Starting a new diary

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escapeandnevercomeback

Guest
I have this problem too: Not being able to enjoy things that are not instant gratification. This is the prize I pay for porn I guess. But, in my case, it gets better around 3 weeks in when dopamine gets more sensitive again. I see you want to choose a day for instant gratification activities but be careful not to binge like crazy. 
 

SebUK

Active Member
@escape: so far I've done three months sober and still my dopamine levels seem screwed :(

Bad news for me. Had a massive relapse today. Binged on P for about 5 hours. Edging and edging until you know what. Feel like absolute shit now, like human garbage. I've become so desensitised to porn now, I go straight to the most extreme stuff.

I suppose this journal entry will be a kind of confession.

Feeling like a huge boulder has been put on my shoulders, again. Like my whole body is lead. I will go to sleep soon and it will be a terrible sleep, the one where you go to sleep with a bad conscience and sleep badly as a result.

This all seems very unfair.

The whole day I was feeling triggered and I tried to fight it but eventually I broke. I went and got my other phone from the outdoor garage/locker thing and went on my binge. I felt somewhat in autopilot but I also was willing. Part of me wants to keep doing this. It's a very strange feeling when it takes over, like you are there but not there, kind of a silent witness to the horror/pleasure.

Couple of things to note for posterity, and maybe if I am unsuccessful, for others reading this. First, I was supposed to go into work to clean my desk up even though I'm on leave but I was told I didn't need to do this. This was something holding me back from relapsing. Once that went away, another barrier dropped. Second, I asked a girl over for a booty call and she rejected me. This probably fuelled my resentment and my 'fuck it' feeling. Third, as I mentioned a post above, I don't have anything material to look forward to or put another way, no instantly gratifying things to look forward to.  Fourth, I have reduced my SSRI dose. This may have made me feel lower than before.

Annoyingly, I had NOT let my guard down and I was still doing my daily structure. Despite that I still relapsed.

That's about it I guess. I am going to continue cutting down the SSRIs; I need to deal with my emotions once and for all and not numb myself to them. That is probably feeding the addiction too. All the SSRIs are doing is making me feel less bad after a relapse (like right now I feel awful but I know I should feel worse).

Life is a fucking bitch, and then you die.

Anyway, I hope everyone else is doing better!
 

TheHeartacheKid

Active Member
Sorry to hear how you're feeling friend.  I must say, I'm impressed you determined to back off on your meds WHILE battling addiction.  That's a man's work.  I just had a bad binge myself, but you for sure haven't undone your progress.  Sounds like a lot of things went wrong at the right time for a relapse.  Meds probably just tipped the scale.

You're certainly not human garbage or any kind of bad thing.  Just someone dealing with a lot, you're no different than the person that takes a drink, or binges on food, or works himself to death as an escape.  It's just ours is so readily available and has never ending variety.  But still, we're no different.

Everything you said resonated with me (autopilot, saying fuck it).  Exactly how I felt.  And also the part about not wanting this but also wanting it.  Every human likes sex, and it takes many forms, so of course we want it.  Just have to find healthier ways...just a bitch to retrain our minds to those healthier ways, because addiction is a bitch itself.  But we can.

You're doing well man.  Everybody has a whoopsie...some of us have multiple.  Dust yourself off, I'm not sure how long your streak was, but it was weeks at least I know.  So you know you can do this.  Be good to yourself this weekend.
 

SebUK

Active Member
Thanks man. Very kind words. I almost had another relapse earlier this afternoon but I slept it off and am feeling better now. Your words help strengthen my determination :)

Today has been pretty good compared to yesterday. I woke up at 7am and basically followed my routine. I'll watch a movie soon and then go to bed. Going to bed at a normal time is definitely less exciting than staying up all night :p

I really need to think of some exciting things to do so I don't start dwelling on porn after a while.

My mood is surprisingly good today also. But normally the really low feeling hits a few days after so I have that to look forward to!

Hope everyone is doing well :)
 

SebUK

Active Member
Another massive relapse last night. Just logging on to say I will be seeking professional help as this is now out of control. The things I'm doing are not really working. Will report on how I go.
 

SebUK

Active Member
Yeah I think I need to try getting help again EW. I've seen counsellors before and it has helped but never really fixed the problem (or told me how I can fix the problem). And it is expensive! But I need to sort this out...so I will bite the bullet and do it.

First appointment tomorrow!
 

TheHeartacheKid

Active Member
Good luck SebNZ!  Despite the relapses, I hope you pat yourself on the back for seeking help now before it got way out of control.  Despite how you may feel, that does show progress, taking the initiative.  Hope you find a good therapist.  I'm confident you'll be fine, as I said, you've already proven to yourself you can do it, all it is now is a matter of executing (and maybe a few adjustments, or even just additions, to what you had in place already).  Stay strong my friend.
 

