Starting again

Thank you so much downhill and GBS - it's so powerful knowing there's people out there who have my back with this. And goes without saying that it's right back at you too.

It's just a brief message as I've got a pile of work I need to do this evening before bed but I wanted to check in here whilst I had the energy... I've also been looking forward to writing out that DAY 7 text. Boom!! The first time I can say that in so long...no peeking...no making false promises to myself for a 'reward' down the line.. that's not to say I can afford to let me guard down one iota... But it's important to recognise that I am firmly on the path.

I'll hope to post a bit more tomorrow on all the other stuff swirling around my head but here's to to 7 whole days of being removed from that artificial, corrupting garbage.
 

G.123

Member
Hey man, just read your story. Things sound promising with the girl you met. It can be amazing how quickly life can turn around. So keep thinking about the person you want to be and the life you want to lead. Stay strong and stick to this. We can get through this and better days are coming. Trust me, you got this!
 
Thanks again guys for checking in, you're both right. We are onto something here, and yes, the small changes add up. Just like compound interest - keep plugging away and we'll all hopefully be amazed when we see the level of growth in weeks, months and years.

I'm again not finding the time to post properly - work is just brutal at the moment. Was up at 5.30 typing away and need to do the same again tomorrow. Yuck. Feeling very stressed and quite overwhelmed ahead of a big presentation at the end of the week. And to add salt to the wound, my face has been all red and prickly today thanks to rosacea which I joyously seem to have developed in the last couple of years. It makes me really self conscious and in my view, look quite awful, ugly and not like someone anyone could be attracted to ...More on that later as I realise a lot of the deeper stuff going on is tied to feelings of self, inadequacy etc etc... Rosacea has brought a lot of that to the surface and is something I need to work through big time.

Anyway, noticed today just the smallest thoughts pop into my head about old sites/models I might be interested in looking at ...was nothing more than a few fleeting moments and wasn't accompanied by that old rush of excitement and possibility... which is definitely good, albeit a reminder that I am still hugely at the beginning of this. And I cannot for a moment get complacent.

That said, I'm now 8 days down and am pleased that I haven't let a difficult few days of life lead me into bad decisions.

Let's keep it up...
 
At the risk of sounding a broken record...this is just a brief check in today as I have a big presentation tomorrow, am exhausted and still need to do more before I go to bed.

Today was quite an intense set of feelings. Couldn't get the thought out of my mind that I'm not good enough for this new girl and she is either currently in the process, or soon will be, of realising this herself. That as a man of 5"7/8 stature, I'm too short, my face is increasingly red, I'm looking haggard... it all just made me want to burst into tears at several points throughout the day.

To be frank I didn't really have time to do that with the intensity of work, but I do feel like it will come once the presentation is done and I get back to mine tomorrow evening. I also feel like I need to do it - I'm holding onto the fact that this is the first time in a long time that I've actually let myself feel these things. Deeply. Before, I would obviously medicate and choose to anaesthetise myself through P, so it all became fuzzy and I could take the easy path.

Clearly it's all tied up in one another - the reasons why I went to P in the first place, and then the effect it had on those emotions... So I guess I've got some feeling to do, some self-learning to do and some growing to do. This is all part of the path.

Anyway, day 9. Tomorrow I hit double figures. That's pretty momentous for me in the grand scheme of things...
 
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G.123

Member
Good luck with the presentation tomorrow mate. I am sure you will have a good feeling of relief when that is done and some of your anxious thoughts will subside.

Do not get home and watch P. You are stronger than that. I believe in you mate so do not let me down. I know this is difficult and we all get feelings that we are not good enough, believe me I get that all the time. But truth is that is yourself talking yourself into self sabotage. This girl obviously likes you, and even if it doesn't work out with this one, there are others. The only reason you would not have success with a girl is because you weakly gave into the P. Don't do it, you know your life is better without it.

I'll be on here tomorrow to see you write day 10 and to see how your presentation went!!
 
Good luck with the presentation tomorrow mate. I am sure you will have a good feeling of relief when that is done and some of your anxious thoughts will subside.

