Battle Journal

Blondie

Respected Member
Hey Skittelz.

I know for me, I returned just out of habit. If life was stressful, I looked at porn. If life was joyful, I looked at porn. It's fucked but that's the truth.

The big thing for me this last time is really trying to fix my life and work on my goals, and maybe even more, find other things that I can do when I feel down or depressed. So I try to meditate now, go for walks to relax my mind etc.

I think you getting back into music will be a great thing.

Best man
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 2

Today is a little weird for lack of a better word. I feel a little bit off, and I can't really think of why.

Last night I had very vivid dreams about drinking, which still occurs periodically even though I have been sober for 3 years now. I was in the most vivid part of the dream, which is the deepest part of the REM cycle, when my alarm went off. Interrupting the REM cycle always sucks, because I wake up in a head-fog and it takes longer to energize than usual. But I woke up with a boner -- that's gotta be a good sign, right?

I forgot about my counseling appointment, so I didn't have as much free time in the evening as I had hoped for, but I still played my guitar for about 30 minutes. It was actually pretty relaxing. I started working on "Landing Feet First" by Bayside, a song I have been working on learning off-and on for several years now. I'm pretty rusty, but I'll work it out.

I told my counselor about my successful streaks, and how great life is without porn. But that the relapses in between seem to be a self-inflicted sabotage, and I don't know why I return. He told me I'm way ahead of the curve here, that most people who seek help for this addiction are far deeper in the hole than this. He told me that I'm doing it right, I just need to continue. I'm already on a good path, and I'm already doing the work, and he thinks if I find a serenity base -- some way to stay calm -- things will level out with time. These things take time, and one just needs to be patient and allow the necessary changes to take occur.

He also said that pornography usage relates to the "id" part of the brain, and stimulates it ... I have to be honest, I have no idea what this whole id/ego stuff is when people talk about psychology. I need to brush up on it, maybe I can find some videos to explain it or something.

He asked me what I learned from my clean streaks, and what I learned from my slip-ups. That was the biggest part of the conversation. I told him that I scared myself by being so successful in life, and I panicked. My own success proved to me that I am not the loser I think I am, in reality I am fully capable of doing whatever I want to. This contradicted my self image, and I feel like I relapsed just to prove I was still a piece of shit. It's fucking sad. I told him I want to find out how to change my image of myself so that it matches my newly-discovered reality. Now that I know I am able to do anything I decide to do, I cannot un-know it. I will be that version of myself, or I will die trying.

We finished the session by talking about my regrets from the past, my plans for the future, and how those plans completely terrify me, and chase me back to porn usage. I need to be courageous and face those fears, because fear breeds more fear, and quickly becomes unmanageable.

We talked about abortion, self-mutilation, foster care, and adoption. I know those topics may seem random and a little morbid, but they apply. I will write about why tomorrow.

In the meantime -- control your brains guys
 

Blondie

Respected Member
I really relate to your statement about not feeling like you should be a success, even when you're starting to be one. Over the last year I went back to school and have been killing it. That's not a bragging statement, it's just the truth. But the funny thing is, between all the pats on the back and everyone telling me how great I'm doing and looking up to me, I often don't feel that success deep within myself, like it's all a joke or something. It's like I can see that new man, but I don't feel him deep within myself, if that makes sense.

I need to keep working on this and thinking about it.

Good job on asking the hard questions. I think you and I are similar in that we can achieve these longer streaks but the underlining issues are what we really need to work on now.

Best
 

Skittelz

Member
I really relate to your statement about not feeling like you should be a success, even when you're starting to be one. Over the last year I went back to school and have been killing it. That's not a bragging statement, it's just the truth. But the funny thing is, between all the pats on the back and everyone telling me how great I'm doing and looking up to me, I often don't feel that success deep within myself, like it's all a joke or something. It's like I can see that new man, but I don't feel him deep within myself, if that makes sense.

I need to keep working on this and thinking about it.

Good job on asking the hard questions. I think you and I are similar in that we can achieve these longer streaks but the underlining issues are what we really need to work on now.

Best
Yeah, that totally makes sense to me. When you see yourself killing it, it feels like you aren't actually that guy.

But you are.

Keep killing it, and don't be afraid to take some credit for your self, even if it does mean bragging a little. Fuck it man, if you have something worth bragging about, then brag. And prove to yourself that you are that dude and you are killing it.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 3

I was feeling kind of depressed and run-down yesterday, and I had a dentist appointment after work. I've never tried the cold shower thing that everyone is always talking about, but I gave it a try. It sucked, but it worked. I felt better afterwards, and headed to the dentist in a more refreshed and positive mood. I played more music when I got home, and cuddled with my wife for a while too. It was a good evening, and I slept really well.

