How Shall We Escape?

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I really appreciate that, Liga! To be honest, I got a little jealous when you were posting on others journals, and not on mine,  ;) (no funny thoughts, please...)

Grateful that you're doing well and have your own plans you're executing. Don't be a stranger, okay? It really helps to use these RN journals to get 'dead-dog' serious and put our honest thoughts down.

Be well, brother!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Day 88 [80+8]!

This is 11/15 toward my overall goal of 120 days.

This is also 2 months, 27 days or 12 weeks, 4 days into this recovery effort.

Today I hit my goal of 88 days without P, PMO, MO, and without P-Subs or edging (with 1 near episode).

How do I feel?

I am getting more and more of a feel of what life will be like on the otherside of this reboot and recovery effort. When 120 days are over, I will pretty much continue as I am now: living life without these unhealthy and immoral habits dogging me, or weighing me down. Of course that feels free and liberating. It's also exciting to imagine life without these things nipping at my heels.

I've been going on walks again when my work day is done (around 4pm), which I like to do as a time of reflection and deep thought (unless the wife goes with  ;)). And I remember that years back when I'd go on these walks (same neighborhood) that my thoughts were many times about how I was dealing with this addiction in some form or other, and even keeping an eye out for discarded pornography on the bike trail! How I longed to be free in those days, but lacked many of the tools and philosophical understandings about addiction that I now have.

So it felt really good to be thinking that I have now, basically, the freedom I could only dream about before, and truly enjoy my walks, and my walk in life, without that addiction. 

Deeper issues or concerns?

I don't fully know the reasons why, but I awoke last night with a strong desire to edge. In fact, I basically purposed to 'go all the way' and ejaculate. So I did edge for a little, but then stopped. I knew that if I went all the way, I would have a hard time not making that a habit, and it would only lend toward p-subs and eventual porn. It would also not just be the edging, but MO as well. It would put me in a very dangerous place, and threaten all the freedom I'm now enjoying.

I stopped and lay there- I needed to address this in a deeper way, as there may have been a deeper component (spiritual and/or emotional) to it. I needed to pray, but it wasn't convenient for me to get up and go to my office. My answer? I turned to my wife, and woke her up. I just took time with her, pleasured her, and then 'got mine'. This was the answer, at least for that moment, was to use my wife for the natural purpose marital sex serves. We both went to sleep happy and content. As for the edging? No fault.

As for using images while making love to my wife, I am getting better about this, too. I'm not completely free of that, but I am getting better and better, without having to depend on them. I can 'keep it up' without resorting to fantasy, as my perceived need to is all psychological. So, my reboot includes connecting with my wife, absent any need to rely on images based on performance anxiety.

This go around, there was no anxiety to speak of, and it was quite enjoyable.

Blessings, All.
 

akpal2

Well-Known Member
well done Phineas, I am glad you didn't give in to edging and woke up your wife. Always good to read your journal. It has a calming effect on me for some reason. Please keep posting.

Also, why didn't you use the mindfulness technique you taught me? It seems quite useful to me so far.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you so much, akpal2!

Will do! I'm not going anywhere, even after hitting my goals. I may not be on everday, but I will certainly make it a point to 'give back' to the community, and help others.

Also, why didn't you use the mindfulness technique you taught me? It seems quite useful to me so far.

Mindfulness was used in the sense that I paused (very important) in the moment of acting out, and went into thinking how this would play out, if I went all the way, how I would tell that story- versus, how I would contrariwise tell that story if I had a victory here.

I just have to say that knowing my past behavior, or knowing myself, that having acted to a certain point, what I needed to do. I've also (even recently) had urges in bed that I kind of just breathed through until they passed, nonjudgmentally. But in this case I knew there was a deeper component than mere habit that needed addressing, or else I would be going back-and-forth with it all night long. I needed to get up to pray, but I didn't want to alert my daughter still awake in the living room (about 11pm) playing video games. So I instead turned to my wife.

