Starting a new diary

SebUK

Active Member
Hi guys

I'm back after a bit of hiatus. My old diary has disappeared which is super annoying because it had a lot of good information on it and I'm currently relapsing hard. But I've decided to start writing a diary here again because I think it was quite helpful to my previous stint of 3 months clean. So I will aim to post here once a day like I did before.

Hopefully it does not disappear again...

Anyway in terms of relapsing I'm struggling. I relapsed last night for 5 hours and just edged and edged until I PMO. Not great. Feeling okay today surprisingly but that is the antidepressants doing their job! Very frustrated at this situation overall. Feel locked into a cycle that I can't get out. That last three months it felt like I had finally come up for air, and now I'm deep in the water drowning again.

I'm trying to hold onto hope. I never really understood why in Hollywood movies they say the word 'hope' so much. And "you can always rely on hope", "never give up hope". I didn't really get it. I think I do now. It basically means, in my interpretation anyway, that you don't know what the future holds. Things could happen in the future that allow you to overcome this problem. You have to hang in there to see if that's the case.
 
Hello SebNZ,

I'm back after a bit of hiatus. My old diary has disappeared which is super annoying because it had a lot of good information on it and I'm currently relapsing hard. But I've decided to start writing a diary here again because I think it was quite helpful to my previous stint of 3 months clean. So I will aim to post here once a day like I did before.

Sorry to hear that you lost your journal. If it's any consolation, I held a journal on a separate PA website from late 2011 onwards. In 2019 I went to write in this journal again as I'd not updated it for maybe a year and a half and to my dismay, the website had gone. Hundreds of journal entries, hundreds of threads, and many hundreds of other responses, all gone forever. Suffice it to say, I was thoroughly depressed that I had lost so much history. However, now that I've had to begin over I am once again getting all the benefits from this (i.e by getting my thoughts down in writing) as I did with my first journal so good on you for starting again.

Anyway in terms of relapsing I'm struggling. I relapsed last night for 5 hours and just edged and edged until I PMO. Not great. Feeling okay today surprisingly but that is the antidepressants doing their job! Very frustrated at this situation overall. Feel locked into a cycle that I can't get out. That last three months it felt like I had finally come up for air, and now I'm deep in the water drowning again.

I am also sorry to hear that you're having a difficult time right now. Over the past 9 years I've had plenty of ups and downs and in those difficult times where it feels like you're taking one step forward but two steps back, I often felt that I couldn't figure a way out of the vicious cycle. Everyone has their own methods but as my most 'at risk' time is when I'm getting ready for bed, I often have to forcibly tell myself that I AM turning off my laptop and I AM putting my phone down and not looking at it at all. Sometimes, I will just get in bed and go to sleep at a really early time (sometimes 9:30pm) just so that I remove all opportunity of looking at P / triggering material. The most frustrating thing for me is that this solution is so incredibly simple and so easy to implement, yet I regularly find it so difficult to actually do. I can't offer any solutions for your situation really, as we all have different triggers and different habits. However, sometimes an 'extreme' solution - like my going to bed really early - can help just get you through the hardest of moments when temptations are running wild and you feel unable to resist consuming P. Anyway, I hope you manage to find a way to break your current cycle!

hd619
 

SebUK

Active Member
Sorry to hear that you lost your journal. If it's any consolation, I held a journal on a separate PA website from late 2011 onwards. In 2019 I went to write in this journal again as I'd not updated it for maybe a year and a half and to my dismay, the website had gone. Hundreds of journal entries, hundreds of threads, and many hundreds of other responses, all gone forever. Suffice it to say, I was thoroughly depressed that I had lost so much history. However, now that I've had to begin over I am once again getting all the benefits from this (i.e by getting my thoughts down in writing) as I did with my first journal so good on you for starting again.

