Life and Peace (Romans 8:6)

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Remember, too, how bad it feels when we lapse. All the regret, shame, tiredness, and all the other ugly feelings that accompany only a few moments of exaggerated pleasure.

Be strong, and dismiss the urges.

 
Thanks for the encouragement guys. It is so crazy to me how one slip up changes your entire mood. It's an almost immediate response. I HATE how I feel physically and mentally after an episode, and you'd think that would be strong enough a reason to stay away forever. Just shows how strong the urge can be...but I know with time and small victories by responding appropriately to the urges that they will diminish.

I think part of the reason the urges are strong right now is that I worked this weekend with a group of college students, and many of the girls wore yoga pants (these are not pants and certainly shouldn't be appropriate as winter wear!). This is obviously very difficult to avoid when they're all around you and you have to work closely with them. This coupled with the new stresses of my job lately create a strong urge. I'm just trying to move forward with what I know is good and healthy for me (prayer and Bible reading in the mornings, etc...). Trying not to focus so much on not using porn and focusing more on what I know to do. I'm not saying we shouldn't try to muster up some will power, but I know for myself that my will power alone won't ever be enough.

I'm also going to attempt to begin running again. I know that exercise would help me physically and mentally and may help me in this fight as well.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
It is so crazy to me how one slip up changes your entire mood. It's an almost immediate response. I HATE how I feel physically and mentally after an episode, and you'd think that would be strong enough a reason to stay away forever. Just shows how strong the urge can be...but I know with time and small victories by responding appropriately to the urges that they will diminish.

Yes, the negatives of this thing, even with one's family or health at stake, are not enough to stay away, because of the power of habit. The urges simply are coming from that habituated lower brain (the limbic system). But, no matter how strong the urges, they can never force you to act on them. Learn to neither act on them or act against them, simply do not respond. The more you do this, dismissing the urges, the less strong the urges, and you'll discover your power to change this habit.

So, exactly what you said, lol...! Responding appropriately (by a non-response) to the urges, they will indeed diminish.


I think part of the reason the urges are strong right now is that I worked this weekend with a group of college students, and many of the girls wore yoga pants (these are not pants and certainly shouldn't be appropriate as winter wear!). This is obviously very difficult to avoid when they're all around you and you have to work closely with them. This coupled with the new stresses of my job lately create a strong urge. I'm just trying to move forward with what I know is good and healthy for me (prayer and Bible reading in the mornings, etc...).

This is actually an excellent opportunity to show the lower brain (and your flesh) whose actually in charge, the new man! Recognize that attraction to beauty is natural. Appreciate the beauty, but then focus elsewhere. Decide ahead of time that you are simply a man who does not lust. What's the saying, "The first look's on God, the second one's on us" ? I used to follow a '2-second rule', also. And there's also the 'bouncing the eyes' strategy from the Every Man's Battle book series. I try not to give it too much thought, though. Decide ahead of time, don't shame yourself (or them), and stay in the presence of God. I also have links on my page1 concerning the issue of lust.

Trying not to focus so much on not using porn and focusing more on what I know to do. I'm not saying we shouldn't try to muster up some will power, but I know for myself that my will power alone won't ever be enough.

You're absolutely right, will power alone can't do it, and that it's a matter of both the science of habit-change, and spirituality under grace.

We remember from Colossians 2, 'will-worship', which legalists are all about. No, we recognize that the spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak. This is why law-keeping itself doesn't work. Instead, we surrender our will to God, surrender to the truth of who you are in Christ, holy, a man of God, a man who does not use porn, or lust. Be who you are in Christ, be holy as He is holy. You can be holy because He is holy, you can be holy because you are holy in Him.
 
Day 32

It's getting easier, but I'm realizing that if I give any attention to an image that stirs something in me, it becomes harder to avert my mind from the next image...and so on. These images have been innocent for the most part, but I have stumbled across pics that are definitely "gateway" pics into p, and once I see one, it's more difficult to avert my mind from the next one.

However, this has been happening for the past couple of days, and I'm doing well. I realize that 30 days ago, I most likely wouldn't have been able to stop these triggers from causing me to fail. But after a month of being p-free, my brain is stronger. These triggers used to cause excitement in my mind to the point of euphoria in anticipation of acting out with p. What I've noticed now is that I feel a tightness in my chest and I feel as though my heart races (though my pulse doesn't increase...I've checked it during this time...just feels like it...weird). After a few seconds, this feeling often goes away after I stop thinking about the trigger and move on to something else. I'm encouraged by this because it seems that these triggers are losing their power.

