How Shall We Escape?

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
The urges, how we responded (when non-respoonse 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 throught 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 activit
Thanks, man. This is very helpful.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
The urges, how we responded (when non-respoonse 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 throught 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.
Good advice my friend. I need as much as I can get right now.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Hopefully I can reply more thoughtfully on your journal tomorrow, Guitar!
Thank Phineas. I'm back but my head is elsewhere. I'm here typing away while my head is trying to get me back to my favorite porn haunts. Ugh... it just comes on so strong sometimes it is hard to fight. But, I'm back and I'm going to continue pursuing a life with out porn.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank Phineas. I'm back but my head is elsewhere. I'm here typing away while my head is trying to get me back to my favorite porn haunts. Ugh... it just comes on so strong sometimes it is hard to fight. But, I'm back and I'm going to continue pursuing a life with out porn.

I know you will get back and go beyond where you were before. Now is a good time to practice dismissing the urges, breathing through them, and not acting out for or against them.

Let them subside (each time), and just go about your day.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
My abstinence from P, PMO and MO is currently:

PMO > 195 days

P > 38 days

MO > 17 days

Almost 40 days since I last saw P, and that feels pretty good and hopeful. The edging and p-subs that had been a persistent or ever increasing habit from August to early November has mostly ceased. I do recall I had urges to edge last night, and I acted on it a little, but ceased.

Yesterday, while X-Mas shopping for the wife, there was a sales lady who was drop dead gorgeous! She was maybe in her 40's or so. She seemed very attracted to me, and went out of her way to talk to me. It felt good and flattering that she could detect my self-control, and was attracted to it.

I much rather have these kind of respectful interactions with women without that feeling of anxiety and shame that comes with those unwanted behaviors. I like the confidence I feel, and the real-world interaction with the opposite sex.
 

JerryTX

Active Member
As always @Phineas 808 thanks for the great advice and posts. Really appreciate it as I know several others do as well. Who would have thought how GOD uses you and us to work things out for the good...!! We will win and GOD bless you!
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
My abstinence from P, PMO and MO is currently:

PMO > 195 days

P > 38 days

MO > 17 days

Almost 40 days since I last saw P, and that feels pretty good and hopeful. The edging and p-subs that had been a persistent or ever increasing habit from August to early November has mostly ceased. I do recall I had urges to edge last night, and I acted on it a little, but ceased.

Yesterday, while X-Mas shopping for the wife, there was a sales lady who was drop dead gorgeous! She was maybe in her 40's or so. She seemed very attracted to me, and went out of her way to talk to me. It felt good and flattering that she could detect my self-control, and was attracted to it.

I much rather have these kind of respectful interactions with women without that feeling of anxiety and shame that comes with those unwanted behaviors. I like the confidence I feel, and the real-world interaction with the opposite sex.
Outstanding inspiring progress, man! Porn robs everything from you, it makes you function like a mediocre human being. Run away from porn and you will be a tank.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Checking in to give an update as to where I'm at...

Days Currently Abstinent:

PMO > 207 days

P > 50 days

MO > 29 days

I wish I didn't have separate counters going, and I can state that for all the above (P, PMO, and MO), I'm X days free. I guess I can state that I'm currently 29 days free from everything... But even stating this, while the above numbers are certainly a good thing, it doesn't mean that I've been struggle free.

Coming into Christmas time has been stressful and emotionally trying on different levels. We had a good holiday overall, but there were stresssors from the wife, and an unexpected guest who literally injected themselves into our holiday plans uninvited...!

There were p-subs via social media and edging (4x) for the last 3 days or so. Being honest in my own journal is important to me, where stating exactly where I'm at is needful. Prior to leaving for our X-mas vacation, I was all but convinced that I would've acted out to P... But enough time passed that the urge passed. I know this is 'lower brain' and all that, but I was there in my head...

It is a curious and dangerous place where I'm at now. It's looking similar to between August and November. At least now, if I'm acting out via IG, YT, or other social media, I know it, I'm aware. That awarness is key to change. All I can do now is observe myself nonjudgmentally, and make decisions in the moment that will simply allow the urges to pass on their own. I did this a number of times, which averted one or two MO episodes.

Coming out of 2021, I'm overall happy with my progress made during this year. I came out of 2020 (November 6th) already abstaining when I rejoined Reboot Nation (the 17th). I hit two lengthy streaks from all as posted above 2x, one of those streaks continue as a separate counter from full on PMO.

I know that I've changed this habit for the better. Other than my momentary challenges with social media or edging, most days I don't think about it, don't struggle with it. I have a sense of what normalcy should be for me. But I also know I'm in a dangerous place, and could very well lapse to either of the above.

I know that I have deep areas of brokenness that need healing. I have strategies on how to address that spiritually, but in the mean time, the beast-brain is competing to (illegitimately) meet those needs.

I know that, if I fell or lapsed, I will bounce back and reestablish control. I see self-control as continuous, and not as black-and-white, all-or-nothing. In that vein, should a lapse occur, can self-control be reestablished? If not, I'll implement a 40 day abstinence challenge.

