What you give is what you get (I went 580 days. Relapsed. Finally back on track.

Emptyroom

Member
(2021-02-13) This is my first post on any forum for over ten years I think. (The full chronological story of my addiction is in the next post if you want to read it.)

I'm 26 years old but I feel like an old man when it comes to technology and being on an internet forum but I feel it has become necessary for me to get together with other people on similar journeys and to find an accountability partner and inspiration.
I have realized that I can't trust myself to stay free of PMO without working actively to not get complacent and that I have to plan for urges. I cannot trust myself to just resist. It feels bad not being able to trust myself completely but I think that my new attitude is a step forward for me.

I started "my journey" in 2016. I made many many attempts. One of the latest lasted for 580 days. It was smooth sailing for me. I was very happy, but when I got depressed and burned out I chose a life with porn again.. Noah B Church made a video about me and my situation called "Using porn after 580 days sober" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQa8Cnqjuh0). I was very happy that my story could be helpful for others. I was grateful for his answers but I didn't follow his suggestions for improving at the time. I wasn't ready to take the necessary steps. I didn't want to at the time frankly.

The problem with my 580 day attempt was that I thought it was enough just to stay away from porn and to improve my quality of life by exercising, being more organized and building good habits. I read articles on YBOP and watched videos from Noah B Church but I didn't have any strategies to fight my addiction. It didn't feel like I needed to have any strategies because I didn't really have any urges to PMO. It just wasn't an option. I felt like that animal urge was completely under control after a few hundred days. I also felt no need to be connected to others on the same path. I didn't want to keep reading about people and their problems. I didn't want to think of myself as an addict. When I burned out from trying to hard to be healthy, I got depressed, I wasn't ready for it. I didn't have any strategies. I didn't have anyone to turn to. I had told my mother and my brother about my problem with porn but I couldn't get any support from them. I made a conscious choice to go back to PMO again to escape the bad feelings. THAT was my only strategy. When I opened the door back to PMO the urges came back very fast and In a month I was back PMO:ing every day and felt even worse. Finally I just "stopped" feeling bad about it. I lost a lot of good habits and effects of quitting and kept wasting my time and energy on PMO

It has been about 10 months. I have started a new attempt to improve my life that I hope will be more successful in the long run. I have been PMO-free for 44 days. I feel like I could keep away from PMO for a long time (because I have managed that before) but I don't feel like I can trust myself if I run into hard times and uncomfortable situations. I feel like an addict. I can't even trust myself and that doesn't feel good. I also feel like I need to rely on help from others to succeed and that doesn't really feel good either. I know that if I PMO even once, it will have bad consequences for my life. It's not a maybe it could work-situation. It would definitely make my life worse. But I hope that this forum and the people I connect with and the things I read will give me the strength that I didn't have the last time. That I can develop the strategies to keep me PMO-free for the rest of my life. I know that the journey gets a lot easier with time. But I can not allow myself to get complacent again. I feel weak but I also feel that knowing my weaknesses is a strength. I got the feeling that I could make it this time!

The full story of my rocky path to 580 days, the effects and how I relapsed is below. I hope you will read it so it can help you on your journey.

Thank you very much for reading!
 

Emptyroom

Member
Hi everybody! Here is my story.

Background

I began watching porn when I was 10-11 years old. I became hooked and my use quickly escalated in all kinds of ways.
I was always terrified that my father would find out what I had been doing on his computer and yell at me. I was a very sensitive kid and my father could become very angry, even though he was a good dad in other ways.
Every day for a year or so I worried like crazy about getting caught. I knew It was just a matter of time before he would find out (I didn't know at the time that you could delete your browser history).
I wish he had caught me back then (he probably would just have talked calmly to me about it) Instead, he died suddenly in his sleep when I was 11 years old.
It was very strange. When he died, I couldn't cry or feel any sorrow. I was relieved. The weight had been taken from my shoulders, he would never find out about my secret, he wouldn't confront me. He couldn't yell at me. I was so selfish. Just after a year, porn had already come to dominate my mind.
My entire family cried and mourned that day, but I couldn't. All I could feel was relief and It scared me. I was thinking: Something must be wrong with me, I thought I loved my dad, why can't I feel sad? It was really distressing.

The next year was 2006 and YouTube-style pornsites emerged and everything escalated for me (I was actually surprised when I saw that friends where watching non-porn on YouTube. At the time I had just used YouTube for porn and thought it was a porn-site) I began to have infinite tabs open, watch more graphic and embarrassing porn for longer periods of time to get that high that I wanted.

At approximately the same time I also became an avid TV-binge-watcher. The combination of long porn binges and long TV binges and videogame binges made me feel numb to life. I remember that at one point I was crying in bed with a feeling of loss. I could not feel the joys of nature and of simple things like waking up in the morning anymore. It felt like a warm light inside my being had been replaced with an empty void. Every situation I found myself in had this element of lack: ?I am not really enjoying this?, ?I should feel better doing that?. I couldn't feel or enjoy anything enough. Life had become dampened and my expectations of what to feel made it even worse. Everything outside porn became disappointing. I had these feelings for many many years.

I somehow knew In my gut that It had to be television and porn that made me feel this way, but I didn't have the willpower to even try to stop my behavior.
I could have spent more time being creative, learning, having fun with friends, being excited about life, feeling the presence of nature around me. I could have learned and experienced so much in that time of my life.
But I spent those hours browsing porn and watching junk every day for more than 12 years.

