It ends here.

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Thanks @particularly_respecting, @Blondie, @Phineas 808

I have no doubt you guys are correct. I definitely fought a bit yesterday, but was able to focus on something else by noticing the thought and just holding it, waiting for a few seconds.

This reminds me of a thing I learned earlier called the five second rule, where you basically just wait for five seconds whenever you get the urge to do something.

This works both for moving on from negative habits, but also the other way around for anything constructive or positive you want to get done - do it within five seconds of having the thought, or you risk not doing it at all.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve certainly missed out on a lot by staying idle in those moments. Or of course, making the wrong decision.

This is something I want to pay a lot of attention to in the future. Noticing when I get that little “drip” of dopamine just when the thought arises, and watching how it goes from drip to full flow the closer I am to giving in.

It’s possible to turn this drive into something positive - whenever you feel an urge, a rush of dopamine, you act in that moment - but tell yourself that you’re not going to watch porn, but rather pick up the guitar and play. Or go for a run. Utilise the drive to act, but turn it around and use it for something that’s actually worth doing.
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 11

Yesterday was a great day. Had dinner with coworkers and party afterwards. Spent probably four hours dancing, and it felt amazing being close to everyone, people were having a great time. Man, being around women this way is intoxicating, it put a smile on my face the entire night. I went home alone, but I wouldn’t trade the memory of this one night for a lifetime of porn use.
 
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downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 12

I feel like I’m getting the urges under control. Some stuff pops up in my head now and then, and I can feel the dopamine kick in. Just noticing that this happens is helpful to me. It sort of reminds me that it’s a physical response to a thought that arises because I have conditioned myself to always act in that moment. Always go to the phone or computer and look something up. Always get that release of dopamine and pleasure of watching something, no matter if it’s just a photo of someone or full on porn.

I can’t do that anymore. I’m constantly reminding myself that opening up instagram and hitting that “browse“ button is a step towards relapse. It’s not even an option for me to do, and neither is thinking about anything like that. Mental images of someone, or imagining having sex with someone. It’s out of the question.

I do miss the comfort of porn. But it’s making me unable to deal with real life like I should be at 35. I need to move towards getting my life back.

I’m thinking more and more about actually being with a real person. Not imagining anything sexual, but just thinking about how I can go about meeting someone. How I can get closer to having that experience with someone. I feel like I need to make that happen, if… when I manage to go 90 days and beyond, I need to be with someone and rewire with them.
 
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downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 13

Almost two weeks. I feel so much better than I did a week ago. I will keep going, and stay on my toes. Making sure to post here every day, and listening to a podcast to keep things fresh. I think my biggest weakness in recovery right now is my lacking focus, I tend to sort of forget my reasons for recovering. But I'm finding that staying 100% away from all substitutes and triggering images is helping a lot with that.

Thank you to anyone who is dropping by to like or comment, it really helps!
 
I do miss the comfort of porn. But it’s making me unable to deal with real life like I should be at 35. I need to move towards getting my life back.
Can definitely relate to this - there were periods when I was trying to quit, but even so, can't believe how many years I spent in a porn haze 🤦‍♂️
Seems you're making great progress though. Keep it up brother! 💪
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 17

Have not been very active lately. Been a lot to think about at work, but will make sure to do some reading this weekend, and posting here!

I’m feeling quite well these days, mood is a lot more stable than it was a couple of weeks ago. Libido is low. Had morning wood a couple of times in the last week.

I’m making sure to work out and run regularly, and getting in drum practice at least four times a week. Trying to be better at playing guitar and working on music, but most days it’s difficult to get going.
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 18

Struggling quite a bit with urges again. Trying to keep busy, going for walks, went for a swim today and worked out. Sat down outside in the sun and read a book.

Noticing that normal things are starting to feel better to me. Just having some oatmeal and coffee this morning gave me a great feeling of appreciation. It's really encouraging to feel, and hoping to feel more things like that onwards.
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 0

18 days is how long I could make it this time. It's a bit disheartening to see my streaks shrink like this (almost 60 days, then 24 days previously), and I have to think specifically about what I need to do to make it past that first month. I'm still in this!

This relapse started on Youtube, just watching a classical pianist I happened to find attractive. That was a mistake, it escalated fast. I spent a lot of time trying to notice the urges coming, then acknowledging they were there and telling myself "no". After a while, I became less and less able to resist. This time I used my computer, which is a first since I started recovery.

Right now, I'm thinking that I need very specific steps to follow. I've been too vague with myself, like keeping away from social media and not procrastinating too much. This is where I'll start:

- My phone will stay in the kitchen at all times, except when I'm out of the house.
- Instagram will be deleted from my phone for at least 30 days.
- Youtube is forbidden, I will not watch it at all until I have reached my goal. (The only exception is if I need to watch a specific tutorial on something - no casual viewing)
- Curtains in the living room will stay completely open at all times.
- Every time I'm at home and I feel any urges, I will pick up a book and read or play the guitar. If I can, I'll go for a run or work out. (Anything to redirect my mind to something else)
- Will keep reading and listening to podcasts about addiction.
- Absolutely no M/O for at least 30 days.