I am also sorry to hear that you're having a difficult time right now. Over the past 9 years I've had plenty of ups and downs and in those difficult times where it feels like you're taking one step forward but two steps back, I often felt that I couldn't figure a way out of the vicious cycle. Everyone has their own methods but as my most 'at risk' time is when I'm getting ready for bed, I often have to forcibly tell myself that I AM turning off my laptop and I AM putting my phone down and not looking at it at all. Sometimes, I will just get in bed and go to sleep at a really early time (sometimes 9:30pm) just so that I remove all opportunity of looking at P / triggering material. The most frustrating thing for me is that this solution is so incredibly simple and so easy to implement, yet I regularly find it so difficult to actually do. I can't offer any solutions for your situation really, as we all have different triggers and different habits. However, sometimes an 'extreme' solution - like my going to bed really early - can help just get you through the hardest of moments when temptations are running wild and you feel unable to resist consuming P. Anyway, I hope you manage to find a way to break your current cycle!

hd619

thanks for your thoughts mate! Very appreciated. That's one of the reasons why I'm journaling here and not just doing it on a word document - it's good to know you're not alone.

Yes it was frustrating to lose all that stuff. I can imagine it was even more frustrating for you as you lost a helluva lot more than I did! I'm going to screenshot from now to ensure I don't lose anything. But as you mention, I think the main benefit is just writing stuff down in the first place. It helps cleanse your mind/release your thoughts so they are less bothersome, which is great therapy.

Regarding going to bed early, I think this can work as a solution but I use it a bit differently. In the past I have had success when where I've been feeling like relapsing, if I go have a nap for a few hours, when I wake up, the thoughts are sometimes gone. This hasn't worked for me lately unfortunately - the thoughts just build and build and build until the anxiety/tightness inside is painful as hell and I just want to get rid of it (and then relapse).

I'm still not entirely sure how I was able to go for three months at the end of last year with no problems. That is all evidenced in my now lost journal ;P I basically know what I was doing though, so I will try to follow that again.

Incidentally I just watched a movie called Unsane; it's very good. It's about a woman who gets involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution, where unfortunately her stalker has taken up a job. Quite harrowing. The reason I mention it is that it presents a very depressing picture of men. The men in the movie are either creeps or incompetent. I have mixed feelings about this. I know there are guys out there who are creeps. And the material I have looked at certainly makes me a creep if I'm honest. I hate that I have looked at it though and am trying to stop. Does that stop me from being a creep? The stalker in the film is clearly screwed up but he has a weird love/fascination for her. He obviously needs help. Is he a villain or a victim himself? These are the questions these types of movies ask but don't really answer.

Sometimes I find it very depressing to be a guy.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Welcome back SebNZ.

Sorry to hear of your recent string of relapses. I'm sure it also has not helped losing your journal and with that, a lot of reflections & effort you've put into this journey. The loss of history & work is only a perceived one I assure you. The real work you've done is still counting even right now. Perhaps there might be some benefits to be found in a fresh start?

I can related to the 'emergency nap' to ride out an urges. If it's not working for you as of late, perhaps there are some different circumstances in your life and recovery at the moment that are contributing to the urges being so difficult to manage?

Re the depressing picture of men. Though I have always personally made a conscious decision to stay away from the more misogynistic, violent areas of internet P, I have escalated in other areas and I, like most on this forum, can appreciate the pain & cognitive dissonance of trying to separate yourself from your learnt tastes & preferences.

There are important questions to be asked in regards to why some men have the compulsions to view & treat women the way that they do. I feel it's also necessary to remember that most of our concerning P use is a product of escalation, not innate preference. Just because we've watched a lot of something doesn't necessarily mean we are that something or even like it. I often find this is important to tell myself as not doing so always leads to a shame/relapse cycle that I can't escape.

Anyway welcome back & good luck. We can do this!

 

TheHeartacheKid

Active Member
Hi SebNZ,

Glad you're back but sorry to hear you're struggling.  You're doing good things for yourself though it already sounds like, including posting on here.