My Journey

When I was 22 years old (2016) I decided to stop watching porn. I had no girlfriend and was technically a virgin.

My first streak was 11 days. Then I binged for a month, pmo:ing  every day.

My second streak was 145 days. It was really hard to get there. I really felt like an addict, I was in bed shaking at one point. But at day 145 I gave up and began a month of binging.

My third streak was just 5 days, then another month of binging.

Fourth streak: 9 days, then one month of binging.

Fifth streak: 6 days. Ended with two months of binging

sixth streak: This time I managed just 1 day, then fifteen days of binging.

Seventh streak: 2 days. Then one entire year with PMO every day. But I managed to just watch ?ordinary stuff? during this year and stick to one webbsite.

Eight streak: 2 days clean, then 2 months of porn.

At this point I was 25 years old and my thoughts went like this:
?I just really like watching porn, It feels good, and in my heart I know that I don't really want to stop. And if I try to stop, I know I will just fall down the slippery slope again as always, sooner or later. There is no point for me to keep trying because I will fail in the end. The addiction is too strong. I like porn too much.
Still, I knew that some part of me really wanted to quit as well?.

Then, somehow I convinced myself to try again even though it felt hopeless. Just to see how long I could last this time before I would give in. Would It be 2 days or maybe a week?
It ended up being a lot longer than I expected.
That's how I started my ninth streak, that lasted for 580 days.

Things that helped me get to that point


1. From day one I was in a new environment:
I had begun a new education in a new school in a new town where new friends and new routines took up a lot of my time. This really helped me keep my mind away from porn.

2. At day 150 or something like that, I got a very understanding girlfriend who really helped me get through my PIED. After countless attempts we managed to have successful sex. It wasn't very pleasurable in the beginning though but it got better with time.

3. I knew since the relapse after my second streak that If I watched porn again after abstaining for a long time, it wouldn't feel as good as I would want in the beginning. It would just feel weird for at least one or two porn-sessions before the porn-pathways in the brain would activate fully again. So that first pmo-session wouldn't give the craving what it wanted. So my thinking was that it wouldn't be worth it.

4. The thing that I think was different about this streak, that made it successful for me, is that I got this attitude that it doesn't matter how I feel about quitting or if I'll get good results or not.
I'll just abstain anyway, no matter the results.
Even if it feels hopeless, I'll just continue anyway without hope.
I know that the negative feeling will end eventually.
I didn't really have any goals other than to stay away from PMO in the moment, every day for the rest of my life.
Abstaining and having more time to do other things was the goal in itself that I could reach every day (Now I believe this was a mistake. It is important to have attainable goals in life). I tried to consider the other positive effects as bonuses, not end-goals.

Benefits/Effects

I am glad that I wrote down the positive changes as I felt them during that streak. The changes in me where so gradual that it was hard for me to notice them on a daily basis. But they where there. Even though they where subtle. Here are some benefits and effects that I noticed and wrote down:

? I sometimes cry now when films/series/books/music become emotional. I didn't do that to the same extent before.
? No anxiety (this is an important one for me).
? My time is spent better (maybe the most important thing)
? I am less selfish
? I don't have sexual thoughts about people I meet in real life. I can focus on other things. (sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking about someone sexually in the beginning)
? Better sense of feeling. Things and fabrics feel better to touch.
? I can have sex and sex feels better and better.
? I don't see people as objects anymore (I didn't realize that I did until I quit porn).
? I can feel myself becoming a better person.
? I can feel a positive butterfly-effect when It comes to good habits.
? I can think more clearly.
? I get more pleasure from seeing things around me (nature and other things in my surroundings).
? I feel more sympathy and empathy for others.
? I feel more grounded in myself.
? I dream more than before.
? I have better focus.
? I get more pleasure out of small things.
? I am beginning to feel life more vividly! I don't feel numb to it anymore!
? I no longer have any strong cravings to watch porn, and if I get cravings, I know how to handle them (this is what I thought at the time. I thought willpower was enough to handle the cravings. It's true when everything is going smoothly but not when you fall into bad times).


The future looked bright

Here is a a journal entry that I wrote some time before my relapse:

"I play an instrument on my spare time and I was practicing. And this particular day I felt that I managed to overcame a hurdle in my development.
When I was done practicing I was overcome with a powerful feeling. something that I can't remember ever feeling before. It reminded me of having an orgasm actually.
It was simply joy. It had been so long since I experienced it like that. It almost scared me at first. It only lasted a little while but that experience really gave me hope. A glimpse of how life can feel. This was the fruit of my labor.
This is what I have been dreaming about all my life.
For the return of real feelings and simple pleasures.
I try to welcome even bad feelings. They are better than none.
I wouldn't give away my feelings and my growing ability to feel simple pleasures for millions."

At this point. Abstaining felt very easy. Urges was just something small in the back of my head that I could deal with. I didn't have a girlfriend anymore at this point but it still felt relatively easy to abstain because I was content.

