no more to and fro

Joel

Active Member
Hi all. Joel here, known to some of you  8) I'm letting go of my old thread and all its baggage and starting this new journal. I'm still struggling with P addiction, but I'm also still learning and progressing on this journey.

So, to reintroduce myself - 40s, married, PA for years and I've been in this 'to and fro' of trying to give up for years. I'm exchanging emails with a coach for this issue at the moment.

Today started with something of a fail. Very cold in our apartment; when I had a moment alone, I MO'd with P-fantasy in my head - to get my adrenaline/ excitement up, and to rid myself of that 'rough-morning' feeling/ feeling of discomfort from the cold. In hindsight, I'm working on being zen and sitting with reality/ any discomfort. Sit with it, don't run from it, and certainly don't escape to bad habits. This addictive drug of a habit is never the answer. Anyway, I'll start afresh from here on in. A clean day and good mood by living my best day. My practice is to not sexualize inappropriate things or use artificial sexual stimulation; and it is to keep up good habits and a positive lifestyle to ensure recovery. Cheers!
 

Joel

Active Member
Hi all. still clean. Tuesday ? pretty good mood but low energy. Started work and realised how low energy I was. did all my healthy habits and made it a day of low hanging fruit. Enjoyed my leisure time and evening with wife. Had some urges to just look at a naughty image for the excitement, but was able to process the urge, rather than indulge in ?something minor?. It?s important to decide where we draw the line and not to break our own rules.

More energy yesterday, and less urges. Learned into my work and got a lot done. Had an energy dip in the late afternoon, but pushed myself to do some exercise and felt much better afterward.

Woke up feeling low today. I know myself well enough to know that?s just how my brain is before I feed it anything. Got out of bed, listened to a bit of ?turning pro? (steven pressfield) and started work. feeling fine now. it?s good to be living the life I want to be living. I don't want to escape. That?s a good place to be. talk soon.
 

J01

Active Member
Hi Joel-it is great to hear from you and to hear of your commitment to a restart.  You have the tools and the knowledge so keep up the good work of dealing with those quick urges you mentioned.  Bask in the clean feeling-it is wonderful.  Take care!
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, jixu! Great to hear from you. Yes, feeling well armoured with tools and knowledge.

Feeling pretty level with mood and energy today. Bit of an injury making exercise difficult. Finished a big, long term work project so feeling pretty high from that (better not fall into the ?let?s reward myself with an indulgence? hole!)

Have quite a social weekend ahead. Bit of a challenge for an introvert like me. but I?m learning to lean into enjoying company (an important part of this process - this addiction feeds off our want to withdraw into ourselves) and not waiting to escape back to my cubby hole. Where do I want to escape to? My own space and thoughts? I?m not actually that interesting. I don?t have to be the first one to say, ?That?s enough, time to go home.?

Feeling pretty level headed at the moment and wanted to share an exercise I found very helpful ? write a break up letter to P. ?This relationship is toxic, I get more pain than pleasure out of this. I?d be happier without you...? Really brought a lot of things together for me and I haven?t had a serious urge since I pretend sent it off.

have a great weekend all!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Hi, Joel! Began to follow your journey in this journal as well...

Great thoughts above on escapism versus being in the moment, as in Zen, being with our feelings or problems.

That's a great idea, and something I thought about doing myself, writing a break-up letter to porn. I think this kind of closure is definitely helpful toward moving on from this thing- which like yourself- I've been battling for years now.

Be well.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks for the words, Phin! Great to hear from you, hope you're well.

Today - got an early call - death in the family. I was alone, and I indulged. Have had a roller coaster of emotions all day, but being in the addictive cycle and feeling a compulsion to pmo (all day) should not have been part of it. Hopefully the compulsion won't be so strong after a night's sleep and i can start thinking clearly about things tomorrow.

i mentioned in my old thread a great book i read recently - the Chimp Paradox - about our inner chimp - who wants instant gratification, is very emotional and is a lot stronger than our intellectual mind. There are many exercises about hacking our inner chimp. Was such a dense book, I didn't practice a lot of the exercises, but I'm determined to go back to the beginning and put the whole thing into practice.