Regarding the creep thing, I too feel it.  Constantly.  Always in my mind that I'm a creep.  But I'm starting to differentiate between a person who has done a creepy thing or two verses a creep.  Every single human at some point has done something someone would deem creepy.  Severity of course varies, but we all at some point do something, I have no doubt.  A creep, to me, is someone who takes pleasure in what they're doing.  Someone who actively enjoys it, and even methodically plans it out in some cases.  We don't take pleasure in this.  From what I've read on here, no one really plans it out or overly enjoys it.  Which would not make us creeps.  It makes us ill, ill in a different way than a "creep."  Creeps don't express the regret, remorse and shame that this forum is filled with.

In general though, I wish as a species, we would do away with a lot of words, creep being one of them :).

But you're not a creep, none of us are, we're just suffering, and now we're getting better.  Stay strong!
 

SebUK

Active Member
Orbiter said:
Welcome back SebNZ.

Sorry to hear of your recent string of relapses. I'm sure it also has not helped losing your journal and with that, a lot of reflections & effort you've put into this journey. The loss of history & work is only a perceived one I assure you. The real work you've done is still counting even right now. Perhaps there might be some benefits to be found in a fresh start?

I can related to the 'emergency nap' to ride out an urges. If it's not working for you as of late, perhaps there are some different circumstances in your life and recovery at the moment that are contributing to the urges being so difficult to manage?

Re the depressing picture of men. Though I have always personally made a conscious decision to stay away from the more misogynistic, violent areas of internet P, I have escalated in other areas and I, like most on this forum, can appreciate the pain & cognitive dissonance of trying to separate yourself from your learnt tastes & preferences.

There are important questions to be asked in regards to why some men have the compulsions to view & treat women the way that they do. I feel it's also necessary to remember that most of our concerning P use is a product of escalation, not innate preference. Just because we've watched a lot of something doesn't necessarily mean we are that something or even like it. I often find this is important to tell myself as not doing so always leads to a shame/relapse cycle that I can't escape.

Anyway welcome back & good luck. We can do this!
Good to hear from you man. I 100% agree about the 'shame cycle'.

I'm not sure what's making it more difficult for me to manage to be honest. Lockdown where I live is over, and my relapses started soon after that (but not immediately after!), so maybe that has something to do with it - uncertainty and anxiety. Or maybe it's just random bad luck/neurochemistry. I.e. my brain decided one day to have a relapse and now I'm in the hole again trying to get out.
 

SebUK

Active Member
TheHeartacheKid said:
Hi SebNZ,

Glad you're back but sorry to hear you're struggling.  You're doing good things for yourself though it already sounds like, including posting on here.

Regarding the creep thing, I too feel it.  Constantly.  Always in my mind that I'm a creep.  But I'm starting to differentiate between a person who has done a creepy thing or two verses a creep.  Every single human at some point has done something someone would deem creepy.  Severity of course varies, but we all at some point do something, I have no doubt.  A creep, to me, is someone who takes pleasure in what they're doing.  Someone who actively enjoys it, and even methodically plans it out in some cases.  We don't take pleasure in this.  From what I've read on here, no one really plans it out or overly enjoys it.  Which would not make us creeps.  It makes us ill, ill in a different way than a "creep."  Creeps don't express the regret, remorse and shame that this forum is filled with.

In general though, I wish as a species, we would do away with a lot of words, creep being one of them :).

But you're not a creep, none of us are, we're just suffering, and now we're getting better.  Stay strong!
Thanks for your support mate.

I like your distinction between someone who enjoys it versus someone who is regretful about it. Although even then, I feel pity for the person who enjoys it, and do not feel great about labelling them as a 'monster' or 'evil' like some might do. At the end of the day we're all human. I have made many bad choices in my life and a lot of people would probably consider me a monster but I don't feel like one and I certainly wouldn't like others to think so.