I could have solely did mindfulness techniques, and to a degree I did- along with cognitive strategies (thinking about possible outcomes to my behaviors). But given that there were deeper needs involved, I needed for myself a deeper response.

Does this difference make sense? 
 

Chris Oz

Well-Known Member
Good going Phineas. I think practicing mindfulness in thinking about what you were thinking and being able not to react to it was great. And I think turning to your wife was an even greater response. It improves your connection with her and I bet it redirects the pathways of pleasure with sex from porn to your wife, which is fantabulous progress.

Keep at it man. 2 months + is a great achievement can't wait till I get there.

And I appreciate your encouragement on my Journal, it was really helpful.

Keep pushing man
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, Chris!

That's how I'm thinking about it, too. Turning to my wife is definitely a 'true rewiring'- away from the fantasy that is porn, and toward real human connection.

You will get here, brother! I have every faith that- if you did 1 week (or more), you can do 1 month, and if 1 month, you can do 1 year, and so on. You'll get to a point that you won't even have to count days anymore. That's my plan after my 120, is to only check progress once in a while, but to otherwise not think about it.

When my recovery was all over the board (before I rejoined RN), I made a list of the amount of days, from small to longest, and made that my incremental goals... that worked up to day 34, lol...! Now my strategy is a larger goal, but made up of smaller goals, that way I can celebrate the victories more often. Just an idea, if you wished to borrow, or improvise to suit your needs. If so, check out my page 1, my initial post, for ideas.

Blessings! 
 

Chris Oz

Well-Known Member
I really love the approach and I think I'm going to adopt it from now on. So iv be moving from 90 to 120 days target, lol.
Anyway thanks. Bookmarked your first page in my browser.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
You're welcome, Chris!

Yes, good luck and blessings on however you make that translate into your own goals- I'm standing with you!
 

Gabe Deem

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Hey Phineas!

Just wanted to drop in and tell you congrats on getting passed 88 days /12 weeks!  8)

Also, it is great to hear improvement on anxiety and using porn fantasy... really, really awesome!

You're doing great in your journey and seeing you help others in theirs is inspiring. Keep truckin' and much love.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, Gabe!

I'm grateful for this forum, and all the hard work and effort you've put into this site!

I am, as always, greatly encouraged and inspired by you coming around to my lonesome journal.

Looking forward to hitting my main goal in early March, but seeing all this as training for the rest of my life.

Love and gratitude!
 

akpal2

Well-Known Member
Phineas, getting down to 120 days in about a month's time is so awesome. I can't wait to get to my 120 days and beyond and hopefully leave PMO behind for the rest of my life.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you, akpal2!

Definitely! It is doable, it can and must be done!

If one looked at my story from the outside, they could easily surmise that I wasn't "...as bad as others on here"- but my addiction was definitely real, and has lasted for literally decades. Perhaps my faith kept me from jumping headlong into it, but it was always something there, gnawing at my soul, always eating away at whatever resolve or self-control I had, and sought to always destroy me.

The addiction's idea of paradise for me was for me to be left alone in a motel room, or find some abandoned shack out in the middle of nowhere, with tons of pornographic material and the endless freedom/privacy to act out on it!  :-\  Can anyone think of a lower and more pathetic place to end up? Divorced- with both wife and daughter hating me, living in a motel room by yourself, giving yourself over to all one's carnal desires? That was, sadly, my vision of the future at its extreme.

It would almost seem insignificant the amount of time, though I know it's definitely an accomplishment for me, if I don't take advantage of it to fully and completely break away and escape.

We can do this- for ourselves, and for our loved ones.

 

akpal2

Well-Known Member
Indeed. I find your post somewhat soothing. I am suffering from serious chaser effect due to sex in the last 2 days and resorted to watching nude pics today because I was finding it so hard to control. It didn't go too far beyond that so far but it's tough.
 

marco_60

Active Member
Phineas 808 said:
Thank you, akpal2!

Definitely! It is doable, it can and must be done!
.........

We can do this- for ourselves, and for our loved ones.

