Battle Journal

Skittelz

Member
Day 60

Wife's surgery went well, and she is recovering well so far. At least it seems that way. I am taking good care of her and trying my best to keep her spirits up, because a good mood is important when a person is healing. I have also been studying in between doing chores and helping her, yesterday alone I got 6 hours in. If that isn't enough to pass the test, then I don't know what to say. I have put in over 40 hours of study in total, so I feel like I'm giving myself the best chance to pass.

I remember when I started rebooting, each porn-free day was a battle that had to fought, and sometimes I lost that battle. But now, the porn-less days are flying by, and building momentum. I rarely think about porn anymore, and when I do, it is a fleeting memory of what life used to be like.

I've always loved music, and as a musician, I listen to a wide variety of music. But rap/hip-hop has always been a favorite of mine, especially underground artists. It seems like mainstream rap is a letdown compared to the superb lyricism of the more unknown guys in the independent circuit. That being said, the Notorious B.I.G. was a fucking beast on the mic, and one of his lines keeps popping up in my head lately:

"Damn right I love the life I live -- Because I went from negative to positive"
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 69

I haven't posted in a while, because I've been sick and super busy, but I decided I can make time for it today. Besides, it's a good number lol.

Recovery is going really slow for my wife, especially since she caught the cold I had so she's sick on top of it. But she's a trooper, and handling it very well. We see the Dr again to asses her recovery on Monday, but it looks like she will be out of work for a while longer still. Which I think is good, because she needs more time to heal.

Let's talk about "hard mode". Because I am married I have not yet experienced a hard mode reboot, as we usually have sex on a regular basis. The longest I went without was about 17 days at the very beginning of my reboot, and that was due to mild PIED symptoms and depression. I think maybe it was a flatline too, but it felt like depression to me. Anyhow, now that she is not able to have sex, and I have decided to stay on my current path, I am for the first time, officially in hard mode.

So far it's been pretty easy, I must say, because when she is in pain like this the last thing I'm thinking about is sex. Also, I have been studying like a crazy person for my upcoming test, so that burns up most of my free time when I'm not working or taking care of her. Staying busy seems to help. But I can feel the "pressure" so to speak, building. I am more energetic and also more irritable at times, and kind of spaz out a little too. I know that eventually, this will get rough. But, I believe that when we choose a given path in life, we also choose to experience the problems that come with it as much as we choose to reap the rewards. It's the same way a bodybuilder chooses to struggle with heavy weights as much as he chooses to have the good physique. He learns to enjoy the struggle, and that is what keeps him going to the gym every day. My own choice to abstain from porn has been very rewarding, and I actually look forward to this upcoming challenge. It's a chance to step into the arena, prove myself, test my resolve, and show myself that I am bigger than porn.

I chose this. I got this. So bring it on, let's do this shit.
 

downhillfromhere

Active Member
You got this, @Skittelz! Like you say, give it everything you’ve got, this struggle is worth it.

It’s great to hear everything went well for your wife, and I wish you both a swift recovery!
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Hey Skittelz!

I too have started to do the hard mode (two weeks today) and I'm really thinking this is the last piece to the puzzle of my recovery! I'm feeling really good about it, I'm regaining my sexual vitality again, and yes, also irritable once in a while. These are all positives for me and I think I'll stay on this path for a while longer.

Best brother.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 77

I'm still here, and still clean.

I have a lot to share, some good, some not so good, but all of it progress.

Firstly, I passed my test. It was a very hard test, and I studied my ass for it. In the end, the hard work paid off as it always does. I now have a mechanical license. This was a really big win for me, and so much of my focus was dedicated to passing the test that now I really don't know what to do with myself. I've been celebrating all weekend, by smoking weed and going fishing, and sleeping a lot ... All the things I couldn't do before because I was studying all the time.

Which reminds me, hard mode did not last. I'm not complaining, because I do enjoy having sex and wife and I are way too horny lol. Her recovery is going well, and we discovered that with some strategically stacked pillows and a little bit of creativity, we can pull off a quickie. Between me being stoned, which always makes me more horny, and both of us being happy about the test results and her improving health, we've actually had a lot of sex this last weekend. That's fine with me.