Do not get home and watch P. You are stronger than that. I believe in you mate so do not let me down. I know this is difficult and we all get feelings that we are not good enough, believe me I get that all the time. But truth is that is yourself talking yourself into self sabotage. This girl obviously likes you, and even if it doesn't work out with this one, there are others. The only reason you would not have success with a girl is because you weakly gave into the P. Don't do it, you know your life is better without it.

I'll be on here tomorrow to see you write day 10 and to see how your presentation went!!
Thanks G, it means a lot that you're checking in and helping to keep me accountable. It really does.

So today has been another pretty intense one. Big presentation delivered and we received really good feedback from the client, so that's a tick and I guess vindication for all the stress and time invested in it.

Got home feeling a bit frazzled but managed to drag myself to the gym and got a pretty decent session on the bike under my belt. More negative feelings about how this girl may perceive me but I'm trying to keep things in perspective. Trying to get on top of the negative chatter in my head.

Have had a few more pretty fleeting P thoughts pop into my head but have been successful at just letting them pass through and not dwelling on them in any way. I can't control what comes into the head but I can manage how I respond, and I'm trying to hold onto that too.

I'm about to turn in for the night and have a day of WFH tomorrow, which means a bit more of a lie in. God knows I could do with a decent night's sleep this week!

Signing this off as day 10. It's been a long, long time since I've managed to pull that off, and it's very satisfying. I'm now thinking how great it would be to add another 5 days, another 10 days... seeing that day counter build and build.. I can't get ahead of myself and take it more than a day at a time but...I'm doing okay.
 
Didn't get a chance to post yesterday as I had a date with this girl I've started to see. We ended up having sex a few times and I managed to sustain what felt to be a ~80% normal erection last night and this morning. It's a reminder that P really has fucked with my physiology but I also realise it could be a lot worse. Overall it was a really nice, intimate evening/morning, although I'm still finding myself question whether I'm 'enough'. In this instance it's being predominantly driven by the fact that she's probably 1-2 inches taller than me and I guess it's a mirror on all the insecurities I've been carrying around. The fact that she's seeing me and seems broadly into me should be a source of reassurance but I guess it's part of what I need to work through. Learning to be at peace with who I am, warts and all.

That aside, I did find a few more intrusive P thoughts creep into my head over the past 24 hours... Specifically, I'll have some time to myself on Saturday and wouldn't it be nice to spend it doing what I used to ...

I am determined not to let that happen.

Currently on day 11 and looking forward to checking in later today to mark day 12.
 
Day 12

God, has anyone noticed how much stuff we can get done when we say no to P 😂😂

Me on P would have got home today and spent probably hours surfing and keeping myself on the edge, accomplishing literally nothing with my day, likely spending money on it and feeling so so low when all is said and done.

Instead I tackled a fair few life admin tasks, put on a clothes wash, did some helpful internet shopping, actually fed myself decent food and was so much more present with my mood and my state of being generally.

It sets me up well for making it to the gym tomorrow morning, seeing a friend for lunch and then prepping for the week like I always intend do but never actually manage.

One step at a time but I can get used to this new me...
 
Day 13

A mixed day. Started off feeling pretty great, got to the gym and met up with a mate who I hadn't seen in a while and had a really nice time.

But then have noticed negative thoughts creeping in again this afternoon/evening, potentially influenced by a couple of gin and tonics (find gin really can be a depressive for me). Touching on feelings of self worth and inadequacy.

I think these are all being exacerbated by being in the very early stages of seeing someone. I'm a few dates in and whilst it's objectively going pretty well, the woman in question doesn't seem to be someone that's naturally inclined to make me feel hugely reassured in the situation. By that I mean she's probably not great with the soft signals/validation, which I can really dwell on. This is or course equally at least as much about me and my sense of worth, but I'm increasingly wondering whether this will actually be that healthy for me if it continues like this. Like...I'm feeling pretty vulnerable about the whole thing and like there's a good chance I'm going to get hurt.

But then I tell myself, that's life and this is just the way it is sometimes. I haven't even put myself in a position where I CAN be hurt in months because of the P comfort blanket...so there is progress here. But there's just a lot to work through, and it's feeling a bit overwhelming at times, especially when I throw in my job and other life things.