Then at one point I decided to start to work out and become strong physically. I threw myself into it and... I burned out! I lost all my motivation and became depressed. The corona-virus arrived shortly after. After a month of this I started to masturbate a bit again to sooth myself and then after a month I looked at porn again a few times. At this point I decided to tell my mother about my addiction so that she could support me. I mustered up some courage and told her but she reacted very differently than I had imagined. She basically told me I was wrong about what I was doing and then she made me feel guilty about not telling her earlier. She was mad and embarrassed about it and then she quickly agreed not to speak about this again. It felt like this really hurt our relationship (this seems to be rare) This really bummed me out and in just a few days I was binging again. After a few months I was basically back at the beginning. I lost it all.  I felt horrible.

What went wrong? How can I improve?

The short answer is that I got complacent. I bit of more than I could chew with my exercising plans and burned out, became unmotivated and depressed. The longer and better answer though, is that I didn't have any positive way to deal with this setback.  I didn't have any strategies to prevent or to handle my burnout and depression. I didn't have any safety net to fall back on when It happened. I didn't have any strategies and I couldn't get help from anyone else. The only working strategy I had was going back to porn to try to comfort myself. It doesn't work in the long run. It slowly makes life worse and takes your time energy and willpower away from you. It takes away your feelings and changes you to someone that you are not. It's disgusting. Anyway. Here I am, 45 days in. I have realized that I need to be connected with others about this and find an accountability-partner. I need to have strategies and keep myself from getting complacent. I realize now that this is the way to stay sober. I'm going to end by saying: What you give is what you get. The journey is about becoming the best person you can be for other people. For me at least, it is about getting away from letting the ego be the main focus of my one and only life.

Thank you for reading and feel free to comment!
 

Emptyroom

Member
Day 46
Journal entry.

I don't know how healthy it is to reminisce about things that make me feel sad and ashamed. I know that those feelings might make me depressed and trigger me. Still I think that It is important and healthy somehow to look back at my selfish behavior from the past. I can comfort myself by remembering that the fact that I regret things make me a different person than I was back then. I'm not the same person anymore so shouldn't keep grudges with myself. I can only blame myself in the past and not in the present.
The thing I'm talking about is how I have been selfish when it comes to women in my life.

The first time I "fell in love" it was with a friend. She didn't want to be with me. She declined politely. I was crushed. Our friendship could have lasted if I hadn't continued to bother and harass her about it. I would call her and text her to much. I was so selfish. I didn't think about her feelings at all. It was all about me wanting to have her for myself. It ended with her needing to cut off our friendship and to really make clear that I should stay away from her.

6 years later I met my first real girlfriend, I was suffering with PIED. Almost by accident we became a couple. We enjoyed each others company but I didn't love her. I basically used her to help me recover from my PIED. I wanted to be honest with her. I told her that I didn't feel those feelings for her but I wanted to be with her anyway. She felt similarly and accepted. We both had the hopes that deeper feelings for each other would come with time. But that didn't happen for me. We had a very good time together. It was the happiest time of my life this far. She was an angel to me every day but the relationship didn't have a good foundation.
I recovered from PIED with her help but I didn't get humble. I got hubristic.
One day, I kissed another girl. I wanted instant gratification. I didn't think about my girlfriends feelings. I told her about it the same day hoping that she could forgive me. She did but as she told me later, It made her feel really horrible and sad. I was so selfish. I only wanted what would give me the most pleasure. I didn't think about other people. I didn't think about her feelings.
I had kissed another girl that time. Almost a year later, we where in a long distance sort of friend-relationship but still sort of together, I was unfaithful again, this time by sleeping with a coworker. Yes. I was a real selfish scumbag and I'm ashamed of what I did. I realized that I had to break it up permanently with my girlfriend. I could not keep going with a relationship after doing that. We broke up, and I never told her about the second woman because I wanted to spare her from that pain. I also didn't want her to hate me. It was also a way to selfishly avoid the consequences of my actions.
We stayed in touch. But today she wrote to me and said that she didn't want to talk with me for a long while and I can understand that. Both she and I have realized what a selfish d*ck I have been to her in the past. I deserve it if she never contacts me again. She was my best friend and I ruined it.
I wonder how much of my selfishness with women comes from watching to much porn and how much is really me. Sometimes I have been a gentleman to women. Other times I have not. If you are evil some of the time and good some of the time aren't you in fact evil? No. In this moment I chose to be good. We all have the potential to hurt other people. Everyone has evil capacities within. We all have a responsibility as human beings to prevent causing others pain and suffering. We have a responsibility to send love and listen to each other. We have a responsibility to stop the ego when someone else is on the line. Porn makes me care less about others, It makes me more selfish. Abstaining makes me become a better person for others and for myself. But, it's not enough just to abstain from PMO to become a better person. I know that now.
 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. Day 47,
I think it's time to crystalize some strategies for myself. I feel that I'm already in danger of relapsing. I'm feeling down and if that feeling stays for a longer time I will relapse if I don't take some sort of action. It could be enough with just a week of discomfort for my body to give in. It's not a sure thing but it could happen. It's manageable right now but It could get worse soon.
What actions can I take now to minimize the risk of me relapsing in the soon future?
1. Being aware when I'm hungry, angry, lonely or tired and take care of these needs.
2. To keep my apartment clean and in order.
3. To keep in contact with people. Trying to do things for them
4. To have structure with the help of a daily planner. I have to buy one of those tomorrow. Those help me from feeling nervous and relives me from stress.
5. Reading and watching things to motivate me.
6. Writing down my thoughts.
7. Not oversleeping or staying up to late.
8. Meditating.