What isn't fine with me, however, is the direction my mind is going. It's telling me that I deserve a reward, and that porn isn't so bad. I even looked up a favorite scene that I used to watch all the time during my porn days. I didn't actually go to the site and watch it, but I looked for it on Google, which is close enough for me to realize the danger. I exited out of the internet immediately, because I know it's a bad road and I caught myself before it gained any momentum. So I'm flirting with disaster, circling the bait, playing with fire ... Any way you look at it it isn't good. But I'm here, writing about it; instead of on the computer, watching porn. So I must be learning something.

I think part of the reason for the sudden temptation comes from two sources: One, I passed my test. So I'm in a celebratory mood, a letting-loose and rewarding myself type of mindset. So it's natural that my brain would swing over to porn as a possible reward. Also, I have no immediate goal, because I put so much emphasis on preparing for the test that now I have extra time on my hands. And idle hands ... We all know where that can lead lol.

The second reason is that I have been smoking weed again. I am much less horny when I am sober, pure and simple. So the extreme sense of accomplishment, combined with getting back to enjoying weed and fun again, is tempting me a little more than I would like.

But hey, that's life. I had some temptation, but I dealt with it properly, and that's really all any of us can do. Like I said before, we choose these problems.

I count it all as progress.
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Skittelz!

Nice job on 77 days porn free. I'm happy you and your lady are doing well and are having lots of fun together.

I know what you mean about being tempted to look right after celebrating something special. I remember last spring 2021 being stressed out studying for my midterms etc., so I did the right thing obviously and looked at porn; which did nothing for me but made my situation worse. Then naturally, after I got through that hard class, my brain told me to check out porn again to celebrate getting through the "rough" times!

Fuck me! It never ends until we decide it's going to end.

You're doing great man and great job on getting that mechanical license, that's fucking sweet!

Best

Blondie
 
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Skittelz

Member
Day 1

Well, I blew my streak. Dammit. It's crazy to me how quickly we can go back down the very path we are trying so hard to avoid. From my last post, you can see that I was already on the edge, leaning towards a possible relapse, and that would be the time to be extra vigilant. But I was not. I was on my phone looking for something, I can't even remember what anymore, when I stumbled across some porn that I had saved from when I was a regular porn user. I started deleting files, but the more I saw, the more I wanted to see ... Things unraveled very quickly. I ended up deleting everything I could find, on all my computers and devices. As far as I know, there is no more porn in my possession.

Yesterday was day 0, and it was a somewhat hard day. I kept going back to my phone for bad reasons, and kept having to stop myself. It's like having an annoying child that won't stop nagging you for candy. But I made it through, and the Wife and I had a fun night at the concert last night.

Yes, I'm upset with myself for ruining a 78-day streak. But not as upset as I would expect to be. In my past screwups, it seemed like the end of the world, and it would take me days to stop being irritable and angry at myself. This time around I feel different, more at peace with it I guess. I failed, but I can get back up, and I know I will. My only worry is that by not being as upset as I usually am, maybe that means I'm not taking this seriously. I don't know, but I hope not.
 

Skittelz

Member
As the day goes on, I begin to feel more upset and anxious about my relapse. I have a lot of questions, I don't know if anyone has answers, but it may be that only time can answer them.

Did I lose all my progress? 78 good days has to count for something. I like to think that 1 bad day doesn't set me back all the way to zero. I know my count goes back to zero obviously, but hopefully my mind and body will bounce back to a healthy state faster since I caught the relapse so quickly. One thing that has me worried tho, is that last night I lost my erection with my wife. It wasn't a big deal, but that has only happened once since I started rebooting and that was a few months ago. I've been thinking that I was over the PIED symptoms, because I've been successfully having sex for months now. But one little slip-up and it's back? That doesn't make sense to me, but maybe it's true. Or maybe it's because it was really late, like 4 hours past my normal bedtime. I wasn't really interested in having sex, I just wanted to get off so I could go to sleep. Maybe that played into it as well.