On a related point, I noticed a few more fleeting P thoughts drift into my consciousness this afternoon, of a single P actress in particular... I've really got to guard against this because there are things definitely still lurking beneath the surface. I didn't dwell however and it means that I'm now at the end of day 13... I can't remember the last time I had a weekend spent largely in the flat where I didn't succumb to P at some point... So I need to recognise that.

One more day until the 2 week mark. And then I have a friend staying for a couple of days, before another date night and then going home home to see the family. So considering that my main trigger is being alone in the flat and binging from the laptop, there's a really clear path for me to get to day 20... I can't get ahead of myself yet and have got to keep taking things day by day, but it's good to think about keeping knocking those days over.

Thanks again to everyone who's also posting here by the way - I'm getting so much from other people's journeys and it's making this thing a lot more feasible.
 
A quick check in with myself to acknowledge that P crept into my dream last night and waking up this morning was accompanied with some temptation.

I will not dwell on it, I will not go back to it. This is all.
 
Having to check on here again - strongest urge to lapse through this new phase so far. Suddenly came on whilst WFH and got to the stage where I started to imagine all the websites I could go back onto. Quite scary how quickly it turned. I'm trying to stay strong but know I'm not out of the woods yet.
 

PrometheusUnbound

Active Member
Sorry to hear of the slip. I was reading your journal and you seem to have made some great progress in a lot of areas. It's really important to prepare for those triggers, especially the alone time. Keep going!
 

G.123

Member
Hi mate, I've been in the doldrums recently so not checked in on your thread but I came on here tonight to specifically check in with you! Well happy about your date and sex with the girl. It is good that you are recognising early whether she is right for you or not but I say give it a few more dates, have some fun, have some more sex if it is on the cards but be aware of the chaser effect. It is something I have read about that after you O, even from sex, your brain thinks hell that was good and chases more, potentially leading to PMO which might explain or rationalise your lapse. So don't beat yourself up, you went two weeks without porn and you said you have a busy week now so you should be straight into doing another week and then going from there. Next time you feel like watching porn just read your post above about how good you felt and productive you were without it, then go do something else! You got this mate
 
Thanks G for checking in - it really means an awful lot. I'm just getting back into a headspace of posting on here again, although I have been reading and digesting messages the past couple of days. I've been looking forward to responding and seeing how you're getting on too.

So following my last message I've had a few clean days mixed up with another couple of slips. Which sucks, but I remind myself that I've had lots more clean days than not recently, which for me is progress. Some lessons I'm learning from my recent slips:

- I got distracted by some degree to the day count. Yes it was great that I was in double figures and brilliant to acknowledge progress, but I was also getting ahead of myself, forgetting to take it one day at a time and keep putting in the hard work for the present, to guard against the temptations when they came back. Which they really did.

- whilst of course me getting clean will make me a better person for other people, and hopefully eventually a better partner for someone specifically, I'm primarily doing this for me. Life is a gift and one that can only be fully realised through being one's best version of oneself, in the circumstances that one is presented with. Therefore whether I get an emotional knock from someone else, or I put too much stock in how other people are perceiving me... These are not viable things for me to couple my recovery to, because it's inevitable they will happen and I won't be in the right mindset to stay strong when I have to process and move past them. It's me who will benefit most from this journey, and I've got to keep putting my growth at the forefront of this.

- and tied to the above, I am an all round better person when I'm off P. I make better decisions, take better care of myself and put myself in a better position where good things can happen to me. On P, it's the opposite of all these things. Holding onto this, having it as my mantra every day... it's things like this that will help me keep staying the course.

More things swirling around my head but this is all I have the energy for now. Signing off Day 1
 
Day 2

A good day. It feels GOOD to be back on the path again. A day of helping family, of planning things to look forward to with friends and a potential burgeoning relationship...of going for a second run in 2 days. A day of eating well. Of feeling like I had earned an episode on Netflix. A day of 'me' time as I run an early evening bath before my head hits the pillow within the hour, pre 10pm. The kind of days that when you start adding them together consecutively you grow and you improve through embedding enriching habits and empowering thought patterns.

These are the kind of days I want to have. This is the 'me' I want to become. And there is no way that P can ever be part of that. Ever.

It is however only a day, and tomorrow is a new one to start it all over again. I will work hard and I will check in at a similar time tomorrow to reflect on another 24 hours without P. I'm looking forward to doing so.
 
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