My relationship with my wife has always been wonderful, but lately it's been even better. I'm more sensitive to her needs, more patient and kind. Something I didn't think of until recently, but I think when I was fully engrossed in p, that I subconsciously saw my wife as an obstacle that got in the way of my p use...meaning that if she wasn't in my life, I wouldn't feel the need to be free of p. What a trick this is from the Liar! (as a Christian, I see this as Satan lying to me to destroy me...i.e. John 10:10). He makes me think this is my wife's fault somehow. That's how twisted this addiction is: as debilitating as it is, our minds are tricked into thinking that real joy is found in p and that we can't really live without it...even to the point of making us question the most important relationships in our life. This is a deadly trade to make.

Thankful for new perspective and praying for more healing in the days to come.

Day 32
 

jimG

New Member
Thanks for sharing.i found it to.be inspirational. I agree satan's lies are to destroy us.keep fighting prayers are being sent.
 
Day 40

40 days p free! This feels like the first big marker moment for me in this reboot. In my last attempt, I made it 56 days (but that attempt was half-hearted). This feels different. Last time there were some other things happening in my life that made it easier and so I kind of coasted through without a lot of intentional blocking of triggers, etc... This time, things in my life are chaotic, and if I was ever going to use p to cope, it would be now.

As I mentioned in my last post, I find that I'm giving too much attention to tantalizing images I stumble across. I'm not actively seeking them out, but when I come across something I know to be a trigger, I'm giving it more attention than I should. I'm working on this: I avert my attention and try to make sure I immediately begin focusing on something else so as to stop the neurological progression that would eventually lead to seeking out p. Sometimes the diversion is to pray, quote Scripture, or to simply stand up and leave the room if the image was seen on my computer. Other times, I've taken that opportunity to post a journal entry here. That has helped to give me enough motivation that these instances haven't gained any traction.

I don't think there is a magic formula for a reboot. I'm sure its a combination of things that go beyond shear willpower (identifying triggers, accountability, etc...). But I think the real power in this is time. Time away from p makes it easier. I think this may be why this reboot attempt is easier than my last one. Those 56 days that I was p free weren't for nothing. It felt like such a failure when I relapsed, but I realize now that those 56 days were the building blocks for the 40 day streak I'm on now. Of course, we never plan to relapse, but it's encouraging to realize that our successes can build on each other if we don't give up.

Day 40
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Congratulations, berry, on 40 days!

Absolutely right, those 56 days weren't for nothing, and helped you be where you are now. The lapse also helped you to ascertain what was working, and what wasn't working. Even now, you recognize the danger of lingering on a tantalizing picture, and where that could lead.

You also mention again about will power. I appreciate that important recognition. It's Romans 7 stuff, it's Romans 8:1-4 stuff as well. It's "...the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" type of a thing... This is why changing our other habits that were outer behaviors that seemed to lead to the more addiction related habits, need to be addressed. The weakness of the human will is exactly why approaching this change in our life is more about habit change, than simply 'willing' ourselves into wholeness.

Blessings.

 
Phin, thanks for the encouragement. I?ve been reading your journal and am encouraged by your efforts and thankful that you?re still journaling here even after such a long success. That gives everyone here something to look forward to. I look forward to seeing you hit your daily goal!
 
Day 48

48 days porn free. I almost waited until 50 days to post, but I had a tricky situation this week and didn?t stumble so I wanted to journal this. I had to travel for work and stay in a hotel for one night. I know that being alone and having access to p is a major trigger for me. And I?ve binged on p in the past when I?ve had to stay in hotels alone for work trips. I have my phone and computer locked down with filters and accountability software so they aren?t a temptation for me, but I had to carry my work iPad which I don?t have control over in order to add these safeguards.

I knew I didn?t need to stay alone in this hotel even though I?ve made such progress and feel myself getting stronger in fighting off the urges. So I was able to convince my teenage son to come with me on the trip. In the past, I would?ve gone out of my way to make sure I went alone so I could act out. This time, I went out of my way to turn it into a solid father/son trip. I?m so thankful for such an easy and productive path to stay p free.

I used to come home from these trips to my wife who assumed I was ready for sex after being away, and I?d have to lie to say I was just too tired. Truth is I had no desire to be with her. This time, I came home ready to be with her and everything just felt right. I?m just reminded that every victory counts and that they can build on each other. Some victories are small and others feel big. This week felt like a big victory.

Day 48
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
I would agree, berry, that is a big victory!

Like yourself, hotels, motels, were a major cue for me in the past. I've suffered on numerous trips that were supposed to be fun, only because I was constantly thinking how I could be alone- so I could chanel surf, and look at porn. Or, I'd wait until the wife and daughter were asleep, so I could 'accidentally' find the porn chanel.

