Escape Velocity - Orbiters Journal

stepbystep

Active 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
This is awesome! Keep up the great work!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Stepbystep - Hey Step, i'm glad it is of use to you. Thanks for dropping by, for your support & wishing you strength in your continuing journey!

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!

Nail on the head here! A very observant analysis of what happened yesterday. The urge appeared and, while I did not indulge per se, I responded to it which cued me further and created more urges. 'Stopping half way' as it were and the push-pull of the strong urges persisted through to this morning, which in turn meant I was continuing to respond with lots of middle-circle fantasizing. As an 'emergency' measure, I MOed as I felt like I was on the brink of giving in. The MO only made it worse and I PMOed shortly after this morning. So today is Day 0.

As usual, it wasn't great or worth it at all. I think even at that point I knew it but literally every thought in my head felt like it was screaming at me to do it.

While this COULD have been a turning point, in responding with the archive search a part of me had already given in and I was unable to take back control and make use of this opportunity for freedom.

As dissapointing as this is, hopefully I can use this lesson to become stronger, wiser and more aware in this journey and keep moving forward.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys. Your continued support means a lot...

So it's still Day 0 as I wound up hunting for the clip I lapsed to yesterday and PMOed again. The chaser urges got the better of me and I think the disappointment over lapsing, having a relatively idle day and feeling dread over my return back to work all played into it. Double lapses mean double the disappointment but at the very least I can confidently say that whatever lingering urges feel like they are now gone.

Might just have to sleep on this one.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 2 today. The break was in some ways welcome as I felt like I was 'hitting the wall' in my approach and I needed to step back. My streaks were roughly the same, being about a week or so between lapses. This has however escalated over the last week or two so once again I need to return and assess where to go from here. Wishing you all well.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Thank you all

Phineas - I think in our struggles, outside of this forum, many of us are still quite isolated in our daily lives and there is a level of connection & shared understanding in this place that is difficult to find. Perhaps once we reach a point of freedom & self-sufficiency in our sobriety this won't be as much of a problem? Then we can 'live' our truth without necessarily having to share it for connection. Or perhaps that we simply don't identify with these issues another and therefore moving on becomes necessary to fulfill the necessary need for connection in our lives. However until then, I think even beyond 'streaks', strategies and the more technical, methodical aspects of our recovery, this forum and community still has value to offer.

For what it's worth and from a somewhat selfish perspective, I am glad you're still here to continue to share with us the support and wisdom for some time more.

I have been on break from work for the previous fortnight and had my first day back today. Turns out, even as bad a day as I had today, removing the stressors of work did not make the huge difference as I would've expected to breaking free of this. At least it's something to cross of the list but there is still clearly work to be done in my approach to this that I have not yet figured out. Still, I am porn free for another day so that is another small victory. It is Day 3.

Wishing you all well
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
Thank you so much, Orbiter! I agree with what you say above about the isolation ‘out there’ in the world versus the connection we find here. And this place has become even more supportive, which is another reason why I stayed on.

As long as it takes, we’ll figure this thing out and support each other in the process!
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Absolutely Phineas. I wonder if perhaps that there is a bit of re-thinking to be done in terms of certain activities & thought patterns that lead towards the more inner-circle behaviours. Like the drinking, that in itself isn't a problem (unless of course it is it's own addiction) but more-so that the act of celebrating and/or rewarding ourselves is so linked to PMO that it in itself is a trigger.

I'm not sure I can think of a change of approach in this regard other than to find different ways to reward ourselves or just be...careful for awhile? I don't know. But at least something to keep in mind.

Today is day 1. I made it to seven days & PMOed. It wasn't that good, as usual.

I was looking over my three circles chart and I couldn't clearly identify any middle circle behaviours I engaged in. I have used the laptop a fair bit but I had been using it for creative ends primarily so the temptation was mostly absent until yesterday. I have been drinking alone but it has been mostly two drinks maximum and at a pub instead of at home. Borderline I know but I do think there is a distinction to be made.

There has however an absence of good, outer circle behaviours and I think it was perhaps the neglect of this that created the space & situation in my day for a lapse to happen. I think the absence of particularly the exercise & meditation lead to a higher level of stress (and therefore arousal) which did not help.

Also the day before the relapse, I had been thinking a lot about a friend & former co-worker of mine. She actually expressed a romantic interest back in late 2019 before the pandemic but I turned her down due to being colleagues, situations going on with her which she wasn't dealing with and issues I was still dealing with from my last relationship and to a certain extent not wanting to bring her into my struggles with porn & PIED. Anyway shortly afterwards she met someone, they've been together since and built a pretty nice life together. I get along well with them both to this day.

I caught up with her a week ago where she informed me she and her partner were leaving the city in a couple of weeks to start a new life in the country. No drama. We made plans for me to visit when they are more settled. That said, i've been thinking about her, those days and my decisions since then. I do think I made the right decisions at the time, it just it was it is.

Anyway, the day before my relapse I had a very long, vivid sexual dream of her which has been stuck in my mind since. I think it played into the most recent lapse. So I think there was definitely an emotional element to this too.

I am of course not saying that any of this was an excuse. It was once again my decision to give in rather than persevere through the discomfort. This is more of a 'post mortem'. What I do from here is, as always, ultimately up to me.

It is what it is.

Wishing you all well today
 

Phineas 808

Respected Member
I am of course not saying that any of this was an excuse. It was once again my decision to give in rather than persevere through the discomfort. This is more of a 'post mortem'. What I do from here is, as always, ultimately up to me.

Definitely, Orbiter. It's so, so important to make these assessments, to perform this analysis- even if 'post mortem', how else can we learn? It's like, okay, so I lapsed, at least I'll learn as much about it and myself as possible so as to either tweek my methods or sharpen my resolve.

I think you made important observations about the lack of 'outer circle' behaviors, and the dream certainly acted as an internal cue. The more emotionally charged a thing is, the more awareness is needed so it doesn't lead us into our rituals.

Wishing you well.
 

Orbiter

Well-Known Member
Day 0

Back again! I took a break from the forums for awhile due to an overwhelming amount of work problems and other issues in life I have been focusing my attention towards. This has become increasingly problematic however as my pornography use has once again begin to escalate and there has been a gradual deterioration in my positive life habits.

Coming back is my first step to recommitting to quitting. I have fallen physically & mentally out of shape in recent times. I am planning to address this through reintroducing the positive habits I had before and reaching out to as well as (wherever possible) contributing to the journey of others.

Wishing you all well.
 
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