true for myself.

Blessings!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
It really 'sets up the day', prepares, focuses and puts you into a much better mindset for dealing with even the more difficult parts of the day.

I wrote my response to Jerry here before reading what you wrote here, Orbiter. But it's perfect that you 'greet the day' the way you are, and with intent, as Jerry said, your day (and progress) can only benefit!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I know that I'm not closely counting days, but I do track my lapses and check-in occassionally to record streaks. This helps me to stay focused, and it is a little way to celebrate current abstinence.

In that regard I realized yesterday that I'm actually still counting back to June 3rd! How you say...? Here's the breakdown so far from latest lapses to now:

PMO > 183 days

P > 26 days

MO > 5 days

Mind you, I'd rather have just a straight count, "one counter" as it were. But to be fair to oneself, this kind of breakdown can help to assess what's really going on... The fact that, on November 7th, I didn't PMO, or take it (P) farther than I did, was itself a miracle. In fact, I kind of got bored with it. I would say that my streak from June 3rd on has helped me in that critical moment to not go further...

Nonetheless, to continue on this current streak to be totally clean from everything is what I want, and so the MO count is important regarding this.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Whatever works for you, man. If you asked me, I rather not count the days, I don't know, it messes with my head but I still do it...

Right? I hear you. I've said often already that I'm not counting days, and that's true to a point. I used to update my counter when I'd come on to post... But now I'm not tracking it that closely, simply updating it once in a while works for me now.

For example, if I'm not counting days 'closely' as I say, I'll set it and forget it until the next time. And if 3 weeks pass, or a month, than that last number will obviously jump up significantly.

So, I'm counting/not counting, lol...!
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Right? I hear you. I've said often already that I'm not counting days, and that's true to a point. I used to update my counter when I'd come on to post... But now I'm not tracking it that closely, simply updating it once in a while works for me now.

For example, if I'm not counting days 'closely' as I say, I'll set it and forget it until the next time. And if 3 weeks pass, or a month, than that last number will obviously jump up significantly.

So, I'm counting/not counting, lol...!
I understand what you say. Mark the day when you start the streak and check it out in a week or something like that.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I understand what you say. Mark the day when you start the streak and check it out in a week or something like that.

That's right. I've given this whole thing some more thought since I last posted the above...

To count or not to count, which has been a debate in my own journey for years. It gets especially dicey for me when I have a lapse after a lengthy streak...

A person has to know themselves, and what works for them. My conclusion for me right now is...

That I will count days for now, knowing the state of mind I was in just a week ago, and also earlier in November, that counting can help me. I'm not updating every day, but it encourages me that after I've set it, and then some time passes, the next time I come on it's jumped up significantly (more or less), and I'm encouraged by that...

I hope no one thinks that I'm ever boasting, or trying to prove something, especially when others may be struggling. Whenever I post my successes it's only to encourage myself first, that I'm doing this, and if others can benefit from my hard won victories, than that's all the better.

Perhaps after a while I'll quit counting all together, or the updating of numbers will be farther apart. And instead of an exact day count, I'll simply say it's been X amount of months, or years...
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
An update as to where I'm at coming into the middle of December.

Days Currently Abstinent from P, PMO, MO:

PMO > 192 days

P > 35 days

MO > 14 days

I am doing good. I'm currently not obsessing on anything, and p-subs and edging are no longer issues for me at the moment.

I've identified social media as a major culprit and dangerous territory for me, especially when emotional or inner cues are introduced. But I've addressed this by greatly restricting my social media use with the acronym:

I. integrity M. mindful P. purposeful A. alert C. concise T. trutfhful.

How have I been with that? Mostly diligent. I've had my moments where I've taken the phone into the restroom in the middle of the night, or have sought out p-subs in the 'discovery' areas of IG, or watched back to back music videos on YT. But each time I do this, I know I'm acting out, or reaching for something superficial to meet a deeper emotional need. And I'll snap out of it.

There's times when I'll see something (non-nudity) that has a strong attraction, and I'll save it, or follow the profile, just to offset the potential for obsession. This works, and then I'll simply delete or unfollow later. But mostly I'm avoiding these scenarios.

My thinking is like: Why would I get myself all worked up sexually? Just to fall later??

I'm not working toward a specific date or number of days, simply to live life without P, PMO, and MO. It is kind of strange doing it without a goal as such, as in an abstinence challenge. I suppose my goal is to track my abstinences until it just doesn't make sense to do so any more.
 
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3rdJohn

Member
Phineas— I really like the IMPACT filter for your social media choices. I think we all need a structure for how we’re going to engage this, if at all. i think this or something like it can keep us from blundering into an unhealthy place.

regarding your earlier post on counting days, i think you are right about it depending on whether it works for you. My plan is to get to 90 and then re-evaluate whether to keep the count. My ultimate goal is to be able to say “When did I last use porn? Ummm, I really can’t remember.”

love and respect,

john
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
I like your multiple counters thing. It could make things easier for me, I guess. Having just one counter means I need to reset it when I violate one of my rules (porn, pmo or masturbation). I like how you keep them separately. And by the way, almost 200 days without PMO is absolutely incredible!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I like your multiple counters thing. It could make things easier for me, I guess. Having just one counter means I need to reset it when I violate one of my rules (porn, pmo or masturbation). I like how you keep them separately. And by the way, almost 200 days without PMO is absolutely incredible!