Seeing these trips change over the years, and this cue all but disappear, to where I actually enjoy traveling with my family, is a major stronghold taken down in my life.

I still wonder about when I'll begin to travel for ministry (as the Lord wills), how I'll deal. But, it will be an applying of the stuff I've learned so far. But, travelling in pairs, too, is a Biblical principle.

Good job on this front, traveling with your son- awesome!
 
DAY 60

60 days p free today! I feel like early on in my reboot, I counted battles by the minute and then by the day...every day was hard. But now its like a week goes by and I realize I've made another 7 days! It's like a wound that you think about constantly when it's fresh, but as it heals you start forgetting its there, until one day you've forgotten all about it. This is such a relief!

I even had a major opportunity for relapse this past weekend. My wife went out of town for two night leaving me home with my kids. In the past, I would've used this opportunity to act out in private once my kids were in bed. I would've stayed up for hours binging on p. But this time I didn't even feel the typical excited anticipation that usually comes with her leaving for a night or two. Instead, I just handled it like a "normal" person! It didn't even feel like an issue. A few weeks ago, I had a night alone without my wife and it was a real battle. I didn't give in, but it was a constant struggle wondering if I'd have the strength. This time, I KNEW I'd make it. I think the difference is time and healing of the mind. It feels like a victory of the will, and maybe so, but I think the will strengthens as the mind heals. As I've said before, our victories build on themselves and aren't wasted.

I'm not saying that I can't slip up, just that it's getting much easier. 60 days is the longest I've gone without using p in nearly the last 20 years. One year ago, I wouldn't have believed I could go 60 days without acting out. Today, I'm thankful for a new perspective. I can now imagine the rest of my life without p.

I appreciate reading so many other journals here at Reboot and for those who've commented on my journal. I know we're all in different places, but I'm thankful for the hope found here. We can do this! It is possible to live p free.

DAY 60
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Congrats, berry, on day 60!

We definitely have the 'being home alone' thing in common also! Like yourself, I would take hours going back and forth to the computer (or iPhone), obsessing over garbage. Sometimes I'd pray it through, but so many times it was defeat after defeat!

Those moments now when our wife or family are away, it's freedom to feel that this thing isn't even an issue!

We're finding our integrity again, we're being the men of God that our wives think we are...

Blessings!
 
DAY 70

Today marks 70 days p free! I don't have any major revelations about my reboot right now...just moving along without much distraction. I guess boring is good in this case. I've not been tempted to view p or masturbate at all. Sex with my wife has been consistent and great. I've read other stories of guys struggling in their sex life with their wives during a reboot, and I'm no marriage counselor, but I've realized for myself that p is inherently selfish. We're trained by it to think that sexual pleasure is about our own needs, but in marriage, we should be trying to meet the needs of our spouse before our own. If I approach sex with my wife and am only looking for my own pleasure, then I'll fail to develop a fully healthy sexual relationship with her. If we are both trying to outdo the other in pleasing each other, then we find something freeing and fulfilling. In this way, sex is a selfless act.

I'm not saying all this to be "preachy" to anyone here, but I'm saying it because this is my experience with p. P made me selfish. Sex with my wife was more of an obstacle. I felt entitled to be pleasured by my wife, and if I didn't get it, I'd turn to p. This led me to feel bitter toward her if she didn't respond the way I wanted or if she didn't initiate a sex act that I had in my mind. P made me think that she should jump all over me and that her only role in sex was to meet all my needs, give me everything I wanted, and to enjoy it (like women in p do). This is a totally selfish and unfair way to view sex with someone you love. Its how you'd view sex with someone you use.

70 days without P and M has made me a less selfish husband and more connected to my wife which has made sex more fulfilling for both of us. I don't want to go back.

DAY 70
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Awesome in reaching 70, berrylewis!

Excellent point on p versus marriage.

I made a kind of similar point in my journal yesterday, that p and autoeroticism in general is all so much self-idolatry. All these means are to simply worship ourselves through sexual gratification. But that these things are forms of the most ultimate of selfishnesses.

Loving making or sex with our wives is so much more meaningful and fulfilling. The intimacy we attain is the opposite of, and the very thing undermined by our former habits.
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
berrylewis29 said:
DAY 70

Today marks 70 days p free! I don't have any major revelations about my reboot right now...just moving along without much distraction. I guess boring is good in this case. I've not been tempted to view p or masturbate at all. Sex with my wife has been consistent and great. I've read other stories of guys struggling in their sex life with their wives during a reboot, and I'm no marriage counselor, but I've realized for myself that p is inherently selfish. We're trained by it to think that sexual pleasure is about our own needs, but in marriage, we should be trying to meet the needs of our spouse before our own. If I approach sex with my wife and am only looking for my own pleasure, then I'll fail to develop a fully healthy sexual relationship with her. If we are both trying to outdo the other in pleasing each other, then we find something freeing and fulfilling. In this way, sex is a selfless act.

