no more to and fro

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Congrats on day 25, Joel!

I like your plan to stop counting days after the day-30 milestone. It's exciting to be in that place where we can just live a p-free life, and not have to be attentive to counting days. That's where I'm going after my day-90, for my current abstinence challenge.

I'm so happy for the effectiveness that the EFT has been for you. In a similar manner, mindfulness and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) plays a role in my approach, too. Though I don't think of it as technical as it sounds.

I love Noah Church, though that's awesome if you took his course, and have his direct coaching.

The trauma angle can be a key to understanding how our sexuality went off the rails... For me growing up and as a teen age runaway, there were traumatic events that my later behaviors were rooted in. While stopping the behavior is a matter of habit-change, if they're rooted in trauma, it deepens the emotional aspect to the addiction. Many add unnecessary years on their recovery by trying to untangle all the subconscious aspects before quitting (if ever). But it's okay, and perhaps preferable to treat both on a simultaneous track, as we can first stop before addressing the deeper issues.

So excited for how things are going for you, brother!
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, guys. Things are going well and I coasted through my thirty-day goal to here - a porn free lifestyle. Just had a week 'holiday' (tricky during a lockdown - but a holiday of sorts). Good habits were hard to keep up away from home (eg exercise), no porn issues, but it definitely felt like coasting. Back home now, and I'm home alone, wife has gone to work. Don't really have urges, but have anxiety about urges. Shared the anxiety with the wife yesterday, and she was full of love and support, and told me I should plan my day, and not worry about being super productive. Great advice really. Nailed my early healthy habits, posting on the forum, and settling down for some work now - feeling good. Have a great, porn-free day all.
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, Guitar! A follow up on my last post, a few days later I was home alone and didn't plan my time. I got low, bored and depressed. Must plan my time, especially when I'm low and don't feel like doing anything. It's not about keeping busy, it's about being intentional. I'm allowed to lie down, relax and stare into space for an hour, or watch TV, but it needs to be planned, I need to do it mindfully.

Onto today's issue.

A depression sat on me yesterday. Still lingering today. I was trying to work/ be productive, things weren’t coming easily, and that was the trigger. Felt incapacitated, and then came the second arrow of depression: I’m always like this, I can’t even do a day’s work because this is how I function. Is this all there is? This repetitive cycle and feeling like this? Quarantine makes a lot of healthy actions impossible, so that’s an issue too.

The thought of MO’ing came to me, and I was still thinking about it today, until I started journaling and realising it wasn’t a good idea. If I want to use sexual sensation as an escape, then it’s not a good idea. And knowing myself, I’ll feel drained and depressed, worse basically - afterward. And the escapist moment of the ‘O’ will ironically hold all the more appeal. I’ll want to go back for more. I’ll be back in the clutches of the habitual cycle.

A line in my Daily Letter really spoke to me: Don’t run away from pain – it is trying to tell you sth – do you need connection? Exercise?

yes. Circumstance has made exercise and connecting to people difficult recently. now it’s time to reach out, and (here's my challenge!) to exercise every day for 10 days.

Aside from that (ie work), I’m not going to challenge myself too much. I’m on around day 50 days of no-porn; stress and anxiety can be acute when they appear, and I need to do some work on my foundations before I can face certain challenges. I'll speak to you guys on the other side of this. Have a great, porn-free day all.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
The thought of MO’ing came to me, and I was still thinking about it today, until I started journaling and realising it wasn’t a good idea. If I want to use sexual sensation as an escape, then it’s not a good idea. And knowing myself, I’ll feel drained and depressed, worse basically - afterward. And the escapist moment of the ‘O’ will ironically hold all the more appeal. I’ll want to go back for more. I’ll be back in the clutches of the habitual cycle.

A line in my Daily Letter really spoke to me: Don’t run away from pain – it is trying to tell you sth – do you need connection? Exercise?

Good job, Joel, on dismissing the urges for that quick release, with its longer term negative impacts. Good job on staying true to your goals and your recovery!
 

Joel

Active Member
Thanks, Phin. Yes, experiencing the same pattern over and over for years has taught me that much!

Got this advice from a friend, made good sense: Don't feel guilty about taking the time for self-care. You don't have to be "productive" every day, and a day is much better spent like this than relapsing.