Does anyone have any experience/insight on recovering from a relapse? I feel a little bit hopeless here. Not completely hopeless, but a little bit
 

SimonM

Active Member
In my view one relapse in 78 days is still great! If you can do another 78 days then you'll have given in ONCE over a period of half a year! While we strive for perfection we have to also be able to see progress. Counting days is a good motivator - but NOT the only thing that counts. You just can't let this replapse lead to another one and another one, or a new pattern that slowly degrades. Keep it up brother!
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Hey Skittelz, sorry to hear about your relapse.

I definitely don't think you've lost all your progress and it's imperative for you to remember this fact. And as Simon wisely said, if you do another 78 days from here on out, you've only fucked up twice in over half a year, that's a lot of progress.

As far as losing your erection that could have happened from looking at porn. I know speaking for myself, even just fucking up a couple of times set me back quite a bit as far as the quality of my erections, but that's just me, everyone is different and you can only compare yourself to your past healthy self. Maybe as you said, you were just tired, but it's hard to say for sure. The most important thing to remember though is to not freak out about it and just get back up and move on.

Have you every thought about not orgasming for a while to jumpstart your progress? I've been doing that the last while and it's definitely working.

Best
 

Skittelz

Member
Hey Skittelz, sorry to hear about your relapse.

I definitely don't think you've lost all your progress and it's imperative for you to remember this fact. And as Simon wisely said, if you do another 78 days from here on out, you've only fucked up twice in over half a year, that's a lot of progress.

As far as losing your erection that could have happened from looking at porn. I know speaking for myself, even just fucking up a couple of times set me back quite a bit as far as the quality of my erections, but that's just me, everyone is different and you can only compare yourself to your past healthy self. Maybe as you said, you were just tired, but it's hard to say for sure. The most important thing to remember though is to not freak out about it and just get back up and move on.

Have you every thought about not orgasming for a while to jumpstart your progress? I've been doing that the last while and it's definitely working.

Best
Yeah, I have thought of that. That's usually how I do it, at least for the first week or two. That's my current plan, to just store up some sexual energy for a while and let some momentum build.

I think the biggest factor in this is that I had a solid routine that I did every day, and then after I passed the test I stopped. Not sticking to the routine has derailed my progress.

I tripped and fell, plain and simple. Now I just have to get back up.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 2

I feel much better today. I don't feel like my relapse set me back much in reality, only on my day count. Yes, I had to start back at day one, but I am not starting over. Just picking up where I left off. My journey is continuing, not restarting. The resolve that I developed in my 78 days, the lessons I learned, and the positivity I gained are all still here. Due to slipping up, I did lose some life enjoyment for a few days. I was highly distracted by temptation, irritable, and down on myself, but those things passed quickly. I find that quitting porn is easy, sticking with it is not.

And I learned a lot from failing also, kind of like falling forward. I got a good long taste of how good life without porn actually is, and confirmation that abstinence from it is actually effective. I really enjoyed life for what it was, and accomplished things I didn't think were possible. I learned what it feels like to have connected intimate sex with someone that I love, and how to enjoy the little things in life that go unnoticed when you're on a dopamine drop. As soon as I relapsed, like the very second it happened, those positives vanished. Anxiety set in, obsession set in, the inability to control myself began again ... and I knew this was not the life I wanted. Immediately I felt isolated from the people around me, unmotivated to do anything, an enormous feeling of emptiness inside. And all it took was a few seconds to set in. I had a decision to make: either stay here with porn, or get back to the good life. I decided on the good life, and it was an easy decision to make. The work of getting back to where I was does not seem nearly as unpleasant as the one day back on porn was.

Having a taste of some heaven to strive for contrasted with some hell to avoid is a powerful motivator. And it tells me very quickly what the purpose of all of this is. The purpose is to be free, not a slave. To fill my days with things and people I love, not isolate myself from them with artificial stimuli. Also, the purpose is not to see how many days I can go, and I am starting to see that the day counter is only a tool for tracking progress, and not necessarily an indication of success. This is not meant to be disrespect towards anyone who has a high day count, in fact, I'm a little bit jealous of your high day counts. It is only meant to say that finding a better life outside of porn has less to do with how many days you don't use porn, and more to do with what you are doing instead of it.

