Escape Velocity - Orbiters Journal

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
So to follow up on my last post, I tested positive for Covid-19 two days ago and have been mainly resting since. Needless to say i've stalled somewhat in my recovery work & routines. That said, I am still as steadfast in my commitment to make it through each day of this weekend as I was before.

It will be interesting to see how it goes without the regular triggers/cues that wait at the end of the usual working week. I have a suspicion thought that the urges & lapses have become more a matter of habit/routine now and will therefore present challenges no matter what the situation so I can't let my guard down too much even now.

I guess if I have a plan at all for getting through this weekend. Rest, replace/interrupt usual habits that lead to PMO, substitute aimless browsing on computer with different activities, be aware of urges, feelings or self-talk that could lead to lapsing and address them as they arise.

It is Day 5 today.

Wishing you all well
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the well wishes everyone!

I had somewhat of a close call today where my internet browsing veered into unsafe territory to the point where I was on the knife edge of peeking. I realised what I was doing though, had trouble stopping so I counted to 10 and closed the browser. After this I stopped, did some slow breaths and re-focused myself. The urge felt quite persistent i'll be honest but it did pass.

It wasn't ideal, definitely a product of procrastinating on the computer as it so often is, but i'm chalking this one up as a little victory.

The double edged sword of all this, even though I don't have to worry about work stress for a few days, is that I am also too weak to do anything particularly active and I, yet again, find myself in a situation where I am alone in an apartment that I am not allowed to leave. This means i'm not able to rely on the positive habits & routines I usually have in place. I feel keeping this weekend PMO free has been going well so far but i'm using the computer too much to distract myself from feeling sick & killing time. Tomorrow I will focus more on doing some other things (playing the switch, reading, music, cooking etc) along with resuming my morning meditation.

Also with my recovery, I have been meaning for some time to address my Three Circles chart to better detect when I am entering these danger periods. I have procrastinated on this but I think it's a possible blind spot that i'd do well to address. More on that to come soon.

It's Day 6 this evening.

Wishing you all well
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I realised what I was doing though, had trouble stopping so I counted to 10 and closed the browser. After this I stopped, did some slow breaths and re-focused myself. The urge felt quite persistent i'll be honest but it did pass.

Good job, Orbiter! That's the stuff right there, especially when we're just 'leaving Las Vegas' so to speak, meaning that our particular habits are still fresh in our recent past. It's during that time when our beast-brain is protesting like, "What are you doing?? You know we browse this and that when we're feeling thus and so...!" And it's precisely during this time we want to abruptly stop, disrupt, time ourselves, (or any other tricks) and notice that even our worse urges are temporary- even if they come in waves, they're temporary. The momentary discomfort is worth the longterm win.

Awesome plans you have coming in the works, too, brother!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Woooo!

It is Day 7 today which means I have, at long last, FINALLY made it one week PMO free!

Some may read this and dismiss it as a mere week but for me this means I have disrupted a cycle I have been stuck in for at least most (if not all) of this year. If I can do this again for the coming week, I will have broken it further. Rinse & repeat!

The urges did resurface again earlier today along with the usual accompanying feelings of vague loneliness & restlessness along with the usual thoughts towards giving in. They were however easier to dismiss than yesterday as I didn't engage with them as much initially.

I restarted my morning meditation today and also reintroduced a little bit of gentle exercise. It helped and my body responded well. Baby steps are required here but even just a little bit makes such a big difference in my mood & head space.

I have written up a basic Three Circles sheet but I will post it tomorrow as it's getting late and I want to give it a bit more thought first.

Wishing you all well
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
It is Day 7 today which means I have, at long last, FINALLY made it one week PMO free!

Some may read this and dismiss it as a mere week but for me this means I have disrupted a cycle I have been stuck in for at least most (if not all) of this year. If I can do this again for the coming week, I will have broken it further. Rinse & repeat!

Definitely! Take the win, you deserve it..! When I first came [back] to Reboot Nation, a win for me was getting past 8 days! That was my pattern or cycle at that time, every 8 days- if I was somewhat trying- I'd give in... So, it was ironic that I set up a bunch of mini-goals, 15 sets of 8-day goals which of course equaled 120 days.