Wish you all a great start to the week!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
My condolences, Joel...

Hoping all becomes clear after a good night's rest.

Sounds like an exciting plan, working through that book.

Wishing you well.
 

workinprogressUK

Well-Known Member
Sorry for your loss, Joel.

Wishing you every success in your reboot. You've enjoyed success before and I think each time we have a serious crack at breaking the P spell, we come in stronger and the challenge gets a little smaller. For what it's worth, Chimp Paradox was a life changer for me. Helped me to understand my self-destructive emotions and manage them, for the first time. Resulted in the first P-free spell in my adult life, around 8 years back, but also stopped me from getting into fights, getting blind drunk, running away for opportunities and a whole load of scorched earth approaches to living. I think I'm on my 5th read of it now :)

Good luck to you, mate!
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks for the lovely replies, Phin and WIP. Really great to hear about your positive experience with the Chimp-P, WIP.

Today has been a good day. Good journaling and self reflection in morning. I realised the lapse hadn't come out of nowhere, and i'd broken a rule the day before - a tricky rule (scrolling through film websites until you see an exciting thumbnail, oh then i clicked on the thumbnail for a quick 'curious' peek - it's kinda automatic, but it's something i have to build awareness around and master). I also realised I let emotions fester - I should have gone to paper, journaled, and sorted out my head.

Work felt good today. Headache appeared in the afternoon - a dopamine headache after indulging so much yesterday? I think it's very likely. had to cancel some of my goals and looking forward to signing off from screens for the day. take care all.
 

Joel

Active Member
Hi all. I'm feeling ill and whoozy as I write this. Being this way made me take stock, and I realised I'd neglected the forum. I'm on day 3 of a streak. Last relapse on Sunday to escape feeling like an ill, angry, morning chimp. It was just so typical of me. I struggle to think where I can go from here. I've discovered 'Limitless' by Jim Kwik and am enjoying going through the exercises - making the most of my brain - surely it's a huge ally in this fight. It's about learning better. If I can really absorb all the important things I learn on this journey, maybe that could be the edge I need.

I think I've heard a couple of people say they don't get completely derailed by relapse. That's something I'd like to achieve. I can be doing well, then relapse in a weak moment, and it's like the addict has moved back in and paid a month's rent. I'll be back soon!
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
I think I've heard a couple of people say they don't get completely derailed by relapse. That's something I'd like to achieve. I can be doing well, then relapse in a weak moment, and it's like the addict has moved back in and paid a month's rent.

Hey, Joel!

I think for what you say above, a distinction between a lapse versus a relapse could be made. If I'm abstaining, but I lapsed into an old behavior, I take stock, get up, and keep going. I count it as either a slip or a lapse, a momentary 'lapse' in abstinence. But, if I find myself repeating the behavior in a short time, I count it a re-lapse, a repetition of the unwanted behavior.

I think it's important to bounce back as soon as possible, and to not simply remain in that fallen place. Part of what helps me in that regard is to own my lapse as something entirely from within myself, and to not blame it on outward circumstances or feelings.

Wishing you the best.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks for that Phin. Sounds like: if I stray and indulge somewhat, not all is lost; but if I cross a line and really indulge, I'm sucked into the cycle and the Chimp is truly awakened and at its most powerful.

I've had a couple of binges recently. Wanting to escape the aches of illness was a big part of it. Things are opening up in the UK, and when the wife said she was going out for the whole day/ a whole evening, that tipped me over the edge.

So exhausted now and wondered why... oh yes, a middle-age man can't binge P then enjoy optimal energy. Today is Day 2. I lived my best day yesterday; worked as much as I could before my head really started aching. did 10 minutes exercise - was good to gauge how much energy I had. I was really tired afterwards, and might just conserve what energy I have today.

Journaled a lot yesterday and some interesting things came up. Also, I'm reading Nick Ortner's book on EFT/ Tapping, and downloaded the app. Tapping (a form of meditation that can shift how you feel) helped me process a few strong urges/ emotions over the last week or so, so this should be a useful tool.