I fell into the mental trap of thinking that it had been so many days, that I must have beaten it, so I let my guard down. For the last week of my streak, I was feeling like something was off, almost like I knew what was about to happen. My mental stance changed from vigilance to arrogance because I thought I had won. I may only be two days into my new streak, but I am in a better mental place than I was at the end of my last one.

So yeah, falling forward. I still got this guys.
 
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Skittelz

Member
Day 3

I've been reading a lot of different material for the last few days about the various methods of beating this addiction. I am pretty much convinced that the only real way to do it is to just stop. There are no easy ways out or shortcuts. You just quit, and don't start up again. But that's easier said than done.

I had heard about cue extinction training from YBOP and looked into it some more yesterday. It's a method where you expose yourself to a porn trigger, basically triggering yourself intentionally, and then immediately stop and do something else. Like an alcoholic opening a beer, smelling it, and then pouring it down the drain instead of drinking it. It can supposedly help you break the addiction faster by training your brain that the trigger does not lead to the release.

So, I tried it. I think it was a mistake, and I won't be doing it anymore. It was like scratching a bug bite, it only intensified the itch. It greatly escalated the cravings, and sent me on a mental spiral towards bad things. I didn't take it any further, and I didn't masturbate or fall back into the habit, and I guess that's the point. To make your will stronger by testing it. But fuck that. It's risky, it's counter-productive to the goal, and creates an unnecessary temptation. In my opinion, it's foolish, like playing with fire. We should be giving ourselves the best shot at this, not making it harder. It's hard enough as it is.

I was SOOO tempted to relapse, and my brain just wouldn't let it go. I went to bed early and just waited patiently for it to pass. I just kept telling myself that as bad as I was feeling now, I would feel 10 times worse if I gave in; and that if I didn't give in I would wake up without regret. It took forever, but eventually I fell asleep.

I can't say I woke up with no regret. I regret doing that to myself because it sucked and I feel like I could have sabataged my own recovery. But I do feel like I didn't cave in to the pressure, so that's a victory. I will stick to abstainance from here on out. It's easier to eliminate the porn than to tempt myself with it. Just gotta starve the monster and let him die.
 
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Skittelz

Member
I'm struggling a little bit today. Maybe a lot. Maybe more than I feel comfortable admitting.

I have a flash drive at home with 3 porn clips on it. In my one day of relapse, I managed to find my top 3 most favorite videos of all time. Incidentally, they are spanking videos, because I'm a freak. For some reason, these 3 clips are very dear to me, one of them has been my go-to video for over 15 years now. I know that keeping them is only keeping porn in my future, which is a death sentence to recovery. But I feel this overwhelming dread when I think of throwing it out. I've been using these videos to get off since I was young, so it feels like throwing out an old friend.

I really need to get rid of that flash drive tho. I think keeping it on hand is symbolic of keeping a little bit of "treasure" for later. It's creating a mental promise that someday I'll be able to watch them again, and it's really destroying my future recovery. Recovery starts in the mind, and if I am mentally promising myself more porn in the future, then the recovery has been killed before it even begins. It will be painful, probably, and leave me feeling empty most likely. But it has to happen.

I know this addiction, like all addictions, is a chain reaction. You start the cycle and it continues to roll like a wheel, on and on. Stopping is a chain reaction as well. Once I get the stopping wheel rolling, it continues to roll on, which is why I can keep a streak going for a long time without problems. I just need to get that momentum back, and get that wheel rolling again and I know I'll be back where I want to be. I think that damn flash drive is blocking my momentum from building. I need to get rid of it.
 

Dungalef

Member
Sounds like you're on the right track, Skittelz. What if you actually took a hammer to the flash drive, or destroyed it in some other dramatic way like that? Make it a symbolic gesture of "no going back," burning your boats as Blondie says!
 

Skittelz

Member
Burn it all down. Leave no boats standing.
I know. I need to. Once they are gone, they will stop torturing me. I hope. We'll see.

I like the "no boats standing" thing. I'm a big history guy, especially the pre-Columbian history of the Americas, and you just hit a nerve with that one.

Hernan Cortez made history when he landed his men in the new world, and then set fire to the ships. It sent a clear message to his men - either you fight here, or you die here. But going back is not an option. It has become synonymous with strong leadership. Good choice of words on your part
 
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