Congrats on addressing and breaking up this cylce! It means greater and greater victories are just ahead!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Definitely! Take the win, you deserve it..! When I first came [back] to Reboot Nation, a win for me was getting past 8 days! That was my pattern or cycle at that time, every 8 days- if I was somewhat trying- I'd give in... So, it was ironic that I set up a bunch of mini-goals, 15 sets of 8-day goals which of course equaled 120 days.

Congrats on addressing and breaking up this cylce! It means greater and greater victories are just ahead!

Thanks Phineas! I really appreciate your unwavering support throughout this. It really makes a big difference. Yes the system of days that I laid out was of course based on a suggestion that you made near the end of my last journal. Perhaps I should have made it several 7 days, just to make sure i'm really hammering the habit change home!

Had another urge late morning today which I stepped back from and let pass in a similar way to yesterday. I can feel them becoming more aggressive but my focus is strong at the moment and i'm still riding high on my 7 day triumph. I do feel like I am still entertaining the urges too much and could be doing better to dismiss them earlier. Still, another day is another day. I just need to be mindful of this.

I am due back at work the day after tomorrow though I still feel quite sick from Covid. I fear I may be one of the cases where it drags on for some time yet unfortunately. Still, there's no room or anticipating, worrying or catastrophising allowed here. I'll just have to take Covid as it comes just like everything else. One day at a time.

Speaking of days, it's Day 8 today by the way

Wishing you all well
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
ORBITER - THREE 'CIRCLES' OF BEHAVIOUR
OUTER CIRCLE
Meditating in the morning - Exercising Regularly - Playing Guitar & Making Music - Cooking & Eating Healthy - Spending Time with Friends - Quick Emotional Re-balancing - Sets Realistic Goals - Progress Not Perfection - Manages Conflicts & practices acceptance towards what I cannot change
MIDDLE CIRCLE
Emotional Over-reacting - Drinking at home alone - Excessive Fantasising (sexual, romantic, pornography, prostitutes etc) - Dwelling on past & future conflicts - Not respecting own personal boundaries - Catastrophising - Procrastinating - Ruminating - Staring at people, peeking at passing windows - Aimless laptop use for hours
INNER CIRCLE
Watching Porn - PMO - Edging - Compulsive Masturbation
 
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Phineas 808

Respected Member
Incredible job, Orbiter! I like your 3 circles system above, and how it can help alert you to behaviors that we may have taken for granted before.

Yesterday I experienced what that may look like in practice... Okay, I awoke sad, didn't know why. Expected friction with the wife, and it happened. But as the sadness dragged on, I was like, okay, this feels too familiar, as if I was setting myself up to be in a place where I needed to 'sooth' myself somehow. That awareness helped me to avoid further middle-circle behaviors.

You're doing great being mindful of the urges, more self-aware. The urges are only because of former repetition and reinforcement. But now as you establish newer and better habits, being consistent (patient with yourself when not) and repetitious, you will see the urges lessen, weaken, and be fewer and far between. Things will of course 'cue' us, and we need to be aware of when that happens, and just do what you've been doing.

Sending positive thoughts for your expected return to work, but the continuing battle with c-19.
 
Nice progress getting to 8 days Orbiter!
I like the three circles of behavior too - can relate to a lot of the behaviors listed
Definitely feel this kind of self-awareness/self-examination is a great help in fighting this

Keep it up brother - you got this! 💪
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Phineas & Particularly - Yes that's exactly what i'm aiming for here. I feel like emotions & feelings in themselves can be a warning, a 'canary in a cage' of sorts that if regulated can serve a useful purpose of letting us know when the mind is heading into dangerous territory. The feelings & behaviours are all facets of the bigger behaviour/habit here so i'm trying to build a greater sense of self awareness about this.

I think it's also important to highlight the outer circle as I think it's also important and often not immediately obvious when something is actually working. To this end I am also trying to figure out what a healthy, balanced state of being actually looks like. Hopefully such personal references as this chart can aid it.

As for today, another quiet day recovering from Covid with little else to report. I had a brief moment today when I was looking for an abandonware video game and someone in the comments section posted a link to a site where people traded passwords. My mind immediately went to file sharing sites and being able to access files that had previously been beyond the reach of a free user, this would obviously expose me to adult content but of course I was able to rationalise "no that's not going to happen and even if it did, you're DEFINITELY not going to look" (yeah right!)