But you are right, there are some people who do simply enjoy hurting others and feel no remorse for doing so. Not sure how many are out there, but they are out there.
 

SebUK

Active Member
Today was fairly boring. Work is very slow at the moment. I'm planning on taking a few months of unpaid leave to try and sort this problem out. To me that means putting in place a strong structure and routine, fixing my diet, and improving physical exercise. Yes, I should be able to do this while working, but I'm not. And since I have the luxury of taking some time off, I'm going to do it. It will be interesting to see if my relapses stop when I stop working. In that case I know my job may be a key trigger. (probably not working per se but the anxiety of it, or something about the job). Which will be very useful to know!

Another thing I (re)discovered after talking to a friend on the weekend was that one of my drivers for relapsing is being bored or more specifically, needing excitement. Porn is like a massive rush compared to the rest of my life which is basically sitting at the computer, shopping, or at best, going out clubbing/bar hopping (which is less exciting than uplifting- assuming the music is good).

I think thriller/action movies may be able to play a substitute role here. I have a nice TV and good headphones and lately when I've been watching good movies I've noticed myself getting quite excited. Obviously I knew this before but if I can maximise the excitement I get from that, it should help reduce my relapses.

Other much more exciting things are: paintball, organised sport, and adrenaline junkie activities like sky-diving. But at the moment I am too low energy (or lazy if I'm being harsh on myself) to do those things.
 

TheHeartacheKid

Active Member
You're right, I don't like labeling anybody either.  It's part of the reason these things become so taboo and people are hesitant to seek help and such.  It's how some places (particularly the US) are more reactionary rather than preventative.

I'm really impressed you made the decision to take the time off work for yourself.  You know how few people make choices like that when they need it?  Yes, as you said, you can afford it and some others can't, but many other can and simply don't choose themselves when they need to.  Good for you! 

I love movies.  It is one of the most depressing things about this Covid, in that I can't really go to a movie theater (or at least not as often as I like).  Movies in general, I love and always offer me a reprieve, so I think this will work out nicely for you.  And please do share if you watch any good ones!

 

SebUK

Active Member
TheHeartacheKid said:
You're right, I don't like labeling anybody either.  It's part of the reason these things become so taboo and people are hesitant to seek help and such.  It's how some places (particularly the US) are more reactionary rather than preventative.

I'm really impressed you made the decision to take the time off work for yourself.  You know how few people make choices like that when they need it?  Yes, as you said, you can afford it and some others can't, but many other can and simply don't choose themselves when they need to.  Good for you! 

I love movies.  It is one of the most depressing things about this Covid, in that I can't really go to a movie theater (or at least not as often as I like).  Movies in general, I love and always offer me a reprieve, so I think this will work out nicely for you.  And please do share if you watch any good ones!
Cheers mate :) I have now got approval for my time off so looking forward to that. A bit anxious about relapsing again but for some reason I think it's going to be okay. We will see.

I'm really binging movies at the moment so will definitely give my reviews and thoughts on this thread :) Much healthier than looking at porn!

 

SebUK

Active Member
Another fairly uneventful day.

One of the problems with this addiction is it feeds on itself. So when I relapse, I really don't want to go out and be seen, the shame is so intense. And the anxiety is very high. I'm fairly lucky that I can work at home because if I was not, I would be having a LOT of time off. I'm able to grind through the day after a relapse if I'm working from home though.

So the last relapse was on Friday night. Not very long ago. Still feel a bit ill about it but the anti-depressants are numbing me to it to some extent.

Energy is quite low though. God damn it I wish I could reverse time and go back to just a few minutes before the relapse and somehow make a different decision. I would be feeling so so so much better right now.

It is a really stupid thing when you think about it. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Although one could argue I'm not really expecting a different result - I know what's going to happen and I do it anyway either because I want this result or because I can't help it. I'm going with the latter explanation at the moment but I'm really not sure.

I think this weekend should be fine. Thursday already, the week is going fast.
 

