When you believe in magic

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 49

No porn. No masturbation.

Another good day at work. More and more I am able to engage with my work consistently by daisy-chaining habits. It's amazing that only a few weeks ago, this was inconceivable to me. If the body juices aren't there, no habit will motivate you to act. You will even sabotage your habits on purpose, not to engage. Nothing related to sex today. I did have morning wood, although fleeting after waking up.

Journaling has been so helpful in this journey, not just for rebooting but for life in general, that I've started a "work journal" just to keep track and find ways to improve at work. I'm on a 10-day streak in that one. That will give continuity to this transformative habit once the 90 days of the reboot are up.

Exercise, box-breathing, hydration, 15 minute meditation, cold shower, no YouTube, first blood, 45 min afternoon meditation, phoenix tactic, and good nutrition, ok.

See ya tomorrow!

Phineas 808 said:
This is exactly where you want to be, and what works for the porn is not an option mindset. You want to do what is necessary to set yourself up for success each day, and just forget about it- set it, and forget it. Just go about your day as if there's nothing wrong- because there isn't. You're simply changing an unwanted habit, that's all.
Those who are constantly obsessing about their reboot/recovery are usually white-knuckling, anyway.

Heey Phineas 808, thanks for stopping by again and the encouragement. I see your journey has been going great in your new streak. Power to you my friend. Yes, you are right, set it and forget it is the way. I think that my initial obsession with the reboot was that I just wasn't sure if it would work for my ED and was scared that all this was in vain. In the past, I had tried to lose weight, increase my testosterone, do kegels, improve my prostate health, you name it. All in the hopes that that would take care of my ED and after trying each of those avenues (some for long stretches of time) and seeing no results I was just frustrated. It felt like trying to turn on the lights by turning the faucet on. You know, pulling the wrong levers. I guess I feared the reboot would be the same. But even at this early-to-mid stage I was able to see massive improvements in that area, so now that I know it's working I'm just following through and don't need to check everyday if the symptoms of the day are similar to those of guys who recovered. I've now become very protective of my mindset too and, perhaps selfishly, I'm just focusing on my own progress. I feel like stumbling upon stories about relapsing brings my mood down so I now actively avoid that from happening, just by not reading any journals. I don't even listen to depressing music, since I found out that music goes into your brain without having to be interpreted by the brain like sight or the other senses, for example. Just raw information coming in and making it through to your skull 100% unaltered. Grunge in - shotgun shell out. 

I never linked porn to ED; it's just unintuitive, and I masturbated to it more out of habit than anything else. Just knowing that that's my dick's kryptonite led me to easily abandoning it and I haven't craved it once. Knock on wood; pun intended.

ED (even if into the future, for those who haven't developed it) is just too high a cost of porn to even be tempted. I wouldn't wish ED on my worst enemy. It's like a curse.

I don't want to jinx it, but this time it seems like the curse is lifting. But that doesn't mean I can let go. On the contrary, now is the time to double down and continue getting better.

Phineas 808 said:
Is box-breathing similar to Taoist or Buddhist breathing?
Could you explain what you mean by 'first blood'?
And, what is 'phoenix tactic'?

Yes, well more or less, box-breathing is just one of many of the pranayama breathing techniques from ashtanga yoga and it's just something navy seals do to reset their heart rate, change their physiology, and trigger a flow state before engaging during a mission (I'm not a seal). It's conveniently packaged in an app for both iPhone and Android. I was taught about this a few years ago and doing it consistently every day has been one of the most transformative things in my life. No exaggeration.

I came up with the following techniques when I started to come out of my first flatline to be able to engage. I had deadlines coming and needed to get back to work (I work from home), so...

First Blood: Are you familiar with the pomodoro technique of chunking work tasks in 25 or whatever minute intervals? Well, First Blood is just doing one pomodoro of work right at the end of my daisy-chain of habits in the morning (hydration, 10 minute HIIT, box-breathing, 15 minute meditation with the Brain.FM app, and cold shower, Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song to prime myself), before checking e-mail. The name comes from being able to inflict the first blow of damage in my daily battle against the procrastination monster. After each pomodoro completed I move a paper clip from one side of my desk to the other, and so, doing that first one on Auto encourages me to go for a second clip, and hopefully another one, and another one, etc. But if that doesn't happen (which luckily it has) at least I will have put in 30 minutes that day, regardless.