What could I do if I feel the urges?
1. Meditate
2. Distract myself with something on YouTube.
3. Take a shower.
4. read stories on the forum.
5. Think about how I would feel afterwards.
6. Look where the feeling comes from. Am I hungry, lonely, angry or tired?
7. Go outside.

 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. Day 48.

What sort of person do I want to be for others? Who am I and what do I like to do? These are hard question because there are many conflicting answers. A part of me want to be bad but a part of me wants to be good. A part of me don't like other people and another part does. A part of me only cares about myself but another cares deeply about others (that part isn't clear to me until some time of sobriety though). There is a part of me that hates myself but there is also a part that loves myself. There's one part that wants to fall into a PMO-rabbit hole and there's another that want to destroy the addiction forever. I could go on and on. It feels like there are hundreds of different people that live inside my mind. Who am I? What in my mind should I listen to?

What if none of those voices in my head where a part of me? Maybe my thoughts about myself are separate from who I am. That they are things that I don't have to listen to or care about.
I could picture my mind being like a fish-tank filled with many different thoughts about myself that swim around. Almost at random. Maybe the real me is the actual tank, the water and the hand choosing what thoughts to feed and what thoughts to ignore. That would mean that I'm really like everyone else. Observing the thoughts in my tank. Watching my thoughts swim around like everyone else. Maybe I'm being to intellectual about all this. I know who I think I am. I know my history, I know my faults. But does my thoughts about myself define me? Does my history define me? Does my faults define me? Does success? Does failure? Can a human being be defined? Obviously. But that doesn't mean that there is only one definition or that I don't have a selection.

I guess I'm just rambling here. But It feels good to ramble sometimes. It feels like it gives me some strength when I ramble. It feels a bit like I'm waiting and loading up strength for a battle in a war. I don't have any huge urges yet but I have a feeling that they will come at some point.

I didn't buy a daily planner today. I didn't set any daily goals but I cleaned my living room! It looks great now (parts of it). I also woke up early without even trying! I felt a lot happier today than yesterday. I think it's just because I cleaned. Could It be that simple?

I'm excited that I'm at day 50 soon. That worries me a bit as well because I know from the past that If I focus on reaching a certain number, It makes me have urges once I reach it. So I'm going to try not to focus on the numbers.

Hm. I'm feeling a bit smug about myself.. I don't like that.  I should investigate that. It could all change for the worse in an instant. I could see something triggering, get an urge and go into zombie-mode. If I get smug, I get complacent.

I feel a bit lonely on this forum so far. No one has answered my messages about being an accountability partner yet. I hope I find someone to talk to soon. It's fine just talking to myself for now but my goal with being here is to stay connected. It feels good to just write for myself though.
 

Sanders

Active Member
Hey Emptyroom,

I've went through your story and it's quite a journey you've been on. I doubt that any of my advice will help you in your journey since I believe you've gone through all the possibilities already. You know all the benefits of living without porn, you know the depths that porn can bring you to. I'll be following your story, it sounds interesting and I wish you all the best.

Regarding this forum, I had the same feeling as you did too. I started out searching for an accountability partner but didn't have much success. I found that when I started writing in my own and other people's journals the connection just came. Feel free to send me a message if you'd like, I'm not very active here but I'll try my best to respond. I'm close to 300 days without porn so I suppose we'll have some common grounds. I quite often just read through journals without responding, try not to feel lonely if people aren't replying too much.

Have a great day!
 
I told about my addiction to my mother, too. I don't think she was mad or too embarassed, but she didn't understand the severity of my problem. She just hinted that it is okay to masturbate, if you don't over-do it.

I regret telling her, because for me it was embarassing. Come to think of it, I achieved nothing with telling her. I told her because I was going through mania (I have bi-polar disorder, which was diagnosed soon after those events) and I thought if I open up about stuff, everything bad will go away. Well, that's not what happened. I'm not advising you to clam up, but I just learned to keep my mouth shut. But one of the symptoms of manic episodes is that you become overly talkative and you have no sense of shame or you forget what's socially acceptable and what isn't.

But it was nice reading your journal, I wish I could be happy like you and enjoy stuff more. At present, I actually do feel like I'm emotionally clammed up, but I hope that being aware of the fact helps.
 

Emptyroom

Member
I just want to respond to the people that wrote to me.

Sanders,

Thanks for the comment! That was just what I needed to hear I think, about the forum. I think we all have common grounds here really and I really would appreciate advice from anyone, even someone who only made it 3 days. I think that just the feeling that someone wants to help is very helpful. Also, I forget basic things sometimes so it's good to be reminded. And every experience is different. I don't consider myself an expert on rebooting just because I made it far once. It was basically luck and waiting and as I have learned, abstaining isn't enough in the long run and it can't make me become a better person in itself.
On my long streak I really only made it about 150 days without ejaculation before I got a girlfriend. I don't have that now and that makes me excited about this new journey. Thank you again for writing. It means a lot. Have a great day and good luck!