I'll work on recovery by dealing with my negatives. When I think of what my negatives are, I realise I've had a low grade depression sitting within me as long as I can remember. I have a good life, but something like a dark, grey day, plus feeling tired and uninspired can really derail me. My human mind can journal, practice gratitude and be positive, but something deep down doesn't shift. So I'll practice using EFT to shift that.

And I'll work on positive recovery too. Build myself up so I can reject toxic indulgences and do less comfortable things. I'm reading a zen book at the moment by H.Shukman, and he talks about how painful Zen is (eg they have to sit so straight and not move for hours). The discipline helped him do the harder things in life, and the harder things are where all the rewards are. So with the help of meditation and EFT, I'll be pushing myself to do the 'zen' thing.

Take care all, speak soon.
 

Joel

Active Member
Lapse yesterday. Not a binge.

Wife is going out for a prolonged period today. I awoke in the addiction-cycle - lots of 'favourite' porn I could watch later. And it's only day 1...

So I realise that my 'human' (rational mind) is on board with watching porn. I just sat down and journalled, and went over my 'porn is bad' alignments. Feeling aligned with the truth that porn is bad for me now, and I want to do everything I can to win the battle today and start a streak. I have a lot of plans for this evening to keep myself busy and mindful, including calling a fellow nofapper.

Hope to write tomorrow, with news of my success. take care all.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Hi, Joel! I like the sound of that... "So with the help of meditation and EFT, I'll be pushing myself to do the 'zen' thing."

I know when I've been in similar situations (wife out of town, staying overnight somewhere, house all to myself), that it's been either a time of struggle or indulgence... But I've surprised myself that I can 'keep it real', and have a successful time. I think what thought helps me in this situation is: "This is my time, and I want to enjoy it without the shame or 'wrinkle' of having struggled with this thing!" I kind of claim this time to do what I 'truly' love, what makes me feel whole, healthy, etc...

Think of how rewarding it will be if during this time you abstained.

But regardless, Joel, be merciful to yourself. Your understanding, acceptance, and love for yourself will carry you through no matter what!
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Lapse yesterday. Not a binge.

Wife is going out for a prolonged period today. I awoke in the addiction-cycle - lots of 'favourite' porn I could watch later. And it's only day 1...

So I realise that my 'human' (rational mind) is on board with watching porn. I just sat down and journalled, and went over my 'porn is bad' alignments. Feeling aligned with the truth that porn is bad for me now, and I want to do everything I can to win the battle today and start a streak. I have a lot of plans for this evening to keep myself busy and mindful, including calling a fellow nofapper.

Hope to write tomorrow, with news of my success. take care all.
Hang in there Joel. I hope you get through this. Having the family out of the house has always been my trigger to really dig into the porn. Not have to be quiet and careful, not have to worry about someone walking in, hearing me, wonder what I'm doing. I've made it through a few of those days in the last few weeks. They weren't easy.
 

Joel

Active Member
Just told the wife.

Despite my tools, planning and intentions, when she left yesterday, I went to my computer and worked out how to wipe out my blockers and find unlimited P (ie all the old favourites and more, which I’ve not had access to for a long time). Instead of next-day guilt, I actually had realistic urges this morning – that was the final straw. Enough deja-vu.

So today I saw no other option on how to move forward than to let my wife in. There was hurt, but I was feeling a lot of positivity and we’re already on the path forward with healing

I’m not trying to talk anyone else into doing this. It’s just that I was in this same position, posting the same post on this same forum exactly a year ago. And I was probably posting something similar more than 5 years ago.

For one thing, this frees me up to zoom-call a coach, who I’ve been exchanging emails with. So that’s already an advantage.

--
Thanks for the support and encouragement Guitar68. And thanks, Phin; despite choosing the indulgence, I really liked your idea of not only enjoying my time alone, but not even having the shadow of potentially acting out being a stress on that time. It's something I've enjoyed in the past and something I hope to enjoy again soon. And what you say about understanding, acceptance, and love - so important and so true.