The Phoenix Tactic: The first blood technique has been quite effective. However, working so diligently in the morning left me exhausted by lunch time, and I found myself just taking a nap that later turned into a little bit of TV, and then a whole movie, and before I realized it, it was dinner time and I would not engage again. So I thought, "I need an afternoon system like First Blood". And so I came up with the Phoenix Tactic, named after the mythological bird that rises from its ashes, as a metaphor for my dead morning self rising to work again. Since my juices really get depleted from working all morning on intellectual tasks diligently, I did need the rest, but now after lunch, I do box-breathing, and do a 45 minute Dr. Joe Dispenza meditation during which I fall in deep trance or sometimes I just fall asleep for long stretches of it, but sitting down on an armchair, not lying in bed. The result is that I come out of it fully rested. I make a cup of tea, put on Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song, and then get another pomodoro in, just like with first blood. I've seen that more often than not, it will result in several pomodoros in the afternoon/early evening before dinner.

That now means that regardless of my mood, I will still get 1 hour of work done just because it's part of my habit stack. Both techniques came after reading time and time again in this journal that I hadn't been able to engage. That's why I've been humbled by the power of journaling.
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 50 - The Big Five-O

No porn. No masturbation.

Although it is not one of my goals (60 is really the next one), fifty feels very official. I'll take a minute to celebrate and thank everyone here for their stories and encouragement. I couldn't have gotten this far without the amazing community here. There's still a long stretch ahead, but somehow it feels less daunting because of all of the people here. Also, thank you Gabe for creating this space.

I felt normal today. Work was great, I had lunch at my mom's, and I feel very healthy. Nothing sexual today, and no morning wood, but it doesn't feel like a flatline.

Exercise, box-breathing, hydration, 15 minute meditation, cold shower, no YouTube, first blood, 45 min afternoon meditation, phoenix tactic, and good nutrition, ok.

See ya tomorrow!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 51 - TRIGGER LANGUAGE WARNING

No porn. No masturbation.

Work going great.

I was horny all afternoon. Not actually fantasizing or anything, but I just got this permanent tingly sensation in my genitals (not hard but like ready to get hard given any female stimulus) and at times I would get these flashbacks of the different real vaginas I've seen in my life, of trimmed pubic hair, blonde, black, red, no hair, of lips of all kinds and sizes, of different scents. For the first time in a long while I actually said to myself out loud "I need to get me some pussy". My girlfriend is on field assignment hundreds of miles away, so that'll have to wait.

But how about that, huh?

Exercise, box-breathing, hydration, 15 minute meditation, cold shower, no YouTube, first blood, 45 min afternoon meditation, phoenix tactic, and good nutrition, ok.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
You're doing great, Hugo.

I'm grateful that it's toward 'real-world' sex that you're having appetite for, as the other stuff is worse than junk-food.

Thank you also for providing definitions above, especially regarding box breathing. Though you relate it to resetting the heart rate, breathing deeper/slower also slows down the mind.

Blessings.
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 52

No porn. No masturbation.

I had sex today. Well, we actually made love. My girlfriend came back from her trip last night. We had sex today at noon and we were so into each other. I had a healthy hard erection. I orgasmed 8 days ahead of schedule. It was great. Even with a condom, I was able to cum from the penetrative sex. I did not have to "finish myself off" or have her jack me off for a long time to finish. Even before developing ED, or when I did it with pills, I hadn't been able to cum like that in quite a long time. I did feel drained and sexless afterwards, though. I couldn't have gone a second time, but I don't want to force things either. From other stories I've read, I expect these after-sex mini flatlines, which should get shorter and shorter eventually.

A great day, I think!

Morning routine in check.



Phineas 808 said:
You're doing great, Hugo.
I'm grateful that it's toward 'real-world' sex that you're having appetite for, as the other stuff is worse than junk-food.
Thank you also for providing definitions above, especially regarding box breathing. Though you relate it to resetting the heart rate, breathing deeper/slower also slows down the mind.