Also, I will keep working out two or three times a week, and go for a run two times a week. Will take every opportunity to hang out with people from work. Still in the process of figuring out some activity or class I can take after work on weekdays.

Have been reading Dopamine Nation, and despite my relapse I'm finding it very helpful. I think it will help me be more mindful of my own behavior and see more of what's going on in my head.

The goal now is to make it to 30 days, and take it from there.
 
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downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Note to self, copied from YBOP:

R – Recognize what craving feels like.

A – Allow it to be present without pushing it away, allow it to come up, do its dance and fade away.

I – Investigate what craving feels like in my body right now with curiosity.

N – Note craving as it comes and goes along with tension, yearning, and tightness in the body.

We have found in our research that the more these addicts practice this approach, the more skillful they become at ‘urge surfing,’ or ride out their urges without acting on them.”

~ Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Adjunct) of Psychiatry; Medical Director, Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Hi, downhill. Sorry about your struggle but I like the solid plans that you're coming up with. It may take a little practice, but with repetition and consistency, they will stick.

I like your RAIN acronym, too, as that's an awesome way to become more mindful and self-aware, the opposite of 'habit-land'.

You got this, and your next streak will be even lengthier!
 
@downhillfromhere You have it man. Following are the words of @logicprox which were already posted in my thread. He put an excellent view on triggers. You may find it helpful.

"I might be extreme, but to be honest, I think it applies to most people. They just don't know it.

I cut out almost all TV and movies. I watch less than an hour a week, usually much less. I don't miss it. TV and movies are supernormal stimuli just like porn, that hijack your dopamine reward center. Our brains were not meant for that endless novelty, and the cliffhangers that create the desire to know what comes next.

Just like porn, TV and movies don't make us happy. It's an illusion. The dopamine draws us to them, because dopamine is for motivation and drive to do things. But dopamine doesn't make us happy. Serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins do. We get those from physical activity, social interaction with real people (not social media), and accomplishing our goals. TV and movies do none of that. I do make SOME exception for watching things with people, due to the social element. But even that I don't want to go overboard and watch hours of it.

In my opinion, porn isn't actually the enemy. It's the enemy's greatest weapon. Excessive dopamine hijacking our reward centers and leading us to seek bullshit that gives us dopamine but doesn't move life forward is the enemy. Porn just happens to be the most powerful element of that, so it has to be cut out. But TV, movies, internet browsing for no purpose, and social media activate the same brain pathways and cause the same problems just to a lesser extent.

Perhaps you worry about not being normal, or being able to talk about TV and movies with people. Do you want to be normal? Or you do you want to be exceptional? If people can't talk about anything besides TV and movies they are boring people."
 

Jon11208

Member
@downhillfromhere - I'm sorry to hear about your relapse. I am relatively new here but in reading so many threads with multiple relapses, the thing I'm trying to take away from that is the strength of everyone here to come back and start at Day 0 again. It shows the goal hasn't changed. It shows you're not giving up. And instead of frustration that you haven't beaten this yet, I hope part of you and anyone that relapses can look at it that the goal hasn't changed. I've found that so much of this is about lying to ourselves or convincing ourselves that something is okay or not a big deal or normal. If you relapse, it would be easy to fall off the wagon completely, but coming back here, being accountable, and still having the drive to start your count again and continue shows that you're 100% still in the game.

You've got this! We're all behind you!
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Thank you @Phineas 808, great to hear from you! Going to have to take things one day at a time, and try my best to make it stick. If I can do this, I'm closer to living my life the way I really want to.

@Ezel, I agree Youtube can be really dangerous, you don't always have control over what you're watching. I've spent far too much time just watching recommended videos, and I think I will be better off without. Thanks for the support!

Thanks, @Restless Mystic! Great points here, I would do good to follow this advice. Thankfully I haven't watched TV in many years apart from when visiting family, but Youtube has become something very similar - and the fact that you're always watching things that are directed towards you probably makes it even worse in terms of dopamine.

@Jon11208, thanks for your comment and the support! Coming back here to post wasn't easy, but it was something I knew I had to do in order to keep on fighting. I actually had two lapses that I was able to convince myself was acceptable, until they led to the full relapse. I tried to convince myself it was okay, and the deeper I slipped into old habits the harder it was to see what I was actually doing.
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
Day 1

Today was pretty okay. Really tired, but I think it's because of staying up too late this weekend.

Quick workout and cold shower this morning as usual. Felt a little strange at work, but I'm probably going to be feeling the effects of the relapse for a few days, I'm prepared for it. Went for a run on the way home from work.

Read something about the benefits of submerging yourself in cold water for a few minutes, and tried it - 5 minutes in cold water. Not ice cold, but cold enough it hurt a bit. Was literally jumping with joy as I got out and dried off. Going to keep doing this regularly to help with my mood - right after a run seems perfect.
 
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