TheHeartacheKid

Active Member
You're doing good man!  Friday was relapse and tomorrow is Thursday, so you'll be at 6 days.  Just one more day for a full week.  I know you've gone longer than a week before, but it's still something to be proud of!  You're making it!
 

SebUK

Active Member
Thanks mate!! Yes once you get a roll on it starts to build its own momentum. Problem is getting the ball rolling in the first place! I tend to have a few binges before finally getting on the wagon again. Very frustrating! But I think this weekend should be okay.

Another fairly uneventful day. Definitely realised that my life is a bit boring and that is probably a key contributor to my relapsing.

I watched a movie: the Spanish original of 'Vanilla Sky' (that was a remake). Pretty good but also kind of a superficial story. It's basically about a good looking guy losing his looks and therefore a really pretty women (Penelope Cruz) who he had just met, and now can't stand the sight of him. As an average looking dude, I find it hard to sympathise with his situation lol.

I often wonder what it would be like to be beautiful or super handsome. I know this is a dumb and probably immature thing to think at my age (39), but it keeps coming up in my thoughts.

Friday tomorrow!
 

SebUK

Active Member
Much busier day today. I noticed that my energy is a lot higher when I'm busy which is kind of interesting. Guess your body and brain shut down when there's nothing much to do. Makes sense I suppose.

Still doing MO, which seems okay for now. Don't really need it, mainly doing it to clear head. Sometimes I'm just so tired and low energy that I can't be bothered doing anything, so I just lie in bed. MO is a way to get out of the funk. Somehow it clears the mind a bit.

Planning to go to the beach on Sunday. That will be challenging in terms of triggers. Will have to think about how I manage that.

Have not got anything social planned this weekend which goes against my new 'rules'. My theory is by having something social planned every Saturday afternoon or night I will avoid relapsing on Friday night, and hopefully Saturday night too. Nothing worse than meeting someone when you have the shame of a relapse on your mind.

Other than that my structure is generally working well.

Hope everyone is doing well!
 

Aussie_85

Active Member
Hey mate,

just wanted to say G'day and that I was in the same boat as you ( 6 years ago ) was 94 days clean on hardmode and spiralled out of control into a relapse binge that lasted..well 6 years.

Don't make the same mistake bro! It can be terribly depressing to do all that time and relapse.

I'll keep track of how your going,

cheers.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
SebNZ said:
Much busier day today. I noticed that my energy is a lot higher when I'm busy which is kind of interesting. Guess your body and brain shut down when there's nothing much to do. Makes sense I suppose.

Still doing MO, which seems okay for now. Don't really need it, mainly doing it to clear head. Sometimes I'm just so tired and low energy that I can't be bothered doing anything, so I just lie in bed. MO is a way to get out of the funk. Somehow it clears the mind a bit.

Planning to go to the beach on Sunday. That will be challenging in terms of triggers. Will have to think about how I manage that.

Have not got anything social planned this weekend which goes against my new 'rules'. My theory is by having something social planned every Saturday afternoon or night I will avoid relapsing on Friday night, and hopefully Saturday night too. Nothing worse than meeting someone when you have the shame of a relapse on your mind.

Other than that my structure is generally working well.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Sounds like you've got the right idea Seb. I think in times of difficulty on this journey, the way through is to just make sure you're engaged enough doing other things, social or otherwise. And yeah, the post relapse hangout is always awful, a good deterrent.

Hope everything went according to plan. Keep up the good work!
 

SebUK

Active Member
Aussie_85 said:
Hey mate,

just wanted to say G'day and that I was in the same boat as you ( 6 years ago ) was 94 days clean on hardmode and spiralled out of control into a relapse binge that lasted..well 6 years.

Don't make the same mistake bro! It can be terribly depressing to do all that time and relapse.

I'll keep track of how your going,

cheers.
Cheers mate :) Where are you at at the moment? I'll follow your progress too. I'm also in Aussie BTW - bloody hot day today!
 