Thank you so much Phineas 808. Yes, exactly, it calms the chatter of the mind too. That's precisely the purpose of breathing techniques (pranayama) and the other 7 practices (angas) in ashtanga yoga, so you can meditate (dhyana) free of distractions and eventually reach the blissful state of transcendence (samadhi). Although originally it was not tied to any particular religious belief, at some point it became integrated into Hinduism and Buddhism. I learned it not from yoga, but from Flow Performance training I talked about here before, where they take what is scientifically proven to be the best from these ancient practices and incorporate them into these daily habit stacks. If you are interested, a good introductory book on harnessing flow states is "Stealing Fire" by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reading suggestions, Hugo!

Yes, I've been interested for years now in various mystical techniques of other religions, including my own, Christianity.

I've been able to incorporate various things I've learned into different mystical and meditative techniques I've developed over the years.

I really appreciate Nisarga-yoga, and there are other techinques borrowed from Buddhsim and Sufism as well... I appreciate pranayama breathing techniques also.

Be well.
 

workinprogressUK

Well-Known Member
Glad it's going to plan for you. Great work! Thanks for explaining box breathing. I'd just looked it up before reading your latest posts. Very similar to the mindfulness breathing I was taught in therapy, and very helpful to me, too. I find it works really well if I focus on the physical flow of air into and out of my lungs. Anything that shuts down the noise and allows our logical brain to catch up with our faster-acting emotional brain and take back control..... well.... works for me!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 54

No porn. No masturbation.

Yesterday and today felt a little flatliney. I don't have a shriveled penis, but the horniness was gone after orgasming on Saturday and hasn't returned. I was expecting that from others' stories and I expect these less-intense flatlines after orgasm to be progressively shorter in duration. However, my girfriend fondled with my dick a little yesterday and I did get an erection, so it wasn't as if I went back to square one. We did not have sex, not to force it during the reboot. I did feel an improvement today in comparison to yesterday, so I am hoping that by next weekend when I hit 60 days, I will have bounced back.

I was able to perform at my job, though, so no loss in that area.

Exercise, box-breathing, hydration, 15 minute meditation, cold shower, no YouTube, first blood, 45 min afternoon meditation, phoenix tactic, and good nutrition, ok.

See ya tomorrow!

workinprogressUK said:
Glad it's going to plan for you. Great work! Thanks for explaining box breathing. I'd just looked it up before reading your latest posts. Very similar to the mindfulness breathing I was taught in therapy, and very helpful to me, too. I find it works really well if I focus on the physical flow of air into and out of my lungs. Anything that shuts down the noise and allows our logical brain to catch up with our faster-acting emotional brain and take back control..... well.... works for me!

Heey workinprogressUK!!! Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad I could be of help and thanks for sharing how helpful mindfulness breathing from therapy has been for you. Everybody knows that mental states trigger physical reactions; I mean, it shows when you are sad or when you are truly happy, right? What not everyone knows is that, due to your mirror neuron network (whose purpose is being able to experience empathy to keep groups of humans together to survive), this also works the other way round. Like a magnet and spool electric motor/generator. Apply current and it will rotate, but also rotate it yourself and you'll get current out the other end. And that is why breathing as if you were in a calmed state, even when you are not calmed to begin with, results in you actually calming yourself down. The same goes for power poses, for example. So, there's wisdom in "fake it till you make it". Take care my friend.
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 55

No porn. No masturbation.

Today was a pretty normal day. Work is going great. Nothing sexual today. Looking forward to life past 60 days. My afternoon meditation has left me with a tingly brain for hours afterwards. Not painful, rather pleasurable.

Exercise, box-breathing, hydration, 15 minute meditation, cold shower, no YouTube, first blood, 45 min afternoon meditation, phoenix tactic, and good nutrition, ok.

See you tomorrow!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 57

No porn. No masturbation.

So close to 60, just like that! No great insights though. Everything just going well. We'll see how this weekend goes when I hit 60 on Sunday with my girlfriend.

Morning and afternoon routine, ok.

See ya tomorrow!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Days 59, 60 and 61

No porn. No masturbation.

So I hit the badly-awaited day 60 and it did not go according to plan. Unfortunately, I seem to have entered another flatline as a rebound from last week's sex. We wanted to celebrate day 60 with a good fuck, and although I initially was hard, it quickly went down and it shriveled like a raisin, just like in my worst days before the reboot. It was disappointing for the both of us. My girlfriend did not want me to take pills because we don't want to get conditioned to that, so we just let it be. We tried a couple more times during the weekend and I just did not feel aroused. The third time was the charm and it did work. I was hard throughout and I was able to orgasm. She tried so hard to get me engaged until it worked. She was so happy afterwards (she had been so disappointed before). So this kickstart might be needed during these days, but this situation did make a dent in my newly minted confidence.