Insomniacfapper,

I really recognize myself in this comment. Not the bi-polar part but everything else. That's exactly what my mom said too. I also thought it would be cathartic to tell her, I think that is a really normal thought to have. But when It was over I felt like I achieved nothing. Nothing but depressing me and upsetting her. Then I started to think: Well, wanting to be open and not have secrets from my family is a very very good thing. I think that it's brave to dare open up about this to a parent. It could have worked out. It was a gamble worth taking for me and telling a parent really shows commitment to quitting. I think the way she reacted really was about her problems. She was immature and selfish, making it about herself. It has made me realize that she isn't just my mother but a real person with faults and maybe that's a good thing to realize. And I'm glad not to have that secret from her anymore. About your story. I really think that It should be socially acceptable to tell your parents about problems you have in life. Maybe not in great detail though. I'm sorry that It didn't work for you either. My advice for anyone that wants to tell a parent is to really plan it out beforehand and really explain what porn is nowadays, (especially to a mother) that it isn't what it was in the 1970s anymore.

I'm not overly happy in my life right now. I'm going back and forth all the time. I'm currently contented, but It could change fast. I could get the corona-virus tomorrow. Anything could happen. I'm also back to feeling numb to life to a certain extent. I think one of the secrets to have a good life is not to expect to much of the moment. To accept that I can't feel the world around me as I would like to right now. To not fight with the present but still fight for a better future. Thank you for commenting! I hope you will have a good day!
 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. Day 50.

It's really late at night for me but I feel that I need to write here today anyway. Yesterday I got myself a daily planner. I made sure to have goals ready for today. Except rising out of bed a bit late I did everything according to plan until late afternoon. My mother called me and because of pure chance combined with underlying tension or something (I mostly blame her for starting it) we had a very bad phone-conversation where I felt like she was playing a victim and putting blame on me and wanting me to feel bad about telling her that I felt that she was being rude and angry talking to me. She said that she felt that she wasn't and acted very hurt about it. Anyway. After the conversation I tried to feel like It didn't bother me. But I can't lie to myself. It was bothering me. It still does. I wrote a long text to her about how I felt where I tried to go through what we said and explain why I felt what I felt. That I didn't think her behavior was okay. She thanked me for it and said that she had read it twice and would read it again. I don't think she is very mature when It comes to accepting that she did something wrong. She seems to just see my faults. Well, anyway, I think I did the right thing to write her about it. It was the best thing I could do about fixing the situation I think. The time of the conversation and the time I took to write her and the energy the whole experience took from me made it so I didn't have time to finish two of my daily goals (I didn't have time later). And that felt bad also. Other parts of the day had been really really good but the bad things have a power to take over in my mind.

When I was making dinner I thought to myself. Well, even though bad things happened today, I don't have any urges at all to PMO and that felt good. But I have realized that I can't believe my thoughts.

When I was eating my dinner I sat by a window. Suddenly I could see someone in another window and I thought that it was a girl without trousers. I found myself taking a good look before I looked away. Then without any thought I looked again. And then I did the same thing again. She was wearing trousers by the way. I must have realized what I was doing but I didn't control myself. It was almost automatic. When I think about it that was a really creepy thing to do and made me realize that I am closer to a relapse than I actually thought. Maybe that wouldn't have happened if the whole day had gone great. Maybe I would have just looked away. What I will take with me from this experience is this: be aware and on my toes when bad things have happened during the day. Even if I don't feel any cravings. When I feel bad or uncomfortable there is a part of me that wants to solve it with PMO. Always. I guess that I have to try to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I was also led by my mind to look at a Facebook-profile of a stranger today. That's a red flag also. The road is slippery. I must be aware and know when the situation is extra dangerous for me. At those times I must try to focus on the positive things of the day. At the same time I must acknowledge the bad things and try to do what I can to make it better. If I have done all I can for the moment, I need to let it go and focus on other things. Now I have to go to sleep but first I will write down some positive things to myself: This is day 50 and I am proud of myself that I have made it this far again. I'm happy that I managed to achieve some goals today. I?m happy about my work as a student. I'm happy that I have friends in my life. I'm happy that I'm on this journey. I'm happy that I'm working on becoming a better person. It will be worth it.
 
Last edited:

Emptyroom

Member
God damn. This has been a really hard day. Not because of urges. But because of anger. I can't remember ever being this angry for such a long period of time. I have been going through a verbal fight I had with my mother yesterday in my head all day. Having verbal outbursts a few times. I have been trying to stop the feelings but It has been really hard. Two times during the day I realized that my thoughts where automatically going to really dark places. I played out how it would be to renounce my mother over the phone two times! I don't understand it. I try to think rationally about it. I looked at an anger management video on how to let go of anger. I have never had a problem with anger before. The video helped a little, but I can still feel all the anger-chemicals swimming around in my brain. It feels almost like after binging to P. I guess I just have to wait it out. I feel depressed. I think that phone call with my mom really got to me. I think I did what I could to fix it with her. She hasn't apologized. She feels like she didn't do anything wrong. I think that I'm having a hard time to accept that. Still I feel that I am to blame also. I became to angry at her to quickly I think. Maybe I do have problems with anger. I thought she sounded angry so I responded angrily. Maybe I was wrong.

The problem today was that I just couldn't let my thoughts about it go. I wanted to be angry. Probably because it boosts my ego because when someone else has done something wrong It makes me more right. I know rationally that it isn't that black and white. She didn't mean to hurt me and I didn't mean to hurt her. She acted a certain way because she experienced the situation in a certain way. The same thing is true for me. We both have faults and we both have good things about us.
I think that it's bad for me to keep going about this. Maybe this day became like this because I was up at night writing about the conversation. If I just try to focus on other things maybe the feeling will go away. My anger only hurts myself. My mother can't feel what I'm feeling. It only makes me weak. There is no point to it.

