I need to up my game.

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Day 45

Fuckin craving is interminable. Sometimes it feels like this is all my brain wants, forever and ever.

BUT:

Today, anxiety is low, energy is high and I feel more drive to do things. However, I've had those episodes of depression in the evening, I don't know why. Let's see if today's evening brings another one.

When the high is over, the misery takes over.

Embrace the suck! Nobody escapes porn addiction easily. The only way out is through the pain.
 
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Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Day 46

I am going to do hard mode from now on. I mean, I started already on day 40. It's my personal choice. Today I have 1 week hard mode. And, I have joined the "Regeneration July" on nofap reddit. I'm not a member there but I'm in anyway. And I've gone almost all June without porn too. I started on June 4th.

Don't forget why you are doing this and embrace the suck!
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Day 50

Damn, man, 50 fuckin days without porn? This is truly unbelievable. But it shouldn't be, because I know how I got here, it is not by mistake. I've been mostly consistent with my plan. I've made some small mistakes though, like drinking a couple of times and masturbating once (both being potential triggers for binging porn) but I've survived. I have to eliminate all the mistakes though. Also, I need to deal with urges better. I like Phineas' approach but probably I need some time to understand how to do it. Until now, I've been running through urges military-style 🤣 Anyway, this is a big victory for me so far. I don't know, I really had this feeling 50 days ago that it would work. I started with 3 rules (Mistakes management, fantasies management, embrace the suck) and it produced results right away. Maybe there is really something in keeping it simple. Next checkpoint is 55 days.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Congratulations on 50 days, Escape! Awesome stuff!

“...running through urges military style”, haha, that’s classic!

Let me know any questions you have on the way I do it, using mindfulness, or other techniques, and I’ll answer best I can.
 

zackergeet

Active Member
Hello guys does mindfulness could help you with preventing to M? I realized that when I hit the 60 day streak without PMO, I had my libido up and this girl made a sexy video call and although I did not finish. This made go from the to porn cause I could not stop about realieasing all the sexual energy built up. Just wondering could I prevent that ( I know that I could have stopped the video call but I want to know once you start how I can stop) and think this also will apply for O’ing since I have never been able to have sex without O’ing.please help
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Hello guys does mindfulness could help you with preventing to M? I realized that when I hit the 60 day streak without PMO, I had my libido up and this girl made a sexy video call and although I did not finish. This made go from the to porn cause I could not stop about realieasing all the sexual energy built up. Just wondering could I prevent that ( I know that I could have stopped the video call but I want to know once you start how I can stop) and think this also will apply for O’ing since I have never been able to have sex without O’ing.please help
Understanding how this addiction works is very important. Porn is a "button" we push to have a dopamine release. This dopamine release is what we love so much. It feels too great. Without this dopamine release, porn would not be interesting at all.

Now, what is "porn"? Porn is not as easy as in, let's say, alcohol. At first it looks like porn is the hardcore porn videos we watch. But with further inspection, we realize porn is more than that. It's a world. Porn means: Hardcore videos (of course), softcore porn, social media pictures, masturbating thinking about porn, having sex thinking about porn, thinking about porn deliberately without stopping etc. Maybe others too. Now the solution, at the core, becomes clear: We must not push this "button" (porn world) in order to avoid the dopamine release. Any time you get the "porn dopamine" going, it gets harder to resist because once this dopamine gets wild, the craving can get unbearable. It's easier to do it if you keep this dopamine at minimum, once you get it started "deliberately", the more time you spend keeping this dopamine elevated, the harder it gets. Why? Because as addicts, we ended up getting our dopamine to very high levels. We ended up binging, we ended up watching stuff that stimulated our brain like nothing else, we ended up, through our porn world, experimenting dopamine levels that sex and masturbation without porn will never ever be able to come close to. The brain wants this level of dopamine, once you give it less, it wants more, until it gets to the levels that it wants (and even then it's not enough, "I can't get no satisfaction" is what the brain would say). The conclusion is: We must make an effort to not get this porn dopamine wild. And another conclusion would be: It sucks really big time. It fuckin sucks.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Hello guys does mindfulness could help you with preventing to M? I realized that when I hit the 60 day streak without PMO, I had my libido up and this girl made a sexy video call and although I did not finish. This made go from the to porn cause I could not stop about realieasing all the sexual energy built up. Just wondering could I prevent that ( I know that I could have stopped the video call but I want to know once you start how I can stop) and think this also will apply for O’ing since I have never been able to have sex without O’ing.please help

Yes, Zack! Definitely!