You also have clear and strong motivations to reboot, Ph808: I think also this makes a difference and represents a serious guarantee of success. I am confident you will go much beyond 120 days  :)!
 

Leonidas

Active Member
Phineas 808 said:
The addiction's idea of paradise for me was for me to be left alone in a motel room, or find some abandoned shack out in the middle of nowhere, with tons of pornographic material and the endless freedom/privacy to act out on it!  :-\  Can anyone think of a lower and more pathetic place to end up? Divorced- with both wife and daughter hating me, living in a motel room by yourself, giving yourself over to all one's carnal desires? That was, sadly, my vision of the future at its extreme.
I believe I may have harbored a similar vision as the one you describe.  All variations aside, there is a common theme or pattern going on: the idea of escaping and using these devices as coping mechanisms.  I used to think differently about this back then, mostly with self-loathing and self-pity.  I can see it now from the perspective of a bird resting on a hilltop looking down: the sadness, loneliness and suffering I must have been feeling that made me do what I did.  It's different from self-pity, more like a realization that there was pain and that the acts where ways for me to try to alleviate that.

Still from time to time, a "carnal picture" will pop inside my head and sometimes I will let it run for a while (against my better judgment)... but there is now an understanding that it is just a random thought that isn't rooted in reality and by no means should I be taking steps to bring it into reality!!  I tell myself that it is just a thought that nags for my attention like every other thought... and that I only need to calmly decide what thoughts can stay and which can be let go of.  Doesn't that sound like I'm describing a new patent on a water pipe filter or something!?  :D
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
@ akpal2 ~

I hear you, brother. Sorry to hear of your recent struggle with that. Don't be too hard on yourself, this is a mother to try to beat, but at the same time, within our grasp.

I kind of think of it like, each time I respond to an urge, I only further the habit. This isn't a failure, though, but part of your learning process. And each time I successfully dismiss an urge, ignoring it mindfully, I weaken and lessen the habit. It's one thing I think of that helps me in the moment.

@ Marco60 ~

Thank you, Marco! Yes, and I find that this motivation is something I have to be careful- even this far in- to keep up, or to sharpen. One moment of mindlessly scrolling around the internet and 'whoops!' There's a strong cue presented to you, and along with it possible urges, and now it's time to be mindful about what you're doing, and that you don't want to fall.

This 120 days, as I'm seeing it this time, is not the end-all, but rather a period of training to simply live my life, having changed my habits. Definitely well beyond the 120, I can see that I'll still need to be vigilant, and not take anything for granted.

@ Leonidas ~

I bet there were variations of your version (maybe you saw yourself in a palace surrounded by p-material  :D ). My version points to poverty, which lends to my past, but it's also a metaphorical impoverishment of soul. To your point, it speaks of all the pain, the emotional deprivation in my own life, and seeing porn as if it were a savior, as if it were the only thing that cared for me. I know this to be quite the opposite now, and a complete lie!

That's a good thought process to have, seeing the fantasies, or memories of porn that come to mind time-to-time as unreal, and a puff of smoke with no real substance. The momentary pleasure always promises to satisfy, but never really does, and we're left hurting worse than before!

Thank you guys for coming by!
 
Phin, you've commented on my journal a few times, and I regret I've not commented on yours...though I've read it! I feel like our journeys are somewhat similar, and I'm thankful that I am rebooting at the same time as you. It was been so helpful hearing from you and resonating so much with your thoughts. I'm hopeful in your success and trust that you'll make it! I certainly feel like I'll make it!

Keep posting and encouraging others, friend.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Hey berrylewis!

I think your comment above constitutes as you commenting on my journal, so- thank you!

It is helpful (and even ordained) that our journeys resonate, as we can 'sharpen' each other in our efforts.

You and I will certainly make it, and be successful! We have to, what other choice do we have? It is scary to imagine ourselves, trying to live our 'surface life' with this ugliness hanging onto us in the background! It's like an erosion of the soul and spirit, and no telling the invisible damage done to our loved ones, too!

We will train for a new life without these habits, and will look back years from now (Lord willing) and rejoice in our new found freedom, and all the benefits that came with it!
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Day 96!