Anyway. I should be really careful now because of my feelings to not go for any bad urges. Maybe all this is connected to PMO. That a part of me craves negative energy so that I will go back to my old ways of PMO.

I think that I might have found myself in a battle in the war I'm having against my dark self and PMO.
Today I had my first active thought about P since day 1. If I don't start fighting back with my strategies now, I will without any doubt fall to the coming urge and PMO.

I'm ready to fight!
What are my strategies that I will apply today?

1. I will clean my apartment and do the dishes. That has always helped me stay on the path I want to stay on.
2. I will meditate!
3. Read will read some stories on this forum
4. I will take a cold shower!
5. I will distract myself with something on Youtube!
6. I will try to think of my thoughts as just thoughts and not reality.

Just thinking about fighting back have made me feel better! I'm ready this time!
 

Emptyroom

Member
I don't know what happened yesterday.

I have never experienced that sort of anger that just lingers an entire day. Thank god for this forum and for my realization to use strategies to handle bad times. When I started to stop focusing on anger towards my mother and instead focused on an imaginary battle with my dark self to prevent me from relapsing in the near future. It helped me a lot. I applied the strategies that I thought that I had made to handle urges to instead handle my anger. I begun by doing the dishes, then I took a cold shower, cleaned my apartment and felt myself getting into an unstoppable cleaning-flow. It was hard to stop cleaning. Then I meditated and read journals on this forum and finally, distracted myself with entertainment. Before I did all this I got the tip from an anger management-video to replace the thoughts that I had been wronged with thoughts of trying to help others (here is the video:
). I wrote a nice letter to a friend and walked to town to post it in the mailbox. I stopped at a place and bought some onion rings and stuff to eat to distract myself. My strategies didn't work completely. I was still feeling a negative energy inside myself. But I think that I really won the battle yesterday.
Now, the next morning. I still have a bad energy in my body, but It is smaller than yesterday and a lot more bearable. I feel like it might be part lingering stress from yesterday, part regret and part sadness. I'm still uncomfortable in this state so I should still be on my guard and fill my day with strategies to make the day count, build myself up and to avoid the urge to relapse in the near future.

I want to start to focus more on helping others. I would like to share this video that always helps me get back on track. It might be my favorite video on the subject. The man in the video talks about P and it is really spot on. It is a video that I like to watch when I feel like I don't remember why I'm on this journey. It is good because it is so short (only 7 minutes) and still very powerful!

Here it is:
 
Last edited:

Rob_91

Member
Hey, been reading about your journey and i recognize myself in your days of lingering feeling of anger/irritation, i've gotten some of those as well. Best ways for me to deal with them have been to meditate and sometimes just acknowledge that the day sucks and that tomorrow will most likely be a better day  :) Some days will just be shit you know..
If you haven't already checked out the podcast "consider before consuming" i recommend to do so. An episode i've found particularly interesting is this one: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5N2l1b3vBDhiuji96f0JGg?si=COOtJQHrQTGVkKHrAetL4A

Best of luck!
/Rob




























 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. day 50-something.

This is the longest that I have gone without writing here since I made my account (just a few days). I lost that negative energy that I had in my body after arguing with my mom. But I'm feeling a bit stressed about things when I really shouldn't. I have made study plans for the entire month of march so I should be as ready as I can be. It might be that I can foresee the hard weeks of study ahead of me. Looking to far into the future can be stressful because it puts the weights of the future on your shoulders. I am a little afraid of burning out by trying to study to hard. I will now allow myself to relax and take it one day at the time. I really shouldn't be to hard on myself when I don't make some daily goals that I set for myself. I can only do my best and some days are harder than others.

I want to share a YouTube-channel that I really like. Here is a one hour-video on addiction relapse prevention that this guy made. He really is the real deal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYTp8hpSJjY

He made another video that I watched where he challenged the viewers to write down on paper a lot of positive things about
1. Life
2. Other people
3. Yourself.
Then to try to read it every day. A point he made was that it is important to be a good-finder. To always look for the good in the world and in people and in yourself. Here is the video (10 min): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6gaku5tg6g

I sought the video out because I found myself thinking about the future in a negative way yesterday. I have noticed that negative thoughts will make the negativity grow and If that is allowed to continue for a longer time it will most definitely lead me to PMO.

I have noticed that I stopped doing some good stuff for a few days. I have not been at this forum, I have not meditated at all. Why is that? A sign of complacency? Burnout? I thought about P for a second today. I think I need to activate myself more and keep staying focused at applying strategies not to fall back into the shadows. I should plan out some free time! I think I might have planned in to much work this coming month. I must give myself more time to relax. A way for me to do this is to go up earlier in the morning to free up my afternoons more.

Rob_91 said:
Hey, been reading about your journey and i recognize myself in your days of lingering feeling of anger/irritation, i've gotten some of those as well. Best ways for me to deal with them have been to meditate and sometimes just acknowledge that the day sucks and that tomorrow will most likely be a better day  :) Some days will just be shit you know..
If you haven't already checked out the podcast "consider before consuming" i recommend to do so. An episode i've found particularly interesting is this one: https://open.spotify.com/episode/5N2l1b3vBDhiuji96f0JGg?si=COOtJQHrQTGVkKHrAetL4A

Best of luck!
/Rob

Thank you Rob! That's great advice! I will listen to it!
Have a nice day!
 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. Day 57.