SebUK

Active Member
Orbiter said:
SebNZ said:
Much busier day today. I noticed that my energy is a lot higher when I'm busy which is kind of interesting. Guess your body and brain shut down when there's nothing much to do. Makes sense I suppose.

Still doing MO, which seems okay for now. Don't really need it, mainly doing it to clear head. Sometimes I'm just so tired and low energy that I can't be bothered doing anything, so I just lie in bed. MO is a way to get out of the funk. Somehow it clears the mind a bit.

Planning to go to the beach on Sunday. That will be challenging in terms of triggers. Will have to think about how I manage that.

Have not got anything social planned this weekend which goes against my new 'rules'. My theory is by having something social planned every Saturday afternoon or night I will avoid relapsing on Friday night, and hopefully Saturday night too. Nothing worse than meeting someone when you have the shame of a relapse on your mind.

Other than that my structure is generally working well.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Sounds like you've got the right idea Seb. I think in times of difficulty on this journey, the way through is to just make sure you're engaged enough doing other things, social or otherwise. And yeah, the post relapse hangout is always awful, a good deterrent.

Hope everything went according to plan. Keep up the good work!
Thanks :)

Appreciate your support Orbiter! Makes a huge difference to me.

I ended up not going to the beach, which may have been a good thing (no triggers). I'm pretty sure there's quite a strong correlation with me going out into public and getting triggered and then coming home and relapsing. This is really screwed up! I obviously can't be a hermit for the rest of my life but I bet it would make my porn addiction a lot easier to manage (maybe even go away?). I know what the pattern is. It goes like this:
at home fairly calm > go out > see some hot girl wearing skimpy clothing > try to ignore > feel aroused/feel despair/feel resentful/try to manage these feelings through mindfulness etc as best I can > come home > do random things > start to think about triggers and get aroused > relapse.

One metaphor is that it's like a bucket of water. Every time I go out, I'm filling the bucket. Eventually it's full and that's when I relapse. If I don't go out much (like at the moment), the bucket is very slow to fill and I feel like the problem is manageable. This weekend was reasonably straight forward - no really strong temptations.

This next week is my last week of work before I have three months off. I have asked for this time off from my job to sort out this problem. I am also terrified of relapsing over and over again in the first week. The porn part of my brain will rationalise it like so: "You have three months off - why not enjoy it by binging? You then have 3 months to recover!" Which is ridiculous logic but hey, who said this addiction was logical.

Having said that, I'm still feeling confident right this minute. I have a pretty good structure set up again and am slowly getting less tired. It is absolutely crazy how tired I was after the last binge/cycle. I would be sleeping like 10 hours a day. What a waste!

Hope everyone is doing well.
 

Aussie_85

Active Member
Hey mate,

From first-hand experience don't isolate/hermit it. It's literally the opposite of what humans need, we need stimulation, interaction. I'm a bit introverted in that i don't really like people or socializing, could be due to long term addiction not sure yet - but I do know just getting out of the house is essential. You work, that's getting out of the house. Walk daily, I've got a dog - a golden retriever who is my best mate - i have to walk him daily (rain hail or shine) or he gets sooky and I feel like a shit owner. Avoid the beach, women these days with the beach attire might just be to triggering for you at this stage.

I understand your triggers, it's rational - see a hot woman - want sex.

Look at it this way - see a hot chick - think "i know this is how i usually get triggered but every time i relapse it's pushing me further and further away from the reality of actually having a chick like that to not only have sex with, but be close to and have a relationship with so I'm not so fucking lonely anymore - porn is the opposite of where I want to go."

Something along those lines so that you view porn and relapsing with hatred.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Welcome back, SebNZ!

Sorry about your previous journal, and your current struggles...

I like what you said about hope, and your hope is more concrete because you have three months of progress to prove that you can and will do this thing!

Walking with you.
 
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