It's tricky to shift when in that state. Low... depressed... unmotivated... lazy/tired... more depressed - cycle. Next day I got into my good habits and better mood was back. I want to follow some Zen ideas about sitting with a low mood next time, finding equanimity instead of a second bullet, maybe I can break the cycle that way. I don't need to be/ shouldn't have to be productive to find equanimity. Porn was perhaps a cause of my fatigue and laziness, but it was always an escape I went to, to avoid dealing with the frustration of my laziness.
 

Joel

Active Member
Hi all. I've been relapsing since the first of this month after a couple of months happily clean. I delayed coming back to the forum - so many things i wanted to analyze, combined with completely blocking the internet. Now a month of 'to and fro' has happened, so I just wanted to come here and say 'present'. While I'm here, I'll say, there are so many things to be grateful for in my life, and there are some tricky/ difficult things too. Yesterday I lapsed after stringing 10 days together; really just wanted to escape my life and go into the p-trance. I used so many tools to stop myself (yesterday) but I guess I didn't do enough. Going to revisit no-porn materials today, and hey, I finally got back to writing a forum post.
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Glad to see you back Joel, but of course, hate to see you struggling. It sure isn't easy is it? Well, you are doing the right thing. Coming back here, focusing on beating the addiction. The struggle is real and we are here to help talk it out. This forum continues to help me and keep me on the right path. It has gotten easier the longer I'm away from it, but the urges are always there.

Hope you keep coming back. Let me know if you need any additional support. DM me any time.
 

Joel

Active Member
Hi all,
Thanks for the support Squid, Guit and Phin.

I've been in the to and fro since my last post, but have enjoyed some good 'clean' living in that time. I haven't looked at HCP for a while, but MO'ing with P in my head recently. behaviour on the weekend calls for a reset of my streak and going back to foundational habits and learning. Today is day 2.

Re-working through a little of the Noah Church course each day. And deciding to start a fresh reset/ streak was inspired by the book 'Dopamine Nation' by Anna Lembke, which is good read.

I'm not in therapy, but I've looked at my life and believe it is the life I want. I got into this PA as a kid, without knowing any better, and I've been in the cycle of the addiction since. True, I do crave a more sexually hedonistic life at times - but that's an unrealistic, immature fantasy part inspired by P. The joy in my life comes from practising gratitude for what i have, zen principles about being present, and thriving in my relationships, physicality, and work, and by staying clean. Today, I'm doing some work, taking a walk with the wife, and am seeing a friend later. I'm feeling lazy about exercise but maybe I'll squeeze that in too. It's a good day, and a good life.

Have a great, porn-free day all.
 
Hi all,
Thanks for the support Squid, Guit and Phin.

I've been in the to and fro since my last post, but have enjoyed some good 'clean' living in that time. I haven't looked at HCP for a while, but MO'ing with P in my head recently. behaviour on the weekend calls for a reset of my streak and going back to foundational habits and learning. Today is day 2.

Re-working through a little of the Noah Church course each day. And deciding to start a fresh reset/ streak was inspired by the book 'Dopamine Nation' by Anna Lembke, which is good read.

I'm not in therapy, but I've looked at my life and believe it is the life I want. I got into this PA as a kid, without knowing any better, and I've been in the cycle of the addiction since. True, I do crave a more sexually hedonistic life at times - but that's an unrealistic, immature fantasy part inspired by P. The joy in my life comes from practising gratitude for what i have, zen principles about being present, and thriving in my relationships, physicality, and work, and by staying clean. Today, I'm doing some work, taking a walk with the wife, and am seeing a friend later. I'm feeling lazy about exercise but maybe I'll squeeze that in too. It's a good day, and a good life.

Have a great, porn-free day all.
'its a good day and a good life' - dude, I'm feeling that positivity. Yeah we have work to do but if I can switch up my focus I can see just how good life is. Great job man
 

guitar1968

Active Member
Hi all,
Thanks for the support Squid, Guit and Phin.

I've been in the to and fro since my last post, but have enjoyed some good 'clean' living in that time. I haven't looked at HCP for a while, but MO'ing with P in my head recently. behaviour on the weekend calls for a reset of my streak and going back to foundational habits and learning. Today is day 2.

Re-working through a little of the Noah Church course each day. And deciding to start a fresh reset/ streak was inspired by the book 'Dopamine Nation' by Anna Lembke, which is good read.