It's weird. My fight against relapse is a lot different now from what it was before. I remember when I started on my journey. It was back in 2016. Back then, It was all about fighting strong urges. I relapsed frequently.
Right now it's different and hard in a different way. My latest strong urge was 57 days ago. During these days my focus has not been to stop myself from using P. My focus has instead been to keep myself in a positive mental state where I don't feel the need to PMO. My goal has helped in preventing the urges from arriving in the first place. The way I'm trying to doing this is  by doing three things:

1. Creating "positive butterfly effects". For example, if I make my bed in the morning it will give my day a good start it could lead to a good mood and that could lead me to do other positive things, they will add up and that will make me feel happier. It's like a really good cycle. I'm not trying to force myself to much though because I'm afraid of burning out.

2. Trying to prevent "negative butterfly effects". Like if I start to throw my clothes on the floor instead of hanging them in my closet. It could lead me to oversleep, It could lead me to waste time and not feel as good. And then eventually it would lead me to get urges and to PMO.

3. Monitoring my needs and my thoughts and acting accordingly.

Right now, I?m feeling a negative butterfly effect coming I think. I need to counter this by creating some positive butterfly effects. But I can feel a resistance in me for doing that. I'm just feeling lazy. I must actively fight this laziness and coming downward spiral. It will lead me to a relapse for sure if I don't respond. At the same time I can't move away from it too fast because that would bring negative effects. I have to move slowly but in the right direction.

A thing that brings me to a negative state is negative thoughts and fears about the future of the world. I'm trying to overcome this by reasoning with myself and by trying to change my mindset and trying to be optimistic and positive about it. The same goes for negative thoughts of the past. I also try to distract myself to a certain degree but I don't want to distract myself to much with entertainment because that is very similar to PMO I feel. Before I try to distract myself I feel it is good for me to try to meet the thoughts and respond to them in a positive way,
 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. Day 58.

Well things are going okay. I have not been overly stressed about schoolwork today. I feel a bit distant from myself somehow. It is hard to explain. I feel a bit like I'm on some kind of autopilot and that can't be good.
The effects that climate change will have on life on earth and all of humanity in my lifetime is on my mind. This is the main thing that I feel sad and worried about. If I worry about this for too long without actively working on countering the negativity, I will relapse.
It would just be a matter of time. I can't remain passive if I want to stay "sober".

One thing that I have been thinking about doing, is to follow the advice I got from Noah B Church and write down all my excuses/lies I tell myself to make me watch P and then write the truth. I thought that I would do that now.

Lie 1. It's not that big of a deal. Everyone watches P all the time. That would make it okay for me to use it.
Truth: For me, It IS a big deal. It doesn't matter if other people use P. It HURTS me to use. If I use only once It would set me back and things would become a LOT harder than they are now. I would feel really bad about it. It could lead me to terrible places. I refuse to be a 40 year old person with a PMO-problem and I refuse to become a dirty old man that watches P in old age.

Lie 2. I'm tired of the nofap/bro/sexual superpowers-community and that makes it okay for me to use P.
Truth: My journey has nothing to do with anyone else's journey and someone else's journey has nothing to do with me. Im doing this for myself and the people that I will meet in MY life. It was my choice. I don't have to read stories that annoy me if I don't feel like it but the truth is that I could learn a lot from those stories. Everyone has something that I could learn from. Every person on earth is a complex and deep person that has value.

Lie 3. Watching P feels good and that makes it okay for my to use P.
Truth: The things about P that feels good, feel good for a very short time but it comes with the price of suffering directly afterwards and in the long run. I would feel bad about it directly after doing it because I have promised myself not to. I would spiral down and feel worse and worse. P would eventually take away the subtle feelings of life from me and make me a worse person and stop me from developing. P makes me become an a-hole that only cares about myself and about feeling good at other peoples expense. If I PMO:ed now, the same thing would happen that happens every other time i given in. I would PMO for a few weeks or something and then It would start to feel like a pointless boring drug that I have to take. Then I will try to quit again. I have to be able to see the pattern by this point. Everytime I go back to P It will eventually lead me back to trying to quit.

Lie 4. Using P would make my negative feelings and anxiety go away.
Truth: The anxiety would not go away. It would hide for a short time and then hit me again like a ton of bricks. Using would make me feel a lot worse. P creates anxiety it doesn't take it away. The urges will disappear no matter what I do, if I?ll just wait the urges out. If I do that I feel proud for myself and happy that I didn't chose to lose the best part of myself. I need to think about what's missing in my life and working on that instead of using P to try to fix the situations I find myself in.

Lie 5. I really want to go back to P. I should follow what I want to do. I should not deny my own nature and will.
Truth: By looking back at all my attempts to quit and all my efforts, I should be sure that I really DO want to quit P. To deny my own will would be to use P. I might get thoughts and a part of me tells me to use again but my addiction is feeding me lies. It's not true! The only truth to it is that I really want to feel better BUT the price of using P is way to high to even think about. It would make me feel better a short while. Then it would make my life fall into chaos. Watching P is not in "my nature". It is artificial and awful and after a while it just becomes boring and it makes everything else boring. I could make myself feel good in better constructive ways instead of the terrible, ineffective way.