SebUK

Active Member
Cheers mate :) Appreciate it.

I had my first session last week. It was stressful and heavy but I felt better afterwards. I think/hope this psychologist is going to help me. My next session is on Thursday and I'm looking forward to it.

I have also come off the drugs I was on. My energy has increased massively - I had no idea the impact they had. I basically do not need naps during the day now and I can actually get shit done! Huge difference. I still think the drugs were helpful at the time but I'm now very glad to be off them. My emotions are also coming back, which is good, although I do feel the angry/frustration creeping back too. I will just have to learn how to deal with those emotions properly, rather than self-soothing through porn.

To be completely honest, I have been looking at porn since last Thursday. But it is 'normal' porn not the really degrading upsetting stuff I have looked at during my last massive binge. As I type this I feel a bit silly - obviously no porn would be ideal. But I feel like seeing the psychologist now has innoculated me against going into the really bad stuff. So for some reason (my brain argues) the 'normal' stuff is okay now. Part of me thinks this is ridiculous. Tonight I will try and not look at it. I still feel anxious during the day if I do look at it, and that's what I'm telling myself right now.

Anyway a very incoherent stream of thoughts there, but I hope everyone else is doing well.

PS: I'm going to keep posting here because I think it helps me at the end of the day get a lot of the noise out of my mind and so helps me sleep better!
 

imsorrynotsorry

Active Member
Hey SebNZ,

Your honesty is very much welcomed here and we all need it to see everyone in here can be open about our addiction, even then when ourselfs feeling weird about it - this is the place to write it down. And it's important too, because other people need to know that we accept what one writes.

For the ongoing watching P part. I advice to stop.
So for some reason (my brain argues) the 'normal' stuff is okay now. Part of me thinks this is ridiculous.
This is what's happening. The brain/addiction finds reason why it's ok to look at that, look at this, some pics might be ok, stuff like that. It's tricky, because you can't filter out what's really ok. So long term P will crawl up between your thoughts of what's ok and what's not. If possible stop it, even though i know that with stopping the fighting begins. You can decide then which of both is of more value for you?
 

SebUK

Active Member
Hey man, I'm nothing if not honest. At least for the most part. I spare you guys some of the worst details I guess.

Anyway, I looked at porn again before. 2.5 hours! But again, the milder stuff. I'm seeing my psychologist tomorrow and that is acting as a brake against going into the dark territory.

This is obviously not an ideal situation as I already noted below. But for some reason I keep doing it and it feels like the lesser of two evils. I will talk to him tomorrow about what I can do.

Also, as the drugs have worn off (they are almost completely out of my system now), the anger towards women is coming back. This, mixed with low self-confidence in terms of how I look, is basically a catalyst for me to look at porn. This has been my life for many years now. The drugs kind of masked it. So it's good to feel the problem clearly so hopefully I can work out how to manage or maybe even fix it.

Hope everyone is doing well out there :) (I sound like I'm doing quite shit but I'm actually feeling quite alright...weird.)
 

Maglue

Active Member
Seb keep posting buddy...
I'm 36 and a multiple addict for many years of porn alcohol weed food and gambling and I've curbed them all but food is flaring up again...
I'm on day 34 no pmo and I'm finding it extremely easy...
I want real sex so bad I will do everything... but I guess with the food I can relate I just kept thinking about it today until I broke... ...
...
I've realized after nearly 40 days healthy I relapsed on food because I was bored so I'm starting new activities and hobbies...
I'm messaging old friends and catching up and working on new hobbies to fill the time... going to the library tomorrow and have to replace that time that addictions could fill so that you get some dopamine and highs from natural means...
This is what I sort of figured out today and aussie85 is it said it aswell... thanks man....
...
I'm glad your off the meds is going to bring that up...
Anti depressants give you ED, so it's just a loop of more depression... my cousin was on them and he eventually came off them have to be content with what you have and what you really want from your life....
....
Give up the porn for good man..
Life is so so so much better without it...

Learn how to play poker and get into cryptocurrency... !!

All the best sir...
 

SebUK

Active Member
Cheers man. That's some good advice in your post there. Agree that need to fill up free time with other activities. It sounds like you're a bit like me in that you have an addictive personality? Porn, alcohol, weed food and gambling. Good on you for curbing them.

For me, I've only really struggled with porn. It's my ONE outlet/vice. Sometimes I wish it was more diffuse...like I binged on other stuff. But it's really only porn that gives me trouble. I've never had issue with alcohol (hangover), smoking (makes me feel sick), gambling (too expensive). All of those cost money as well, whereas porn is free. That is the big issue for me. I'm not cheap but I don't like to waste money. Porn is like the ultimate high because it is FREE and it gives me a massive buzz.