So I started down the familiar path, pushing the limits typing some names into a search engine until I stopped and realised I didn't actually want to do this. The only thing to be gained from doing this this was some dirty, gross internet porn no better the millions of clips/videos i've already watched & regretted. The hunt almost immediately lost it's appeal.

I closed the browser and the urge passed.

So another, perhaps sneakier urge come and gone. While i'm happy I didn't PMO or even peek, I am becoming a little annoyed, worried that something like this seems to be happening almost daily now. I feel once again I am entertaining these urges too much and would really like to go a day without reporting one of these stories.

I think a bit part of this is I am still using the computer too much. It is something that makes passing the time easy and distracts me from being sick but the longer this goes on, the more it feels like playing with fire.

I realise I already said this in the previous posts but I shall endeavour to spend less time on the computer tomorrow. Today is Day 9.

Wishing you all well.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I know the feeling of not wanting to have to report on the same issues again, as it had been for me concerning p-subs regarding social media... :rolleyes:

But it is what it is...

These are simply behaviors and habits that are deeply ingrained through repetition (read: reinforcement)... So, this is why addressing the habits that surround our [unwanted] habits are so important- as you're addressing.

It looks like, as you've already mentioned, habits concerning computer use are in order- a new ritual, a new habit, times of getting on, duration, heck- even changing where the computer is in the room, or another room- will all disrupt these ingrained patterns. I've been finding myself 'protesting' to the habits I'm trying to establish- and I can either make little compromises (innocent enough) until I undo everything I'm trying to do- or I can stick with it, through repetition (again read: reinforcement), and give myself a 'hand up' instead of kicking myself down the hill again...

Be well.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Phineas - That internal 'protesting' of habits is an interesting one isn't it? I've observed it in myself but i've never been able to quite articulate it. We commit to a habit change and it's like almost immediately our inner child responds as if it's been serves a bowl of brussel sprouts, pleading, stalling or outright having a tantrum the whole way. Just like a petulant child though, we still have to stay alert and stay firm. Indeed it is what is is.

Today was relatively uneventful. I postponed my return to work for another week as I have still not sufficiently recovered from c-19. I think this will be okay PMO-wise as long as I make sure to be aware of those middle-circle behaviours. Speaking of middle-circle behaviours, I managed the computer use much better today though caught myself slipping into fantasising as I was resting. I used the 'leaving the phone unanswered' visualisation to break the loop and shifted my focus away. Another urge down, doing what I can to stay vigilant and focused. It is Day 10 today

Wishing you all well
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Good work on leaving the phone unsanswered and ignoring the petulant child (ha, ha)!

This thing takes some practice, but you're doing it, brother!

Speedy recovery.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Nothing much to report today. A busy, dull day mainly of completing various tasks that were overdue due to my being sick. PMO or urges didn't really enter into the picture today at all. It's Day 11 and i'm as committed as ever to sticking the course and pushing forward with my recovery.

Wishing you all well today
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thank you Phineas & Particularly!

Alas how easy it can be to forget our best intentions!

I was searching archive.org for some old DOS games and, like a switch clicking on, I found myself suddenly typing in an adult search, telling myself in my head "It's alright Orbiter, nothing's going to come up. Once the results come and there's nothing there, you'll be able to forget about it and move on"

Yeah right!

There were some borderline results and some things that were past borderline that I quickly scrolled past covering that part of the screen. Needless to say urges shot through the roof immediately afterwards and have been nagging me on and off throughout the day.

So did I lapse? I feel like I came as close to lapsing as I could without actually doing so. Urges persist but I feel they will pass once the rest of the day is over.

On one hand, i'm irritated at myself for jeopardizing all the hard work that has gotten me this though i'm glad I was able to ultimately resist the urge. On the other hand, I have to remember that i'm changing the habit of almost a lifetime and it is still very early in this particular chapter.

Time to close up the computer for the night, surf the urge and sleep early. It is Day 12

Wishing you all well.
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Good job on disrupting the ritual. I know the urges to look up something on that archive site were responded to, and then the resultant thumbnails- whatever they were- were a further cue. The ingrained habit is to respond to (even in fighting against) the cues or triggers and their resulting urges. The difference here is that you're now more aware of what's going on, and are acting to disrupt the ritual from playing out- so, good work for that!

This is a great chapter in your story, because this is your 'turnaround' moment!
 
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