I'm not there, and I'm very hopeful (if not cautious) that I'll leave these behaviors behind in November of 2021, and leave them behind as last year's news as I enter the New Year.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I'm seeking to relate to my journal in a new way...

This journal is still an important tool for me yet, here on RN. Though perhaps I may post less often...

It won't be about tracking days as closely, and it may be rare from here on out that I post updates about X-amount of days. This is because the number of days do tell a story of self-control, but it's not necessarily the whole story. It may appear that I 'have it all together' when in fact I don't. I've made a lot of progress this past year, that's true, but I can tell I'm not yet done. There's still something that brings me back to the behaviors that I term 'acting out', I still have occassional episodes.

I need this journal to honestly assess where I'm at, and that's a scary place because it makes one vulnerable, exposed, and this is true even with anonymity. As such, the journal has to be a platform first and foremost for my own journey and how I define that- with all the freedom that one can muster to be as honest as possible. At the same time, it's a social platform, an online anonymous support group as it were.

If my posts may seem cryptic at times, it's simply me trying to find a balance between total honesty, and yet doing so in the context of the social dynamic.

Will I be on less? Maybe. Will I post less often? We'll see. Again, I've no intention of deleting my journal as before (2016), and I still seek to help others. But knowing that I'm still in a vulnerable place in my journey right now, I wish to be cautious, and have that self-care my journey may currently require.

I am still very much a work in progress.

Happy New Year! Peace and love to all.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I added this to my post on Social Media to address an ongoing fight to make a necessary social media work for me, without contantly bringing me to temptation or a high-risk situation.

Addendum: I will continuously have a purge mentality (Phineas) toward all social media platforms. I will be watchful (alert) for when a particular follow or profile is provacative to me beyond the natural admiration of beauty. I will be alert for when my 'discover' area on IG has an algorithm lending toward my acting out.

This above will put me on a better war-footing going forward into the New Year.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Happy New Year, RN!

It's perhaps the biggest thing for me to take into the New Year, but that for me at this point, it's all mental.

I ended the year rough, I won't lie. I acted out on urges, lapsed and re-lapsed. It was an obsession, but each thing done while acting out was hollow, empty, and obviously fake. But nonetheless, there was obsession. Was it going to cease? When would I return to normalcy or a sense thereof? Or, worse, would I just enter into a prolonged period of acting out and obsession?

My 'stats' were good in all three areas of P, PMO, and MO, counted as they were differently at the time, at the time of my lapses.

But how demoralizing to set my counters back to 0 which I had to, to be honest. The next day, lapsed again. This occurred on both the 29th and 30th of December. It was all my fault, and similar culprits of p-sub and edging activity lent to the lapses. It seemed that I purposely used one to prime the other.

Of course I should be 'passed all this', but obviously I'm not. I'm still a work in progress, and I'm still healing. I will work on what porn 'means' to me, why I keep returning back to it, or back to pixalized beauty for comfort.

Yet something changed, I flipped something on its head. Of course I cleaned up my social media (once again), and changed the algorithm in the 'Discover' area. But the main thing that helped me was in deciding to not count my streaks, but simply to record my lapses (on a different page) and just go on, doing what I know to do, doing what I know gives me lengthy periods of abstinence.

This is not said to tell anyone else how to do their journey, just me, and to say what's working for me right now. No sooner did I clear out my streaks count, and my zero count, I felt a return to normalcy (no obsession).

Coming into the New Year is exciting and hopeful, as I'm not working toward any 'lapse challenge' or counting 'sobriety days' as such. If I lapse, I'll simply get up and keep going. If I come into an extended period of struggle, I'll come back down to equanimity, we all do. And I'll learn my lessons from each lapse (should they occur), and come at this wiser and smarter.

It seems counter intuitive, but allowing space in one's journey for lapsing (as typically occurrs in recovery), enables me to keep going with less and less lapsing.

Be blessed, All.
 
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EarthWalker

Well-Known Member
Happy new year Phineas. Sorry to hear about the P use. Not a big deal. We have another year to figure it out. We are learning and growing. I wish to be able to connect more with my emotions. I find us guys tend to be a bit too mental and ignore emotions. Left + Right side of the brain might be what is needed to heal this addiction. In any case, you know how some people thank ___ as their teacher. Well looks like I'll be able to say that P addiction has been my biggest teacher.

Much love
EW
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Thank you so much, Escape 🙏 🙏❗Yes, we will. It's like, what am really thirsting for, an empty well?
I can feel it. I believe you have enough control over this thing from what I saw last year. As for me, even though I ended up the year with the same kind of routine, I believe I've accumulated more knowledge than I used to have and this should help me more this time. We got this.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Happy new year Phineas. Sorry to hear about the P use. Not a big deal. We have another year to figure it out. We are learning and growing. I wish to be able to connect more with my emotions. I find us guys tend to be a bit too mental and ignore emotions. Left + Right side of the brain might be what is needed to heal this addiction. In any case, you know how some people thank ___ as their teacher. Well looks like I'll be able to say that P addiction has been my biggest teacher.

Much love
EW

Thank you, EW! Yeah, it was PMO > x1, and P > x2 between the 29th and 30th of December.