Thank you, Escape! As I shared in your journal, my own (former) black-and-white thinking would just want one straight counter meaning I've been abstinent from 'all the above'. The multiple counter thing kind of reveals that our victory isn't always linear, or black-and-white, but some times with some gray areas.

But the bottom line, go for the win- whatever it looks like. Then we'll more positively reach for greater victories.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I need to be more aware of this. Lately I have faltered on the PSUBs and this is a good tool. Again thanks for sharing!

You're welcome, Jerry!

This is something I have to keep in mind also, if I'm going to stay on top of what has been an Achilles heel for me.

Again, social media (all platforms) are specifically designed to addict us on purpose, and heighten our dopamine. If you've noticed lately, there's a lot of stupid advertisements with all kinds of bells and dings and 'happy sounds' that are designed to keep us clicking and scrolling, like little lab rats.

In general, we need to detox from the Matrix.

Blessings!
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Thank you, Escape! As I shared in your journal, my own (former) black-and-white thinking would just want one straight counter meaning I've been abstinent from 'all the above'. The multiple counter thing kind of reveals that our victory isn't always linear, or black-and-white, but some times with some gray areas.

But the bottom line, go for the win- whatever it looks like. Then we'll more positively reach for greater victories.
Yes, it makes perfect sense. My perfectionism wants this streak to be absolutely perfect but it's not often the case.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Yes, it makes perfect sense. My perfectionism wants this streak to be absolutely perfect but it's not often the case.

Same. I was thinking about it, and with multiple counters I can take my 'lowest' counter, which happens to be (for me) a lower level red-line behavior (MO), and though I have several counters with different days, I can at least say I've been clean from everything for 15 days. But if I'm feeling more 'holistic' and need a wider angle, a bigger picture, I can look at the larger numbered counters...

Whatever will produce that self-encouragement.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Same. I was thinking about it, and with multiple counters I can take my 'lowest' counter, which happens to be (for me) a lower level red-line behavior (MO), and though I have several counters with different days, I can at least say I've been clean from everything for 15 days. But if I'm feeling more 'holistic' and need a wider angle, a bigger picture, I can look at the larger numbered counters...

Whatever will produce that self-encouragement.
I understand the idea. It makes one small slip not look like it finished everything. But the key words here are "a small slip" because if this turns into edging for hours and binging PMO, this resets all the counters we might use. The thing here is how to keep this small slip to just that, only a small slip. I manage sometimes to stop myself after starting but the lingering chaser effect makes me restart and do more. Of course, we want to abandon porn completely and never have that small slip but sometimes it just happens. You find yourself crossing the line in your head and watching something. But again, I'm coming back to this, how do you stop and never continue that for the day? I know that I'm having a very hard time to stay away from continuing later. And it's understandable why. Porn addiction works like this: Our brain releases dopamine in response to porn. After starving yourself for days and days, one video can make the dopamine explode like a volcano. Once dopamine gets high, it wants to stay high, hence the struggle with wanting more after that. Every taste makes you want more. Is it possible to stop and end the day without further complications? Of course, but there is a "but" here. It's not as easy to implement.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
But again, I'm coming back to this, how do you stop and never continue that for the day? I know that I'm having a very hard time to stay away from continuing later.

The urges, how we responded (when non-response is what we want), and the chaser effects are all signals from the lower brain, chemicals released, and the power of habit. Boiling all these down further, all these things are just thought.

Understanding this makes this thing very simple really quick. Note: I said 'simple' but not always easy. Why? Because thoughts can be dismissed. They are not 'your' thoughts anyway. They are the motivations of the animal-brain using your own thought processes to justify and encourage using. But you sit in the executive seat of the cerebral cortex, and can dismiss and veto all these things.

What does this look like practically?

Say I was struggling earlier. I had browsed images on IG, and maybe realized that a good 15 minutes was spent doing this. Maybe I started feeling obsessive about it... I will (without judgement) find a way to disrupt this behavior. Maybe I'll look up a self-help video, or go to RN, and try and help someone.

That may help me in the moment to stop, but I know that the urges will return because of the earlier activity. Being aware of this, when the urges do come, I can breathe through them, dismiss them. Above all, don't react to them (it's all lower brain junk anyway). The urges invariably pass, eventually. If they return, rinse-and-repeat.

A major key to this, Escape, is not being too hard on yourself. When I say, 'without judgment', I mean that you have to see yourself as kind of 'outside of yourself', like seeing yourself on T.V. Whatever you did earlier will just be seen as the habit trying to express itself, and you can step outside of that mindfully, and dismiss the urges. Think about something else, do something else, not in a white-knuckled way, but because you're choosing what to dwell on, lower or higher brain activity.
 
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