This is 12/15 or 4/5 toward my overall goal of 120 days.

This is also 3 months and 4 days or 13 weeks and 5 days into this recovery effort.

Today I hit my goal of 96 days without P, PMO, MO, and without P-Subs or edging.

This also enters my final phase of 4 color-coded phases which divide these 15 sets of 8 days. Thus, I have only 3 more mini-goals to hit before reaching my 120 days! This is only 24 days away!

How do I feel?

As they say, 'Life goes on'. But, that's a good thing, because I'm no longer trying to hide from life in escapist habits and fantasy. I feel life, its pain, its loneliness, its stress, as well as its joy, and happiness.

I feel clean, I feel the hope for a new life. I'm in training to go on without P, PMO, or MO in my life. It's true, and I'm more keen to this now than in past efforts, that, even after a long streak, I can let my guard down, get complacent, mindless, and fall into old habits of p-subs or edging, which typically (if not eventually) lead back to the other unwanted habits. This is why I say I'm training, rather than hitting some magical date in which I'll automatically transform.

But really, transformation is occurring. I am a man who does not look at porn, nor things that lead up to it. I am a man in control of himself. I am a man who will respect women, even if drop-dead gorgeous, even if they seem to want me to look at them lustfully, even if I acknowledge their beauty. I will honor them as the weaker (but equal) vessel and not take advantage of them. I will not be that creepy guy who's always preying on unsuspecting women.

I am finding my freedom, and will- and must jealously- guard it! 

Deeper issues or concerns?

Last Sunday there was an episode where I encountered something on IG, and wondered what to do with it. Sure enough, when I went to delete it (something relatively innocent), urges came up. So, for me to delete it would have been the wrong message to my brain, a reaction to an urge, rather than mindful avoidance. So I left it alone.

Then after lunch I came home and got online. I saw a female friend request on FB, and knew that it was a sex-bot. Maybe it was some guy in Africa in his mother's basement, trying to extort money off some older victim. But the picture was 'tailor-made' toward my tastes, and was tantalizing. I felt a rush of urges and excitement. My libido was high, and the physiology of that was: everything was working! Deep down, I hoped that the request was real, that 'she' was real. It would have been flattering and exciting to interact. There was some messaging, and the usual- "Where are you from...", and all the telltale signs that I was being set up for identity theft, or extortion.

How did I deal with this? I acknowledged (nonjudgmentally) that I have deeper emotional needs that want such a connection. So, my reactions were no surprize. But I created space, I accepted the friend request, then did something else (online), that at least gets rid of the 'should-I-or-shouldn't-I?' obsessing. I had to go pee, and was really amazed on how this affected me sexually, how 'horny' this all made me. I went back to Messenger, and sure enough the next thing was, she requested my photo... I could have played into it, "Send me your pic first", but I didn't. I blocked her, and deleted the conversation.

Later on, to take away its mystique, I did further research on them, and I think it is a real female user- but that the scam part is also true.

These kind of potholes on my journey are a danger, but also a learning tool. I use them to practice urge-surfing (a recovery term), and to learn how to deal in real time with what might have tripped me up in the past. This is a snapshot of what this may look like, time-to-time, going forward. And the question remains for me, How to continue, in addition to all I've done thus far, to minimize potential exposure to such things (on IG, Youtube and FB) without giving too much power to external stimuli? It seems whenever I go in to delete a whole slew of things, which on other times I've done when it makes sense, I end up turning around and going back, because it feels like legalism to me. And I know that only feeds the unwanted habits, or their urges.

Yet, coming close to my end-date, I need to carefully navigate this issue so that it's a win for me, and feeds into the overall tone for the days beyond my goal.

As for the above issue, I had strong urges for the rest of the day- and was almost certain I was going to lapse. I was even playing out various scenarios in my head- but never acted on anything: no p-subs, and (this may sound weird) I tried to edge that night, but just wasn't into it. Earlier that evening I did 'pray through it' and felt it change. No harm, no foul.
 
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