Yes, treating the lapses as not as big a deal, as we're getting up, going on, striving to be better- as we're certainly better than this stuff- has been so helpful in simply jumping up and going on. Having a severe non-global cold, too, helps ;) .

Yeah, I appreciate what you've been suggesting lately about left/right brain in relation to unwanted habits. Those of us who're more cerebral may have trouble accessing their emotions, but I'm an exception to that. I'm aware for me that emotions are a very important part of this, especially if the urges seem insistent or intense... The cue may call toward a deeper emotional need, an inward brokenness yet needing healing...

Yes, as they say, Life is the Teacher, and like it or not, these unwanted behaviors have certainly been a necessary teacher.
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
I can feel it. I believe you have enough control over this thing from what I saw last year. As for me, even though I ended up the year with the same kind of routine, I believe I've accumulated more knowledge than I used to have and this should help me more this time. We got this.

Definitely, Escape! The repeatability, the patterned behavior is this thing's weakness. This is why I like to say, '...hack into this addiction or habit', because we can use the pattern against itself. For example, if bringing the laptop into bed with us is the repeated behavior, then we can start leaving it in another room at bed time.

At the start of last year (Oct 2020 into 2021) I began to simply address 'when' and 'where' I looked at my phone, including not bringing it into the bathroom if I get up to use it in the middle of the night. It doesn't mean that I haven't, but if I do, I know that the purpose is because I'm acting out to some degree...

And of course addressing my social media use has continued to be all-important in making real change. So, building on last year's (and the years before that, ha!) lessons, I can only get better and better. I may have my moments, but I can't go back- to do so, I'd probably have to escalate, and I really don't have the stomach to escalate. The danger with me is, I'm so darn creative... :rolleyes:

New year, new us! Let's do this, brother!
 

zaraki888

Active Member
Hello Phineas,

First of all I wish you and everyone a Happy New Year! And second, well done having an amazing streak. :)

What happened to you and to me on 24th is the reason why I finally figured out for myself also I should stop counting days. The thing is, when I count days, I have the feeling I am still not there yet and need more time. In my mind I had the believe I need to reach 100 days. But after 100 days I didn't feel any difference. And so I thought I needed more time but nothing happened.
Every time I was about to reach an end date, 90, 100, 120, 140, I almost relapsed by the end of each goal.

I unfortunate made a slip up while I was reading Rational Recovery. I think I mis-understand the instruction and thought I had to feel the urge and craving again to feel the beast and learn from it.
When it happened again I stopped reading.

I realized I forgot 2 instructions from the book Easypease. 1. Fear and uncertainty, doubt creates pangs. According to Easypease, we are already free, already a non user when we close the browser. No need to wait for the moment of revelation. ''it is only doubt and waiting that makes it difficult to quit''

Another instruction from Easypease: there is no such thing as a peek. ''the confidence trick'' thinking I can get away with it.

In other words, you are already free Phineas! Have no doubt. You have already kicked the addiction from your life.

I find it absurd the 90 challenge. First, 90 days or 16 weeks feels like climbing Mount Everest. When I do achieve but make a slip up right before 90 days, it feels like I have to start all over again and when I do go beyong 90 days and don't feel any different (as neurological changes happens so slowly), I begin to doubt myself and then doubt creates fear and fear leads to pangs, cravings and urges.

I would like to quote from Easypeasy:

''What’s the difference between users and non-users? Non-users haven’t any need, nor desire to watch porn,
they’re without craving and don’t need to exercise willpower in order to not watch it. ''

So I decided to stop counting days. I will only remember the date when I started and will mark my slip ups in a spreadsheet. I read in the book Rational Recovery, counting hours is beast activity.

I will keep using Easypeasy and ''the no arousal methode'' from bigbookofpenis

Take care Phineas!
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, Zaraki!

To be fair, I understand the 90 days as a rough baseline to work toward in 'rebooting' physiologically from a habit that has devastated our dopamine receptors, cutting link between true pleasure with a real human being, and our penis. There's also a roughly 60 days, more or less, to address brain-fog (hypofrontality) and p-memory (DeltaFos B). Also, it generally takes 3 to 4 months to change a habit...

So, in the beginning, counting days might make sense. But after a while, it quit making sense in my journey as it began to be a negative. I wasn't after any particular goal or 'abstinence challenge' (90 day or 120 day), which I had already completed a couple of times last year any way.

I can definitely relate to the fear or possibility of lapsing right when you're about to hit your target number...!

But now simply living life free from P, PMO and MO (which agrees with your EasyPeasy Method), counting days feels almost like 'counting down' to a lapse. Or it creates a false sense that I'm alright at X-amount of days, when other things could be going on against recovering.

Not counting days for me also diminishes porn in my mind, that it's not some all-powerful thing I'm trying to avoid, and it takes pressure off of me from failing. If I lapsed, I'm not stepping on the 3rd-rail of my recovery, it's not curtains or the end of the world. While not desireable, it's not a show stopper. Can neural pathways be resensitized? Sure. Can old habits become rehabitualized? Definitely. So, we address what needs addressing, but without all the pressure.

Good luck in your journey!
 
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