Throughout that entire episode, you could've stopped- observed yourself nonjudgmentally, grounded yourself through deep breathing, and simply let the urges pass, and repeat if the urges come again (as in waves).

I know that once you start acting out habitually, acting out on your particular 'ritual'- whatever this looks like for you- it's hard to stop... But by this time, we've already judged ourselves, or our circumstances, we've already begun to fight or feed the urges, which only serve to strengthen them, and then we fall entirely.

But at any time we can (and should) disrupt these habituated patterns of behavior, and regain control by simply being in the moment. It's you realizing that, despite the urges and how strong, despite the trigger and to what, you- you alone are in control.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Day 1

You know, having two conflicted thoughts inside my head doesn't really help. There is a constant fight between "I want the pleasure, I wish I could make it work without consequences" and "My porn addiction has been causing me all those problems, I want to get rid of it". I haven't made up my mind that I want to get rid of this 100% and honestly, I don't really think I know how do this. I haven't figure this out. My addicted brain knows how to get me. It clings to any small spark, trying to get me start the fire to burn the house down. The fact that I only "know" how to deal with urges like Rambo, trying to run through them and resist, doesn't help either. It gets exhausting to keep enduring the urges while having this conflict in me "Do it! / Don't do it!". Maybe people who are single with no sex have a harder time? It's just how I feel. It's like my mind tries to prove to me that I can't go on without my "sex life". And porn is my "sex life". In the moment it feels like I can handle it, only to feel miserable afterwards.

Moving to what actually happened, yesterday I was hit by massive urges, I couldn't even think. I was so overwhelmed that I lost any little control I might've had for a few minutes. Coming back to "My addicted brain clings to any small spark", of course the conversation in my head went like this: "You could MO without porn, it worked on day 39, you didn't fantasize about porn, it will work this time too and like this you get rid of urges, it's a win, what do you think?" And my "pleasure starved" self got convinced in a second. I jumped into the bed, thinking to only invest 10 minutes in this and after 5 minutes I switched to fantasizing about porn because the vanilla MO was not satisfying enough (which it's something I'd known already). It didn't last long, only 5 minutes but I didn't feel good about it. It would've still been fine though until... I got drunk. What the fuck can I say? I'm a fuckin alcoholic. Again, the same thing with the addicted brain: Yesterday was not the only time when I drank since the start of the streak, which again only helped to prove me that this time I could handle drinking and not having a porn relapse. One time, two times... It worked... Until yesterday when after drinking some, I started watching porn on my new laptop and I had said I would not stain it with this filthy shit. I had told myself: "New machine, I want to keep it clean." But there is not much control when you are drunk. I also angered my dad because I wanted to drink more. My parents are tired of my alcoholism, who wouldn't be? I'm too. I don't like who I turn into when I drink.

I know that those 2 addictions have deeper roots in my past. I know that I am very frustrated about the fact that I'm single. I know that I'm kind of depressed about the fact that my parents want me to get married and about the fact that I'm my parents' only kid. In a situation like this, you have no kids, your direct family line is over. It's ironic that I work with someone who is 50 years old and has never had a girlfriend. He has no kids but he has a brother and a sister who have kids. I don't. All the pressure is pretty much on my shoulders. Yeah, I know, maybe I'm overthinking this? I know I am not 50, I'm 30 but... I don't know, man. You see, my problems started at 14 when my social anxiety started. Sadly, I have to confess that I haven't tried to do shit about it. Maybe I should've worked harder about it? But you see, now I'm thinking that it's maybe caused by my porn addiction. I had read that porn addiction can cause social anxiety, I got excited about it and I was sure I was going to end my porn addiction in a year and get rid of my social anxiety... Only that after 1 year I'm still back to binges. And I don't know what to think: Is my social anxiety created by porn addiction or not? I can pretty much say that I've been single because of my social anxiety. It bothers me, man, if I was 20 nowadays, I would probably think "I have enough time, I will do it one day," but now... Time is going too fast. I feel maybe pressured by the time?