Coming into the light has created a soberness and accountability that should get me through the day. This is surely the start of a new streak. I'll be checking in soon. Cheers.
 
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guitar1968

Active Member
Wow, great post Joel. It gives me a lot to think about. I've been on the fence about discussing with my wife, but I think I'll have to at some point. I'm hoping to get further into recovery first and start feeling like I can stay away from porn for a while on my own, but then I think I'll have to sit down with her and talk. I'm already dreading that day, but it most likely have to happen for us to enjoy sex together again and to actually free me like it seems to have freed you. No more hiding. I used to use an anonymous browser tab for porn, now I use it for Reboot Nation. I just am not ready to share yet. I'm on 40+ days in and I'm still wrapping my head around the whole things.

Good luck to you. Keep us updated.
 

Phineas 808

Well-Known Member
Wow, Joel, I know how that goes...! So sorry that it came to this, as it's never enjoyable to see the pain on our spouse's face! Wishing you both success and support during this time.

For me, secrecy is a double-edged sword. I know that this thing thrives in secrecy, but at the same time (for me) keeping it secret is the best way I can personally fight this. This is only because of remarks, comments, attitudes, judgments, criticisms, insensitivities (wow, alot of adjectives pouring forth, lol...) that come from my wife. These diametrically undermine and oppose my recovery and healing, and I find myself being 'shamed' (whether intentional or not) back into P/MO and deeper secrecy.

Others find support, a deeper sense of love and understanding heretofor unknown. Bless those fortunate souls. I know that my wife loves me, and I certainly don't want to hurt her, but I just don't think she (or many) women are built to handle our struggles. This isn't meant as a 'slam' on women, on the contrary. They tend to internalize our struggle, as if it were a judgment on them, that they 'weren't beautiful enough' that we had to turn to porn.

With you, Joel, as you go forward.
 

Joel

Active Member
thanks so much, guys. Really means a lot and very comforting/ helpful to lean on the forum right now. I’m dealing with the fallout out now. she’s loving, supportive, ‘happy’ I told her. But she didn’t sleep in the night, and feels ‘revisionist’ about us. ‘This other thing was with us the whole time.’ I thought she knew something, so I’d be owning (up to) something, but actually she didn’t have a clue.

And yes, I feel vulnerable. She could say something close to the bone and it would sting. And now there really is thing between us, and it’s true – it was always there, whether it was P itself or my pain/ preoccupation with the trouble it causes and efforts to quit.

But now that I’ve done it, I can’t think of any other way I’d be able to navigate this. I tried as hard as I could to do this alone and ideally would have liked to contain it and recover and only still be showing my best self/ facade.

Recovery is the number one priority. And there’s been a shift from being in the cycle of binges and urges (2 days ago) to feeling clear and sober. Confessing has put my identity on this. When it was secret, it didn’t really ‘count’ (anonymity is such a bit part of this), now what I’m doing is in the light – even in my own eyes. Looking forward to riding this wave for a while, though I know urges will return, despite this new norm. I’m also looking forward to sharing my challenges. Eg if she says she’s going out, I won’t internally say, ‘oh crap, I’m in trouble.’ But I can share my anxiety; after I do that, I can’t see her going out and me doing the ‘shameful’ thing we’ve just discussed. That wouldn't be a 'pleasurable indulgence'!
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Good for you Joel. I guess we all have to figure this out in our own ways. I do worry that confessing this problem will end up being the thing that ends our marriage. I'm sure many feel this way. I'm not so sure that is necessarily a bad thing. We haven't been on the best terms for a long time. I'm aware that this is mostly on me and what I've done over the years about about sex and intimacy. I would prefer that we get back to caring for each other, having meaningful sex that actually has a connection and enjoying each other's company. But again, for me, it's too early to think about anything other than my recovery and getting a little further away from the problem. I have to prove it to myself first and heal myself first. This is a me a problem and always has been. I have a lot to think about as I go through this journey.
 
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