I feel great today, in a good mood and full of energy. I think I'm gaining back some of my momentum again. I really hate to risk the good mood by talking about some dark stuff, but I feel like I have to.

There are some things from my past that I believe will continue to impede my recovery if I don't address them. It's very painful to talk about, so I don't, but they are a major reason why I hate myself, why I feel like I don't deserve to be happy and why I continue to sabatoge myself.

My wife and I met in our teens, and moved in together right away and began a serious relationship. We loved each other so much, and we still do to this day, almost 20 years later.

I decided that I wanted to get a vasectomy, at age 20, and never have children. Now, I'm not going to go into my reasoning for this decision, because that would take hours of backstory. Just suffice it to say that I had a hellish childhood full of poverty, violence, child abuse, sexual abuse ... the list goes on and on. I believed some truly horrible things about myself and was convinced that if I had a child I would destroy them the way I had been destroyed.
I talked to my mother about getting the operation before I had fully decided on it, and her response completely floored me. She said she understood why I felt that way, and that she sometimes wishes she had done the same thing because if she had, her life would have been better. I was crushed emotionally, and all of a sudden realized that my very existence was a detriment. I believed that I was a waste of life, and that nobody could actually love me. My own mother wished she hadn't given birth to me. I still don't know why she said it that way, but it was too late, and my decision had been cemented in place in my mind.

It gets worse. I got my wife pregnant two weeks before the scheduled date for my surgery. I panicked, as I always do, and my knee-jerk reaction was to get an abortion. So we did. It was the most awful thing I have ever experienced. They wouldn't let me in the room during the procedure, I had to wait in the car. I was so upset, so infuriated with the situation, so sick inside that I actually wanted to kill myself. So I drove to the closest adult bookstore I could find and thumbed through the magazines and arcade booths. Once I had gotten my fix, I went back to the clinic and picked her up. Then a week later, I got my surgery and sealed my fate.

I immediately regretted everything. I felt like I had killed my baby, mutilated myself, and threw my future in the furnace. I wanted to die, pure and simple. I wasn't able to kill myself, even though I thought about it often. From then on, my life became a slow spiral downwards into drugs, alcohol, pornography, and self destruction.

I tried every drug I could get my hands on, and I would always do insane amounts of them. People around me thought that I just liked to do a high dose, but I knew the truth. I was trying to overdose. I even mixed drugs that I knew were fatal combinations, but goddamn it, I just wouldn't die. I fucking ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it until there was nothing left. I was, and still am, broken on the inside and I don't think I will ever be okay again. I still struggle with thoughts of suicide, and I still hate myself for what I've done. When I look in the mirror, I see a murderer and a coward looking back at me.

My wife has watched me destroy myself, held me while I cried, and stood by me even when I told her to leave. I have no idea why she stayed with me, but I'm so thankful that she did. She is an amazing woman, and I would be dead without her.

I can't even begin to describe the pain I have carried with me for the last 20 years. The pain is so intense sometimes, I can't even carry on the basic functions of life. I try, but I just can't forgive myself, and I don't know if I ever will.

Eventually, I couldn't live like that anymore. Since I apparently couldn't die, I decided that I would try to heal, and maybe even pick up the pieces of my shattered life. My wife and I moved to St Louis, with the goal of getting sober, getting stable jobs, buying a house, and possibly trying to adopt or do foster care. It has been a long, heartbreaking road, but we are almost there.

Fast-forward to the present day.

When I passed my test two weeks ago, I contacted a few adoption agencies, and they sent me the paperwork I needed to fill out in order to proceed. My mind immediately went into panic mode, and the thoughts of inadequacy came back. The belief that I was a bad person and I would fuck up a child returned. The pain and the stress from my past came back like a motherfucker, and then I relapsed.
I still want to adopt a child. I still want to be happy, and have a family. I still love my wife, and we could be great parents ... but I need to get past this. Every time I get close to having a family, my own emotions from the past ruin it all.

Just writing this down is making me feel terrible, so I know the trauma has not healed. I need to remove this poison from my life so I can live. I have been dying but I need to live.

How do I live?

How do I forgive myself?
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 4

Another day clean and porn-free. Going good, looking forward to the weekend.

I'm still trying to push myself to conquer the fear of raising children, because that's my primary battle at the moment. But if I can stay on the good path, I know I'll get there
 
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Skittelz

Member
Day 7

Still staying clean, and the urges aren't really bothering me as much today, and the last few days.