Anyway, man, this got long. I'm depressed about the binge.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Escape, sorry for your recent struggles.

Pick yourself up, and go again. You have all the tools you need inside of you to say goodbye to P/MO and even alcohol.

Remember you said recently:

I started with 3 rules (Mistakes management, fantasies management, embrace the suck) and it produced results right away.

These rules were simple and it gave you a good run early on. But I noticed 4 things that tripped you up:

1. Going back to alcohol. when at first you were tackling both issues. You successfully drank 2x without going back to porn, but as you say above, the 3rd time led you back...

2. Attempting to offset urges by MO. This worked the first time, probably because you had begun to desensitize your brain to your habits. But by the next 2x, it led to porn fantasy... You said recently that hard mode was the way to go...

3. Having a white-knuckled approach, which is relying too much on will-power, which produces in us a 'dry drunk' mentality, where we wish we were using, and are just hanging on to our sobriety for dear life, but are not making actual changes.

4. Depression. Not taking stock of our emotional states, and how they can be warning us of being in a vulnerable or 'high-risk' place, where we might reach for our former coping methods of P/MO.

I think, along with your simple rules, mindfulness will help you to stay true to your goals and give you better urge-management. And if I can modify an important rule you list above, embrace the suck, to instead say this:

Observe the Suck

This is the same idea, but without the embracing. Say urges come, instead of 'running through them like Rambo', just observe them nonjudgmentally. Recognize the urges, the rapid heart rate, the shallow breathing, the feelings of anxiety and lapse-anticipation, not as enemies to combat or 'run through', but as simply thought/feelings.

These by themselves can't make you do jack! But, if you fight them, or feed them, of course they will eventually 'kick your ass'- even if you mangage to say No for X-amount of days.

Yes, you're right, there is the 'suck-factor', we do have to learn to be uncomfortable with urges, to endure- like a cold shower. But instead of embracing the suck, just observe it- like it's happening to someone else. And just mindfully breathe through the urges until they pass.

It is difficult, especially in the beginning. But mindfulness can help you even early on, and maybe that's a good time to learn it, to dismiss urges instead of the white-knuckled approach.

Don't give up on yourself, all these things are learning experiences if you let them be. You got what it takes for a serious reboot/recovery, but your approach is worth tweeking.

Don't worry about all the rest, if you say 'No' to this crap, long enough, your anxiety issue will take care of itself, and you'll confidently find the love of your life.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Day 0

Strong anxiety is sometimes, for hard porn addicts, mistaken for urges...

Anyway...

Phineas, thanks for advice. You're analysis is correct, I had come to the same conclusion. At one point, I stopped obeying the mistakes management and received the punishment. I drank, which was on mistakes list. I gave in to my alcohol addiction. The little voice in my head told me (again) that I could handle it. I drank twice on different days and didn't move on to porn which (again), only helped to convince me more that I could really handle it, which is funny because it's not the first time, I've had the same thing in the past. A 40+ days long streak and a 25 days long streak (my best two streaks before this one) got stopped by drinking. My 40+ days streak ended like this one, with the same steps, the same routine, culminating with me being really drunk and binging porn and PMO. My 25 days streak ended with a porn binge while being under the influence (not even drunk enough yet). I've had porn relapses after drinking both a little alcohol and a lot of alcohol respectively. This showed me that for a successful porn reboot, I really needed to stay away from drinking even a little but I still haven't learned. Being an alcoholic on top of being a porn addict definitely doesn't help. I crave two things. And the fact that I can't stay porn free when alcohol is involved only helps to mess up everything, all the time.