I can feel the flatline today also in that I've been neglecting work all morning. I understand it's part of the process, but I was doing so great that I thought I would not get these setbacks, even if I had read that they are common before the 90 days are up, and less common afterwards. But I thought I was out of the woods.

I'll keep on doing all the stuff I've been doing and hopefully get back on track.

Morning and afternoon routine ok.

See ya tomorrow!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 62

No porn. No masturbation.

Flatline # 2 still on. I look at women and I know they are objectively good looking but I feel nothing.

Morning routine ok till cold shower. I dodged first blood and phoenix tactic and hopped on the motorcycle. Couldn't care less. Shit. I need to get out of this flatshit.

See ya tomorrow!!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 63

No porn. No masturbation.

I am anxious as hell. Jittery even. I've never been this anxious ever.

Screw routines. Can't even calm down.

Se ya tomorrow!
 

Bilbo Swaggins

Active Member
Sorry to read this, friend. It seems you have been struggling for a few days, your last posts were not as positive as your first ones.

I would only like to tell you again that your journal is very inspiring. I?m sure many guys enjoy it as much as I do. After reading some of your posts, I took a 3-week break from the forum, the first time I have done this since I joined. Thanks to you, I?ve been able to think a little less about rebooting recently. So yeah, you?ve been a good help.

I hope you start feeling better soon. Life ain?t always easy, it has its ups and downs, regardless of porn addiction issues, ED, etc. You will get better, man. Just remember that rebooting can take more than 60 or 90 days, so try to be patient with this. It?s different for everyone, and you don?t seem like a very severe case, but still, it could take longer than that. So take it easy, be patient, and manage your expectations, and you?ll be all right.

Take care, friend!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Days 64 and 65

No porn. No masturbation.

I could have sworn that I wrote something on day 64. I might not have clicked "post". Anyway, the dark cloud lifted and I'm back to my regular self. I had a long work-session with a coworker from another country and just that engagement made me forget about feeling crappy and got me out of the dark place. I haven't tried to have sex these days, so I don't know if it will work, but I will not obsess about it.

Morning and evening routine back to normal.

See ya tomorrow!!!

Bilbo Baggins said:
Sorry to read this, friend. It seems you have been struggling for a few days, your last posts were not as positive as your first ones.

I would only like to tell you again that your journal is very inspiring. I?m sure many guys enjoy it as much as I do. After reading some of your posts, I took a 3-week break from the forum, the first time I have done this since I joined. Thanks to you, I?ve been able to think a little less about rebooting recently. So yeah, you?ve been a good help.

I hope you start feeling better soon. Life ain?t always easy, it has its ups and downs, regardless of porn addiction issues, ED, etc. You will get better, man. Just remember that rebooting can take more than 60 or 90 days, so try to be patient with this. It?s different for everyone, and you don?t seem like a very severe case, but still, it could take longer than that. So take it easy, be patient, and manage your expectations, and you?ll be all right.

Take care, friend!

Thank you so much for your kind words Bilbo. It really made the difference in my mood today and encouraged me a lot to practice patience and not feel so disappointed if things aren't perfect yet. I am also happy if I contributed positively to your process too. We will get there and we have a lifetime to do it. The important thing is to see that there are improvements and it is a world of difference from when I didn't know what was going on. Thank you, I did feel different yesterday and today and it wasn't as dreadful as a few of days ago. I feel I'm back to stable now. I appreciate your advise about managing expectations, which I will have in mind from now on. Cheers mate!!!

JerryTX said:
Hang in there!  It seems your doing well but we all have these days.  Stay strong!

Thank you JerryTX for your encouragement. Sometimes it's hard to get past the fact that one will not always experience the best case scenario. Even if I had read about these setbacks in other journals, I thought I was crushing it and it wouldn't happen to me. What a lesson in humility. But I will keep pressing on and your words really helped me today. I hope your process goes great too and I send you good vibes my friend!!!
 

otanerferguson

Active Member
Day 66

No porn. No masturbation.

I had a good day today. Nothing sexual but good mood overall.

Morning routine ok. I didn't work today.

See ya tomorrow!!!
 
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