I did have a very vivid dream on Saturday night that I woke up in the middle of the night and was watching porn on the computer. I woke up feeling like I had relapsed, but then I was happier when I realized it was just a dream.

I have some things in my life that are out of balance, and I need to get them sorted out. A good life requires balance, and especially right now, I need it as well. Finding that balance is going to be my goal this week.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 8

I'm doing okay today I think. No real urges or anything to worry about, it's actually real life that is currently challenging me.

I have decided that I want to become a foster parent. When I started calling adoption agencies a few weeks ago I got way ahead of myself, and I think that is part of the reason why I failed. I need to take smaller steps towards my goal, but consistent ones, and slowly let myself get used to the idea of children in my life. Jumping right into adoption immediately is not wise. I think that becoming a foster parent is a good smaller step to take, and the training and experience I can gain from it will be valuable if/when I am ready to adopt.

Still though, calling up the foster care centers is still getting ahead of myself. My house needs work before it will be suitable for children. There are some obvious code violations that need to be addressed, and some safety issues as well. I can start to tackle that now. And transforming my cluttered house into a home suitable for children will be a positive thing either way this goes. Having a better living environment will be good for me and my wife, good for any future children, and also empower me with the knowledge that I can improve my home situation.

Step 1: After work, me and wife are going to start making a list of all the things that need to be fixed, and then get it done. Doorknobs, handrails, peeling paint, etc. It will be like This Old House, reboot edition.

Step 2. Once the house is in more presentable condition, I will call the foster agency, and we can start to get the home inspections done.

So now that I have a plan for step 1, and an idea for step 2 ... I just have to work the plan, and change my life.
 
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Skittelz

Member
Day 10

I finally have double digits under my belt. Slowly but surely, I'm progressing forward.

Also, slowly but surely, I am developing a new morning routine to get my day started. I find that a routine is important, and it is easy to get de-railed without one. The last two days I have gotten up at the same time, and then I do some meditation, do my stretch routine, and then take a cold shower. It seems like I feel more energized and grounded when I am done.

Speaking of meditation: Does anyone have any resources on it? I have only done it twice, yesterday and today. I don't really know anyone who meditates that I can ask to show me how, so I'm a little bit lost on it. I sit quietly, with my eyes closed and focus on each breath, and try to clear my mind. It takes a surprising amount of effort to not do or think about anything, to just be. I don't know if I'm doing it right or not.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 12

I didn't post yesterday because I was too busy living life. I'm trying very hard to focus more on living and less on my addiction. I think sometimes an addict can mentally fixate so much on their addictions that they make recovery impossible. I know I have fit that description in the past.

Wife and I had a good conversation yesterday about some things that have needed to be said for a long time. At first it was difficult, but at the end it was actually really uplifting to get it all out and I felt closer to her afterwards.

Then we went to see a local cover band at the pavilion and grab some dinner at the food trucks. Chasing food trucks is one of our favorite pastimes, lol. It was a nice evening, and honestly, the fact that sex is off of the table made it better. I wasn't even thinking about sex at all, so it freed me up to just enjoy her company and have good conversations. We planned a few future dates and enjoyed ourselves.

This morning we are going to head out to the local farmers market and grab some fruit for pies later.

It's shaping up to be an excellent weekend
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 13

I'm really starting to enjoy meditation. It seems sort of like hitting the reset button on my brain, and I feel more grounded when I am finished. It's very calming, and I don't know why I didn't try it sooner.

Yesterday was another good day with Wife, we went to the Farmers Market and chased some more food trucks. We spent some time with friends in the evening, grilling hot dogs and watching the neighborhood set off fireworks. It's been raining off and on all weekend, so the fireworks were kinda lame, but it was still fun. Wife has been cooped up at home recovering from her surgery, so getting out and interacting with people was good for her, and for me as well.

Today I'm going to be smoking a few chickens, so we will have leftovers to eat for the upcoming week. We have some other friends we are going to visit with also, and possibly a concert in the city we might go check out. Just depends on how we feel.

I think what I am learning from this weekend is the key to my recovery: Don't focus on quitting porn, focus on what you're doing instead. Look at the positive life you are building for yourself, not the negative life you are leaving behind. Hanging out with friends, cooking meals with loved ones, playing music, getting out in nature and interacting with the world ... These are the parts of life that make it worth living, but pornography blinds you so that you can't even enjoy them.