Second mistake was MO (which had let me to porn in the past). This time it led to fantasizing about porn. It still would not have turned into a full blown relapse though without getting drunk. Drinking was my biggest mistake this time. But with the MO the urges got the best of me which leads to what you said and what I knew anyway: Rambo style fighting with urges gets exhausting, it beats you to the ground, one day you can't tolerate this anymore and you turn into a time bomb, literally unconsciously counting the minutes, hours or days until you relapse. Who can get punched by the urges day in day out and survive all the way to the end, respect to him, he is a monster, but it's not me. I have a limit though. Seeing that I've failed with this approach, the next move is to find something better. I am going to try this mindfulness, urge surfing thing. My "running through urges" style was everything I knew, I didn't know how to do it differently and I couldn't even know how it could end up one day. I had no idea what it would be like on day 50 after running through urges. When I started I thought I could do it, because I had a "full health bar", to make a video game joke. But with time, this health bar was being consumed by my approach and I ended up one day beaten, exhausted and thinking "It's never over, those urges keep coming." I had started to notice that my urges tolerance had begun to approach the bottom. I had started to feel like I was in trouble with the way I was trying to handle the urges. I begged myself to keep going but I was kind of exhausted mentally with this thing. The fact that I seem to be a guy who doesn't really enter a flatline (or not too quickly anyway) didn't help either. I have some experience with flatline and, as much as I hate it, sometimes I wish for one because when I go through that state, I have no urges and constantly having to go day by day with massive urges is not fun. Anyway, maybe this mindfulness stuff could change something. Right now I don't really know how to do it. It's something new for me. But I am going to invest time in studying and trying to apply it.

And I think I really have a problem with walking in circles, doing the same thing thinking this time is going to be different...

Anyway, maybe this got long, again. I hope I'm making sense because I'm going through some brain fog thing and I can't think too well.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Hey, Escape.

I understood well all you say above.

One reason that lapsing to drinking and to PMO seem to follow each other may be that your brain identifies them as the same habit, that it gets its dopamine hits from both behaviors, and so one reminds you of the other.

Be careful here how you identify yourself: "...being an alcoholic and a porn addict"- yes, we may have an addiction, we may then say, I'm an addict, but that seems to only solidify a certain view of ourselves in our own mind, and hence set ourselves up for failure. This isn't going to be your story forever, you will overcome this and be the person you know you are deep down inside.

I would say, too, that the reason why the urges seem so unrelenting and strong isn't a matter of having libido versus being in flatline, but that on some level you were feeding the urges. True, this may not have been by peeking, or compromising your plan, but by the way you fought the urges engaged the same neural pathways and kept them sensitized.

For me, I don't usually have a flatline either- or, whether in a flatline or with high libido, I view urges the same. If they come because I saw something that cued me, or maybe a young lady smiled at me, I dismiss it. Sometimes a little extra is needed, like if I really got 'triggered', I'll check my pulserate- yep, it's elevated. I'll be mindful about my breathing- yep, it's shallow. And I'll kind of just take 3-5 deep breaths in through the nostrils (slow and deep), and then out through the mouth nice and slow. Then I'll check my pulse again, and yep- it's slowed down, and I don't even feel obsessive any more, and the urge has passed. If it comes back, I'll repeat.

The good news about mindfulness, Escape, is that it can be applied to any and all addictions, substance or behavioral: porn, masturbation, alcohol, and also anxiety.

You'll have a 'one-stop-shop' for all the things that you wish to change. When you begin to see that all the unwanted behaviors are handled the same way, and by simply becoming mindful, you'll begin to see that all our addictions are really thought-based and brain-based, but that you're in control, and not the habit.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
Hey, Escape.

I understood well all you say above.