I'm not in therapy, but I've looked at my life and believe it is the life I want. I got into this PA as a kid, without knowing any better, and I've been in the cycle of the addiction since. True, I do crave a more sexually hedonistic life at times - but that's an unrealistic, immature fantasy part inspired by P. The joy in my life comes from practising gratitude for what i have, zen principles about being present, and thriving in my relationships, physicality, and work, and by staying clean. Today, I'm doing some work, taking a walk with the wife, and am seeing a friend later. I'm feeling lazy about exercise but maybe I'll squeeze that in too. It's a good day, and a good life.

Have a great, porn-free day all.
Great post Joel. Seems like the zen principles are working for you. That's great. Keep moving forward my friend. The road is certainly not always easy but at least we're still trying to drive on it.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Hi, Joel! Yeah, resetting seems to be helpful when we're struggling, especially if we crossed our 'red-line' behaviors.

It gives us a fresh start and refocus. It's helped me in my recovery efforts.

I also like your idea of getting back to basics as a means of refocusing, also.

Be well!
 

Joel

Active Member
Hi all - thanks so much for the messages and support.

I lapsed since my last message to ero-literature, but I am on day 6 of a fresh streak. Lapse was a good learning curve - I awoke really hungover (only after a couple of drinks!) and wanted to escape the pain. I had another hangover a couple of days ago, and had a similar thought - but course-corrected - i can tolerate the pain, I don't have to run from it (zen learning!). On that note, I'm having awful hangovers lately after only a bit of alcohol - and am going to experiment having 'just the one' or abstaining completely.

Inspired by 'Dopamine Nation' by Anna Lembke and some podcasts she's been interviewed on, this has been a very interesting streak. It's motivating and inspiring - she explains the dopamine imbalance and how us P users live life on a constant level of depression and mood deficit. She recommends complete abstinence, and this has made me see how my old streaks haven't been complete abstinence - I'll look at a sexy image here or there, or indulge a fantasy in my head to 'micro-dose'. She warns of withdrawals, insomnia, anxiety, dopamine crashes (for 2weeks they'll be very strong) - and it's been so true - for 6 days i've felt my brain and energy just shut down - and that's inspired me all the more to push through and see what it will feel like on the other side. Even today, I planned to be semi-productive, but I don't feel quite with it; something is rebooting - I can feel it.

Have a social later, and a date with the wife tomorrow, and a nice quiet weekend ahead which I'm looking forward to.

Have a great, porn free day all
 
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murphyrobbert

New Member
Thanks, Guitar!

Just journaled the below and thought I’d share it. Might be a little disjointed.

I’ve been in the porn back-and-forth for over 5 years, trying to stop but not giving it up, knowing it derails my life, career, relationships, etc. A low point for me includes missing a family member’s milestone birthday because I felt too low/ anxious/ moody to turn up; and I’m sure it was porn use that frazzled my confidence, motivation to go out, love for family, empathy for others... I can step back and see as clear as day that when I use porn, it’s like having a lobotomy.

I'm a big kid in many ways and I try to hold onto the past... or at least try to push away the changes in my life, or use porn as a coping mechanism for changes. Years ago, ‘childhood’ quite suddenly ended for me. My once robust dad got a fatal illness, mum was in such a state she couldn’t even put herself to bed at night, and the devastation led her to getting ill and dying shortly after. I moved home for a while, put her to bed that first night, and thought – wtf? What the hell is happening? Then I got a cold beer from the fridge, turned on the tv – some P was playing on cable, I took a drink of beer, watched some naked women, and some chemicals buzzed within me, and I thought: this isn’t so bad. I think I’ve found a way to cope with all this. I guess that’s been a pattern for me ever since: ignoring life, death, aging, discomfort, and going to an addiction that makes me feel safe, like a boss, where I can forget about mortality.

I surround myself with the harem so that I can't see or feel anything beyond. In fact, I've had some pretty 'comfortable' periods over the last few years of using my 'drug', then watching nofap YouTube videos, writing in forums, working on myself and building streaks. Even this struggle/ back and forth with recovery/ porn perhaps feels safer than reality that lies beyond it. But while I stay in the virtual porn world, my real life is breaking apart. If I let go of the toxic habit, let my brain clear out all the addictive pathways and connections, there is happiness that lies beyond it.
We need your ideas. I have a problem with my refrigerator. I was wondering how you can tell if your refrigerator is leaking freon.
 
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