I'm still relapsing but I'm trying to get it under control! I saw my psychologist last week and his diagnosis was essentially that I'm using porn as a way to fill a void in my life, an existential void. I agree with that! He told me he's going to use cognitive behavioural therapy to allow me to first get on top of the addiction so it's not wrecking my daily life, and secondly, deal with the underlying causes (lack of interesting things to do and being easily bored and then drawn to porn). So this all sounds great. He reckons I'll need 30 sessions - long term committment to get on top of this problem. I'm okay with this and am committed.

I'm seeing him again on Tuesday.

One more quick point. This morning was Sunday and I've kind of decided that Sunday is my "fuck it" day where I just do whatever I want. I thought this would be good because the rest of my week is pretty structured. I figured that this was leading to relapses. I.e. I would be good all day and 'structured' and then at the end of the day I would be like "fuck it" and relapse. So the Sunday is supposed to be a safety valve.

Good in theory but this morning I relapsed again :( I thought to myself, "okay you can do anything...what do you want to do?" Answer: porn. F***.

Anyway. I will keep at it.

Hope everyone is doing good out there.

PS: Good movie to watch: re addiction and mid-life crisis type stuff: "Another Round".
 

EarthWalker

Active Member
Hi, Seb.

Awesome change with the psychologist. Since you are mentioning this existential void. Have you thought about seeing a psychologist trained in Logotherapy?

Good luck
EW

 

SebUK

Active Member
Nah mate, is that the type of therapy advocated by Frankl? I will look into it. This psychologist is very CBT-focused.

I finally did not relapse today and am already feeling better for it. In my last cycle of relapses I felt kinda numb to the negatives but they become very obvious at certain points during the day. For example, I'll be feeling okay and then suddenly I'll feel super tired. Or I'll be feeling okay and then I'll suddenly get really angry at something minor. I only am really like this when I've looked at porn. It makes my moods and emotions quite unstable.

Partly this isn't really even the porn I think. It's more the fact that I can't get it under control and it is controlling me. That makes me really mad!

I'm going to see the psychologist again tomorrow for my first proper CBT-session. The first two sessions were just about my personal history. I'm a bit nervous but also hoping that it will put me on the right path.
 

SebUK

Active Member
So since Monday I've been doing pretty well. No relapses just one MO (and wasn't thinking of porn). The session with the psychologist went well. He is trying to help me replace my maladaptive behaviour (porn use) with other more healthy uses. But first he is helping me see why I use porn, that is, what benefits I get out of it; what purpose it serves for me. I know this to some extent already but talking it through with a professional help makes it more 'real' somehow. The session also made it more obvious that I have a real issue with women, still. I find women my age (30s) bossy, controlling and am extremely sensitive to what they say about me. Again, I knew this to some extent already but saying it out loud to someone else makes me realise how much power these views I hold still have over me. Using porn gives me a feeling of control, power, which I don't have in real life.

Going to go watch a movie now so will keep this post short, but wanted to check in.
 

SebUK

Active Member
Hey all

Well had a pretty good day until an hour ago where I relapsed again. NOthing too degrading but still porn and I still feel a bit shitty. My self-esteem is now tied strongly to whether I relapse or not, although the damage to it depends on what I'm looking at.

Not feeling too great at the moment. But I STILL feel in a better position than a few weeks ago where I had no plan, no external help and was kind of just surviving. So there is that.

I have a fairly busy weekend coming up and lots of social stuff. Not greatly looking forward to that because of my relapsing. F*** if only I had stayed clean I would be feeling so much better. Sigh.

But as my psychologist says, the porn is filling a need. I need to replace it with something else. I even started learning to dance today, which was pretty funny (dancing in front of the TV LOL). Felt good after that. Then a few hours later I relapsed. It's always around the same time: 7-8pm when the day is over and I feel like I need a treat/reward/boost/buzz. For being 'good' all day? Something like that.

Hmm.

Anyway hope everyone else is doing alright out there.
 
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escapeandnevercomeback

Guest
I know how it works, man. I too have a tendency to relapse when things go well, as if feeling good is not enough. I noticed that urges are like a lot of energy that builds up and I tended to manage the relapses better when I spent that energy until the end of the day, doing something that has an actual benefit for my life without wasting it with porn that brings nothing to my life, no skills, no health benefit, nothing. But it's not only that. There is also the "I feel low, I need a lift" moments, the moments when I'm tired and I feel some sort of urge that it's more like...I don't know, like an anxiety? It's more to it than just straight up hard urges.
 

SebUK

Active Member
Yeah...I am very much the same. I have been relapsing every couple of days so much so that I'm not really considering it relapsing at the moment. It's not really helpful to think about it like that (right now). The only positive is I'm not doing really long binges of awful degrading stuff. Just regular semi-degrading stuff. Sigh.