Lie 6: If I abstain for a long time my libido will become really high and I'll get obsessed with real sex, It can make me so horny that I can't see straight. This could lead me to make bad and selfish decisions. Maybe to use someone only as a body. It is better to masturbate because that will make me see things more clearly and not do things that I will regret.
Truth: It is never good for me to masturbate because it has always led to the chaser effect. When I had my second relapse I told myself this lie. I masturbated, it didn't feel very good and it led to a full on relapse. When my body is filled with sexual power I can chose to waste it or to use it in a good way. I have more choices than to masturbate. To have a very high libido at some point doesn't mean that It will be like that forever or that I won't learn how to handle that.

That was a few. I need to go to sleep. I will add more lies and truths to this list in the future.
 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. Day 60

This is day 60 for me. 2/3 to 90 days. Congratulations to myself!! That is a real achievement for me. Less fun is the fact that today also is the day that I have started to get urges and serious thoughts about using again. It makes me sad that I can write about quitting and about me wanting to quit on this forum and then have those thoughts: "I really should go back to PMO again because that would feel good". It feels like I have been lying this whole time on this forum. The unescapable fact is this: I want to go back to P right now. How can I deal with this? I know that it is the addiction that puts those thoughts in my head, but I'm not sure if knowing that helps. I can still abstain but It feels like it could go downhill fast. My thing now is to try to see this process of getting rid of this addiction like a medieval war against my dark self. The thing that has helped me during my battles with myself this far is applying strategies. What can I do now? I have become rather lazy lately. I don't really have the energy to act as I had before. That is a problem.
Why is that? I think I have to do some things:

1. look at my needs and try to fill them. I should write them down!

2. Try to realize that feelings come and go. And that thoughts are just thoughts. They are not intrinsically linked with the truth.

3. I have to keep trying to look at the positive things in my life.

4. I should start to plan out some personal goals not connected to my studies. I think that I feel a bit like I'm walking in place. Like I'm stuck. I need to improve! Have more fun! I should be outside more for one thing. I should also connect more with people and begin doing some kind of training. I should start running again.

As usual I feel a bit better after writing here. I have found that it's really good for me to write here to get my thoughts in order.
 

Robert7M

Member
It's normal that you feel amorced, but what will come after belong to you. You can choose to watch PMO, and then throw all your efforts in water, remake that road from the begining, accept all the worst cons?quences of watching PMO, don't gain anything, spending your time, destroying your life, expositing yourself to be catch, to be expose your relations to be destroyed, and so more.

I don't think that you came here for that. If you came here,
the reason is because you decided yourself to do your best for to do not relapse.

You are invited to watch PMO, It's difficult but you can resist and don't give to that PMO the occasion of joking with you a more time.

You can search for how replace that thoughts and desires by positive and cleaned ones. Such as discussion in that group, playing , listning relaxed music, praying, reading Bible, dansing, I mean just take a good time. You can also read Stories of those who succeed to maintain themselves free for a very long time in that forum "succeeded stories", that will challenge you more.

Don't ababondon so easily. You are so far from where you strarted, you are so next to realise a big objective, go forwards !

Salutations !
 

Emptyroom

Member
Thank you very much Robert. You might have helped me save myself! I'm grateful that you wrote to me.
Have a nice day!
/J
 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. day 60?

I must have counted wrong somehow. I began this streak at new years eve so it must be day 60 today.  It doesn't matter but it's weird how I could have gotten it wrong. I'm very glad to have been clean for two months today!

Anyway, I was very close to relapsing today. Then I went out and spent time outside with a couple of friends for a few hours. After that the urge seemed to disappear. It has not come back yet.

When I was out with my friends I realized that when I have spent time with people in the past, I haven't really paid attention to them. I have been focused on myself; On what I say and how I could be perceived by them. When I have thought about friends It has always been in relation to me. After the meetings are over I have been thinking about all the wrong things that I have said or if I said something that made me look good. I realize that this is less satisfactory than trying to learn from my friends and just focus on what they have to say. This time though I made an effort to focus on what they had to say and in this case, listening to them singing with focus. It will take some more practice but I think that this new attitude will greatly improve my meetings with people and take the focus away from me. I realized also that my friends weren't listening to each other and where mostly talking about themselves also. They are good people though. I think that this is a habit that most people have. Thinking about this made me think that this journey that I'm on is worth taking. I probably wouldn't have reflected on this if I wasn't abstaining from PMO.

Right now, I don't feel like using P and that feels very good. I want to keep this feeling for tomorrow.
Thank you all who have supported me by writing and anyone who has read what I have written. You have the power to choose a better life! You can and will do it!

/J
 

Emptyroom

Member
Journal. Day 62. (No, This have to be day 60. I started on New Years Eve. Jan (31 days) + feb (28 days) + march 1 day =60 days! Why do I always get it wrong! xD)

It is very late at night so this will be a short post.
Things have being going well since I was outside with friends. That was something that I really needed I think. I had a small urge just now, because it's so late at night and I encountered a trigger in an YouTube video. I should really stop staying up so late. It's a bad habit and puts me at risk. I will be more careful also about the videos I chose to watch.
I think what I need to be able to stay on this path is to really think hard, not just about what I stand to lose if I use but about what I stand to gain from abstaining. I remember how good I used to feel and all I have to do to feel that way again is to wait.
I will go to bed now.
 
Top