It ends here.

Blondie

Respected Member
Hey Downhill, sorry to hear about your relapse brother, but I see you're back up and going forward mightily!

Yes YouTube can be a shitstorm and can catch you off guard pretty quickly. Good to see you implementing those new rules.

There is no such thing as a "perfect" recovery, so don't be too hard on yourself about your streaks becoming smaller, it happens sometimes. Think of it this way, if porn was the antagonists in a movie, that is exactly what he would want you to believe and think. Thus, learn from your relapses and move on and don't listen to that psychopath!

Tell those thoughts to go fuck themselves!

You got this man.

Best

lambs.jpg
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
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.

You can do it, downhill! You deserve no less!

P.S., I agree with @Blondie, that our streaks being lengthy or shorter is a matter of perception. I've certainly had that perspective before, but I now simply take whatever lesson there is for me (if there is one) and use it to dig deeper.
 
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downhillfromhere

Active Member
Thanks @Blondie and @Phineas 808! I really appreciate your continued support and your advice.

Loved that image 😄 I like the way you describe as an antagonist Blondie, I do have the feeling that the urges and euphoric recall that tempt me down the path to relapse are something that's not quite a part of me, but have set root in my brain. I am the thinking, reflecting adult that in moments of clarity chooses to step further and further away from that illusion of closeness and intimacy, the one who seeks the real deal, who longs for actual experience with living people. I won't beat myself up because I succumbed to something I did not wish to engage with in the first place. All I can do is tear those roots up one by one, even if I have to keep doing it forever.

I will do my best to learn from my mistakes like you mention Phineas. I suppose mistakes will be made either way, the difference is made by how we deal with those mistakes.
 
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downhillfromhere

Active Member
Day 2

I felt better today. Made sure to get enough sleep, and made a presentation (remote) for 100+ people this morning. I was anxious as I always am, but kept reminding myself that I wasn't in any physical danger and that nobody listening could possibly wish me any harm. Focused on the feeling that this is what I live for - not making presentations - but taking those challenges head on no matter how uncomfortable they make me feel. That is truly an empowering feeling, and it made me smile instead of bury my head in my hands.

Stop seeing obstacles as something to creep around, and cherish the opportunity to scale over them.
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Day 4

Feeling good! It’s incredibly hot here these days, and people are wearing less clothes. Haven’t really got full control of my eyes, but I’m doing pretty good I think. Not really having any urges.

I’m becoming more and more active, working out four/five days a week, alternating between running and strength training at home. Damn, I did not work out at all up until three years ago, and I never liked it. Now I’m really starting to enjoy the pain and the struggle.

Stay strong, everyone!
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Oh, and the rules I put into place for myself:

- Have kept my phone mostly in the kitchen, except when listening to podcasts.
- Reinstalled Instagram, but only to put out videos of drumming and stories. Realized it keeps me connected to people in my life. BUT - if I start scrolling at all, or browsing in any way, I will delete again. So far so good.
- Have not watched Youtube, apart from a filmed podcast one morning.
- Curtains have stayed open.
- Have not felt any urges yet.
- Have kept on reading, currently reading Dopamine Nation.
- No M/O yet.
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Day 5

Superb day!

I always had bad days. Would say on average I have had 3 bad days for every day that felt more or less okay. After quitting to use porn almost daily and checking my behavior on other things like social media, most days are generally feeling better than what used to be an "okay day". My life has changed for the better, there's no doubt.

So glad I became aware of what porn was doing to my life!
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Day 6

"Radical honesty - telling the truth about things large and small, especially when doing so exposes our foibles and entails consequences - is essential not just to recovery from addiction but for all of us trying to live a more balanced life in our reward-saturated ecosystem. It works on many levels.
First, radical honesty promotes awareness of our actions. Second, it fosters intimate human connections. Third, it leads to a truthful autobiography, which holds us accountable not just to out present but also to out future selves. Further, telling the truth is contagious, and might even prevent the development of future addiction."

Dr. Anna Lembke (2021). Dopamine Nation.
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Day 7

The day started pretty badly for me. I've been doing well this past week, and suddenly I started engaging in behavior that's not acceptable.

Whenever I do a search on Instagram, profiles I have visited previously pop up as recommended. Read that if you wait a while, those will go away, and I managed to convince myself to "check if they're gone yet". They were not gone. I visited a couple of profiles, before coming to my senses and closing the whole thing. I was kidding myself of course, I wasn't even going to search for anything. It was an excuse. A while later I visited a chatroom for a few minutes before managing to close that. I really struggled with actually admitting to doing this, but I really believe that being honest here, writing it down, is a way to actually admit it not just to you guys, but to myself as well.

To me, this really proves that my resolve and judgement is severely impaired whenever I come into contact with substitutes. I also try to trick myself into doing things I know I really can't do. I am suddenly drawn into the way I used to behave, and can not make the right call. If I manage to remove myself from the material, I regain my judgement and suddenly think - what the hell was that? I don't want to do this, I truly don't!

Also - I think not getting enough sleep makes me vulnerable, and I need to be careful with that.

I started slipping away from my rules. Phone stayed with me when it shouldn't. I watched Youtube a couple of times yesterday.
I need to stick to those rules, not just for a week but for a whole lot longer.

Regarding my phone, that's where I slip up. I enabled some restrictions on adult content, blocked some websites I want to avoid. I hope putting those restrictions up will help, and that it will set off an alarm if I start disabling them or trying to get around the restrictions.

Good luck, everyone. I'm going outside.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Hey, downhill. As for Instagram it remembers the algorithm. When you're stronger, you can do different searches or select "not interested" for racey suggestions, these will help to change the algorithms we created.

Good luck!
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Day 9

Keeping busy. Feel very anxious at the moment, body is really tense. But I’m getting through it.

The last two days have been pretty okay, have not had any urges. It’s really apparent that weekends are what I need to pay attention to, and have some plans and routines ready when the urges hit. I bought some supplies today, and will sand down and paint an old nightstand and a bookcase… might save that work for the next weekend I’m struggling. Nothing like physical work to get the mind on track. :)
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
Day 12

I'm doing well. This is the start of the weekend though, and I need to watch out!

I feel like the further I get from engaging with porn regularly, the more I'm thinking of actual people. family, friends, coworkers... I care more about them. Starting to make more of an effort in talking and asking questions, because I'm starting to actually feel something when I interact with them. I used to be so detached I would just stare out the window instead of look at people who were right in from of me.

Social situations are so much more... enjoyable. I'm able to get out there and talk to people without becoming overly anxious. I'm not nearly where I want to be yet, but it's becoming better.

And then there's this woman I've talked a bit about earlier. We've been passing each other some days for what feels like years, I think it might actually be a couple of years at this point. I'm thinking about her more and more, and I'm gradually working up to actually saying "hi". It feels like I'm getting there, and I'm pretty sure it's because I'm not seeking comfort through the screen.
I don't know what'll come of any of this. But I do know that I need to just ask her out at this point, it's like I can't even focus on anything else. Kind of feel sick, like I just need to get it done and over with. Now I'm pretty sure I won't be seeing her for a couple of weeks, because we're both probably off from work. I'll just have to be patient, do my best to keep working on myself, and just see where this goes.

Okay, I'm done. I just need to get this stuff out sometimes!
 
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