Thank you for sharing this important point about selflessness. I hope I will get to that spot and your story is a big incentive. Take care!!!
 
Day 89

I've now been porn free for 89 days! My initial goal was 90 days, and I almost didn't post today so that I could wait until tomorrow to celebrate 90. But today feels surreal...almost like Christmas Eve night as a kid knowing what the morning would be. I can't believe I'm about to be 90 days free from porn! And this is why I think today is more powerful than tomorrow. Today I look forward to who I will be tomorrow: a guy I always wanted to be but never thought possible. That for me has been part of my motivation this whole time. I want to be the person I imagine in the future free from porn. I imagine myself growing old with my wife and not dragging this porn baggage with me to the grave. I imagine my future self as a dad who isn't distracted by porn and can fully engage with my kids. I imagine my future self as a minister who is fully reliant on the Holy Spirit to lead me and unhindered by the lingering sin of porn use. And I know that as I look to the future person I want to be, porn stands in my way and wants to kill those dreams.

So today is more powerful than tomorrow, but I KNOW that I won't use porn today! I'm so looking forward to finally being able to say that I'm 90 days porn free. I've never felt more confidence in fighting this because I want that 90 day victory so bad. But it goes beyond that. After 90 days, I will be fighting for the guy I want to be at 90 years old. I'm fighting for my marriage. I'm fighting for my legacy. I've never hated porn more than today. I no longer see it as an old friend, but rather as an old enemy. He still wants to fight but I've moved on. He's dead to me. I've got better things to do.

I don't usually offer tips in my journal, so what I'm about to write isn't advice exactly, but instead just some things I've learned during this reboot that I want to jot down:

1. It is possible to live porn free. I know how that sounds to anyone reading it who is in the middle of the addiction. I was that guy too! I use to hear people say that and think, "yeah but I bet his addiction wasn't as strong as mine". No! My addiction was sick, frequent, and lasted for decades. If I can do it, anyone can.

2. The battle really is the classic "two steps forward and one step back" sometimes. This isn't an excuse for relapse...just encouragement not to give up. I tried so many times and failed. But every time I tried to stop was training for the next time. Every attempt created building blocks for the next attempt. Don't give up. Learn from it. Keep moving.

3. It gets easier. When I started trying to quit porn, I thought I'd have to live life with these insane temptations but somehow just resist them for the rest of my life and that felt impossible and almost depressing. I use to be an avid runner. I loved the "runners high" that I would experience at a certain point when I finally ran far and long enough that for some reason all the pain in my legs finally went away, and I felt like I could run forever. That's how I feel today with my porn addiction. At some point in this reboot, a switch flipped in my brain. Images don't tempt me like they used to. They don't have the pull or power they once had. I don't go through the day constantly fighting the urge to look at provocative images/video or find relief through MO. I feel like I'm just living my life! I think the flipping switch is the rewiring of my brain. It's been "rebooted". Those neural pathways from porn triggers to release are no longer as strong and my brain has had to learn that's not how we're going to do things from now on.

4. Being porn free has made me a better person is other areas of my life. I was so consumed with my porn addiction that I filtered all my issues through it. But what I've realized now is that there are so many other areas of my life that needed my attention, but I was so focused on my porn problem that I ignored other things. I'm more attentive to my marriage and my kids. We've never been happier. I'm more focused on my work and have never felt more fulfilled. I enjoy my hobbies more. Porn really does wreck everything because it demands all of you.

I now want to reach 120 days porn free (of course I don't want to ever return to it).
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Congratulations, berry, on 89-90 days, porn free!

You've proven to yourself that you can take back the power from this addiction and change your life.

Wishing you well as you go on, to be that minister, that spiritual man that you know yourself to be in Him.

Blessings!
 
Day 100

100 days p free! It?s strange how I?ve come this far and yet when I hit the 90 day mark, I had more temptation than I have had since day 25 or so. It seems like the week after 90 days was so full of distraction and images that I accidentally stubbled upon that I, for the first time in weeks, felt that I could actually relapse. (The images were just of an attractive woman on Facebook, but it triggered something that caused me to pull up long forgotten memories of p I?ve stored in my mind)

But I didn?t relapse. Instead I was able to push the images out of my mind and think clearly about who I am becoming and who I want to be. I?m so thankful for that! It is definitely getting easier.

 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Congrats on day 100, berry!

Good work on dismissing those urges around day 90, too!

You?re doing it, changing your habits!
 
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