[This is going to be a long post]

I have a feeling this is to do with the SSRIs having completely worn off now. My mood and energy actually feels alright. Especially the energy. I have literally two or three times the amount of energy before. Even after I relapse, which makes me feel more tired the next day - I still have more energy then compared to 2 months clean and on the SSRIs.

I think what is enabling me to keep going is that I'm a) off work and b) seeing a psychologist. The latter is going to be able to help me I think, but maybe the downside of this is that I'm relapsing because I feel safe in a way - I am hoping he will be able to fix me. Strangely, and this may be some weird justification, but when I relapse now I see more clearly why I'm doing it, and that somehow takes the sting out of it. For example today I had a pretty good day and got a lot done. However I didn't get much sleep (3-4 hours) due to a house party last night. So I had a couple of teas and one coffee to amp me up to get through the day (and I took a short nap too). By 5pm I was beat, and I *knew* that I was going to be tempted by porn. I know I want it when I think: "I'm tired and cbf doing anything, but I also cbf having a nap and also don't want to have a nap as it will screw my sleeping patterns". When I have that thought I feel tired, lethargic, bored and in a semi-zombie state. Then I look at porn. Porn, somehow, gives me my energy back. The tiredness leaves me as I go into the hypnotic click click click pattern. Then after the relapse is over (it went for two hours today (!) from 5pm to about 7pm - compulsive much), I still feel a bit tired but actually a bit more energised and ready to do stuff again.

I don't knwo what the hell is going on with the above but I'm fairly sure my brain is really not working properly.

Now that I re-read all this, I think I need to give up caffeine again. I have no issue with caffeine per se, but I think for people like me who are struggling with addiction, it is actually quite dangerous. The caffeine pushes my alertness levels up but when they drop they seem to go into a red zone where a relapse is more likely.

Blah, that is a lot of analysis.

The other thing I want to write down here is that my psychologist is encouraging me to identify the thought>feeling>behaviour pattern, and then come up with different behaviours than porn to deal with those feelings. So, for example:
Thought: "I'm tired and bored. CBF doing music or watching TV! What should I do? Hmm"
Feeling: Tiredness, indfference, boredom
Action: Porn! Or sometimes nap, but most often porn.

Not rocket science eh. Replace the action with something else. Obviously I have been trying to do this, almost completely unsuccessfully for almost the last 20 years.

However I had a bit of an epiphany last night while thinking about this in bed. Instead of attacking the problem at the action point, which is kind of the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach, maybe I should change my environment and daily structure so I'm not having those thoughts in the first place. I can't change my genetics, but I can change my environment. My environment at the moment has developed in a way that really pushes me towards porn. This is because:
- I live alone
- I'm off work
- I have a decent amount of money
- I have no responsibilities (no GF, children)
- I have friends but they never 'pop in'
- My hobbies are very much focused on the computer or a TV (music production, DJing, gaming, online shopping, movies/TV)
- I have a very structured daily routine that, again, mainly involves the computer with some limited social interaction and outside time.

I have probably developed my life like this for a couple of reasons. 1) I'm quite shy and sensitive so over time I have withdrawn from society, and this has gathered pace as I've gained the ability to do it more and more (e.g. being able to afford to live by myself was only an option since a few years ago). 2) This structure is conducive to porn use.

In fact, I think my porn use thrives on this life structure. Or put another way, porn use helps me MAINTAIN this structure. I'm able to get my sexual and excitement needs met through porn and I can keep doing all of the above things. If I do decide to go out socially, and it doesn't go well, I can come home and satisfy myself with porn. The structure is quite sustainable in an extremely maladaptive way.

This is why using things like Covenant Eyes or will power to white knuckle my way through is never going to work. They are like a pathetic amount of power against all the structural forces I have in place that are maintaining the addiction.

So I have some decisions to make I guess. Continue living within this structure and keep hoping (pretending?) that I'm going to stop looking at porn. Or, start breaking down the structure and replace it with different things. Like, instead of living by myself, move in with a housemate. Or take up a hobby that requires a lot of outside time, like a sport.

This is so so SO much easier said than done. In some ways I really like my current life. IN fact, if I could ditch the porn and keep everything else the same I would basically. But I don't think anything is going to change if I go down that path.

Long post. That's pretty much everything. I know I've said this a million times, but it is so helpful to write things down here. All the noise and confused thoughts become a coherent package when you've written them down. And then your brain stops bringing up the thoughts over and over again.
 

SebUK

Active Member
Just briefly checking in as I've stopped doing my regular diary posts.

Things still a bit mixed. Still relapsing but still feel like I'm making progress. I'm exercising more and going out more. The psychologist is definitely helping. His approach is CBT which I think is appropriate. I'm thinking a lot about my life and what structural changes I need to make to help eliminate porn from it.

Not much else to say at the moment but I will keep checking in.

Hope everyone else is doing well!!
 
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