One reason that lapsing to drinking and to PMO seem to follow each other may be that your brain identifies them as the same habit, that it gets its dopamine hits from both behaviors, and so one reminds you of the other.
Hey, man. Thanks for advice. After I PMO, I definitely crave alcohol like crazy because PMO makes me crave more dopamine or gets my dopamine low or something. When I'm drunk, I lose the fear, I lose that thing that keeps me vigilant. Alcohol makes me feel like I can handle everything that follows. Often, while being drunk and ready to access porn, I tell myself: "Okay, so now you are 1 second away from going to porn but you know what this means, right? All the depression, regret, lethargy etc." But I say: "Nah, man, I can handle it real well." Last time, I binged like 7 PMOs or something and I remember lying in the bed to go to sleep and feeling no remorse about it. Then I woke up next morning and really realized what I'd done. "You just lost 50 days you fuckin idiot!" I would've done anything to go back. I knew it was going to be hard to keep going right away, as it often happens, I never got longer streaks back to back. After 2 days, I binged again....

Be careful here how you identify yourself: "...being an alcoholic and a porn addict"- yes, we may have an addiction, we may then say, I'm an addict, but that seems to only solidify a certain view of ourselves in our own mind, and hence set ourselves up for failure. This isn't going to be your story forever, you will overcome this and be the person you know you are deep down inside.

Right, man, I hope I could one day see who I really am without addictions. Even if the real me is broken, getting rid of those addictions would put everything in the spotlight and offer the energy to do something about it. Right now, I don't have energy and mental space for other difficult things in my life. Working on porn addiction and alcohol addiction is hard enough.

I would say, too, that the reason why the urges seem so unrelenting and strong isn't a matter of having libido versus being in flatline, but that on some level you were feeding the urges. True, this may not have been by peeking, or compromising your plan, but by the way you fought the urges engaged the same neural pathways and kept them sensitized.

I don't know how it works for you but in my case when I experience those flatline symptoms (absolutely no libido, no ability to arouse myself etc.) I don't want to PMO because I can't feel anything. When I go through massive urges, they only make me think how good it would feel to enter some edging to porn right now. The reason why people are defeated by urges is because they make you feel so good before you even click on porn... Having the "I wish I could do it but it's not a good idea" thought in my head definitely helps to fuel the urges. Any time you desire porn, it gets the dopamine wild. Some people around the Internet say something like: "Make up your mind 100% that you don't want porn in your life anymore." I don't know, is this mentality even possible? Is there someone out there who doesn't want porn at all, even 10%? Because if those people exist, mad respect to them, bro, but it ain't me. I certainly don't walk around being 100% sure I want to get rid of it. A part of me wants to drown in porn, forever and ever. SPECIALLY when I experience mad urges. And the fact that that was my 51st day without porn and still experiencing mad urges was a big let down. I was mentally exhausted and I couldn't contain my desire for dopamine anymore. The MO session that followed was the result of it. Still, I've said this already and I believe it: It wouldn't have turned into a big mess without getting drunk. It would've been one MO session (with 5 minutes of porn fantasies), some regret about it and I would've gone on. Fuckin alcohol is killin me.

For me, I don't usually have a flatline either- or, whether in a flatline or with high libido, I view urges the same. If they come because I saw something that cued me, or maybe a young lady smiled at me, I dismiss it. Sometimes a little extra is needed, like if I really got 'triggered', I'll check my pulserate- yep, it's elevated. I'll be mindful about my breathing- yep, it's shallow. And I'll kind of just take 3-5 deep breaths in through the nostrils (slow and deep), and then out through the mouth nice and slow. Then I'll check my pulse again, and yep- it's slowed down, and I don't even feel obsessive any more, and the urge has passed. If it comes back, I'll repeat.

The good news about mindfulness, Escape, is that it can be applied to any and all addictions, substance or behavioral: porn, masturbation, alcohol, and also anxiety.

You'll have a 'one-stop-shop' for all the things that you wish to change. When you begin to see that all the unwanted behaviors are handled the same way, and by simply becoming mindful, you'll begin to see that all our addictions are really thought-based and brain-based, but that you're in control, and not the habit.

Ok, man, this sounds good, I definitely need to try some of this.

Thanks.
 

Escapeandnevercomeback

Respected Member
This streak started yesterday, July 27. Let's see where it takes me... I am depressed about all this shit. I've lost all the longer streaks so far...And they come few and far in between. I am the true definition of "serial relapser".
 
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