Every time I find my mind thinking about porn, it reminds me how dark life was when I was using it, and how happy I am to be free.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 14

The clean days are beginning to pile up now, and I feel like I'm gaining momentum. I had some thoughts and images from porn randomly popping up in my head yesterday tho. I'm not sure why. But I dismissed them and didn't give them any attention, and they passed. I just wish I knew where they came from.

Im feeling good today. The weekend was great, and I still have today off to rest and get ready for work tomorrow.

Wife and I went to the concert last night, and it was awesome. We also spent time with friends and played some old nerdy RPG computer games from back in the day. I stayed up way past bedtime, and I'm tired now, but it was a good day.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 15

On this current streak, I decided to go hard mode, at least at the beginning of the reboot. I fear that having sex too soon in my past attempts may have set me up for difficulty, but I don't know. Wife and I talked, and we decided to do a sex washout for 30 days at least, and then decide what we want to do. I think after 30 days, I still don't want to just dive back into bed, I want to take it slow. Sex without orgasms would be ideal, just to ease back into it. I've been looking up Karezza, and other methods of slow sex, and I think that might be helpful. Only time will tell.

Today I feel pretty good. I had a great weekend, and stayed clean. It's so fucking hot today. Like miserably hot, so work kinda blows, but I'm getting thru it.

I don't feel any real cravings or urges today. My mood is good, my energy is good-ish.

Not much to say today I guess. Fuck porn
 
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Skittelz

Member
Day 16

I had a good meditation this morning. I don't know what was different about it really, but I felt like it was more productive than usual. And I did my exercise routine also. It's my goal to exercise every day this month, and see if I notice any improvement. I also have been expanding the routine every day, but I have to be careful not to injure my back again so the expansion is slow.

I have a tendency to get all worked up about the future sometimes, that was definitely the case for me yesterday. It's stupid to fret about the future, because I am stressing about things that haven't happened yet, and might not happen at all. Today I am going to try to stay in the moment, and deal with the issues as they arise. I just need to take it one day at a time, after all.

Another day free.

That's all
 
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Skittelz

Member
Day 17

Today I feel like ... Fuck this. I can't say why, because I don't know. But for real, fuck this.

I need a goal in life, and a reason to keep going. Life has gotten stagnant and I feel like I'm going nowhere. I was doing so good for a while, but then I fell ... and I'm having a hard time getting back up again.
 

Skittelz

Member
I'm struggling with depression, and very deep feelings of inadequacy. I feel that my only value in the world is the hard work I perform for my employer, and the money I make from it. Outside of that, I have little to offer the world. I put on a good show and don't let anyone see the truth, because if I did, I wouldn't have anyone in my life. They think I'm a caring, loving, and happy person ... but in reality I'm a scumbag. A scumbag who struggles to get out of bed and face the day, and who hates the man in the mirror. I feel alone, and scared, and rundown.

There's a pain deep inside of me, and it never stops. It's always there, sometimes more, sometimes less, but it's always there. I don't know what to do. I hate feeling like this, but I honestly feel trapped in it, and I don't see a way out.
 

Skittelz

Member
Day 21

I'm doing better the last few days. Thursday was a rough day, but Friday was better. I really don't know why the depression strikes, or what causes certain days to be so bad emotionally. But I got thru it, and I'm still staying clean. So that's good.

I don't think things are going very well with my counselor, I need to find a new one. Nothing against him personally, I just don't feel that we are a good fit for each other. He wants me to get on medication, which is something I am adamantly against doing. His style of therapy is probably effective for some people, but it's not something I am comfortable with. I have two appointments next week with other therapists, hopefully one of them will be a better fit.

Over the weekend I had a nice boner pop up when I was with my wife. We didn't use it, but it was good to have it. I have been worried a bit, thinking that things down there weren't recovering. So that helped to reassure me that this plan is showing signs of fruition.
 

Onmyway19

Active Member
Doing great work my man. Those depressive days are just part of the process. Especially the self loathing days. Early on there's a lot of facing consequences and self reflection. We have to face the things we've done to move past them. Using P stunts those coping mechanisms and makes us emotionally immature. We're just learning how to deal with those feelings. So, be kind to yourself, and use your available support systems. You got this.
 

Skittelz

Member
Doing great work my man. Those depressive days are just part of the process. Especially the self loathing days. Early on there's a lot of facing consequences and self reflection. We have to face the things we've done to move past them. Using P stunts those coping mechanisms and makes us emotionally immature. We're just learning how to deal with those feelings. So, be kind to yourself, and use your available support systems. You got this.
Thanks for the reply.
 
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