Battle Journal

Skittelz

Active Member
You got this man.

Fuck porn!

Stay strong brother.
Thanks for the support. I appreciate it.

I feel like I have been on this slippery slope before, and in the past it has led me to relapse. I feel so foolish for allowing myself to get to this point again. How stupid!

I am at the point where I have to make a decision. To relapse, or not to. Although it was weakness and a lack of resolve that led me to this point, I feel stronger and more resolved than ever to beat it back. I didn't come this far to fail.

You are 100% correct, Blondie. I DO GOT THIS!
 

Blondie

Respected Member
It's always good to compare how you'd feel afterwards to how you feel now. Which one feels worse? I know the answer for me and it's definitely afterwards - it truly is the worst feeling ever!

Reread you relapse post a few months back just for a reminder and a kick in the pants.

You got this man.

Sometimes at this point it's easy to get up tight about it and to start overthinking it, thus Zen out and just do something relaxing.
 
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Skittelz

Active Member
Day 56

Yesterday was a struggle, but I got thru it.

Thank you to this community for the support, it really helps when I am facing trouble to have y'all on my side.

All the mental battle must have exhausted me, because I fell asleep well before bedtime last night. I slept thru the night, and I feel better today. I am no longer triggered, and I feel free. I would be feeling so much worse if I had given in and went for the relapse.

I am sure that my ordeal yesterday set me back some, but not nearly as much as a full blown relapse would have, so I count it as a victory. I was tempted ... really, really tempted, but I stayed true.

Today is a brand new day, and I'm still on the good path.

I made it to day 56.
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Keep paving the way @Skittelz! Appreciate the share and shout out to you for catching yourself and striving forward!
Why thank you, that is quite humbling.

I don't really feel like I'm "paving the way" but I'm trying to find the way. Catching myself in the moment and stopping the cycle was very difficult, kind of like trying to stop a piss mid-stream. But judging by how I feel today, it was totally worth it. Nothing sucks worse than starting all over at day 1, with all of the fresh shame and guilt that comes with it
 

CloseToToast

Active Member
I don't really feel like I'm "paving the way" but I'm trying to find the way.
Perspective can be a powerful & empowering tool :) You have achieved a streak longer than i ever have since learning about this affliction. That catch and not failing is a real step to growth that is so necessary for permanent change that many face challenge with every day. It may be the fight of your life to you while you go through this and day to day, but to someone else you may be the power they needed to make it through another day.
 

Skittelz

Active Member
So I've been thinking a lot today, and I thought I would take some time to share those thoughts.

My strategy over the last two days has been to find all the websites that get past the porn blocker on my devices, and then block those sites as well. At first, it seemed like a good plan, because I felt like I was being proactive and finding the bad before it found me. Taking the initiative, so to speak.

However, this plan doesn't work very well, for the following reasons:

1. I don't think our brain really differentiates between searching for porn so you can watch it, and searching for porn so you can block it. Either way, you are searching for porn, so it probably activates the same neuro pathways. I have read that the reward porn offers lies in the searching, not in the finding, thus you are rewarding these pathways instead of destroying them. And then, there is the issue of finding it. In the process of rooting it out, you inevitably end up seeing some of it, even if it is only thumbnails for a few seconds. Not to mention the triggering that this brings to the table, which is not fun to deal with, and can lead to a relapse.

2. Trying to rid the internet of porn, or make the internet a "safe" place is a fools errand. The internet is massively huge, and there will always be pornography being posted and there will always be ways around blocking software. I have come to realize that if my goal is to make it so that I am never exposed to porn, then I am setting the stage for an exercise in futility. Plus, by taking the time to try to block all the sites where porn can be found is wasting yet more time on porn that should be spent on more fruitful pursuits.

3. Blocking porn, while helpful, can also become a crutch. Nobody forces my fingers to type in the web addresses, and I am the one who decides if I am going to click on the images. Therefore, the power lies within me. The online world is a lot like the real world: it is full of nice wonderful things, and also dangerous evil things. The entire globe is digital these days, so we can't just "do without" the internet at this point in human history. There is a whole world inside that computer, and we need to learn to navigate around the bad in order to get to the good. As a recovered alcoholic, I like to compare it to alcohol. I know that I am able to go to the grocery store and buy food, but not buy alcohol. Even though it is on the shelf, right in front of me, and even though there are advertisements for alcohol everywhere. So I know that I can learn to go online and retrieve the information I need without looking at porn.

I plan on keeping the porn blocker in place, for now. I have to do whatever works to get the poison out of my system. But at some point, the safety net will have to go. I will have to learn to fly alone someday, and know that I can deal with the perils that come with it. My goal is to get to the point where I learn to deal with porn popping up, and just click away from it. It will always be there, waiting to suck me into the trap, because that's what it does. I can't hide from it, all I can do is learn to fight it. And I plan to learn.

That's all for today
 
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Blondie

Respected Member
Hey Skittelz, I think you're thinking the right thoughts here.

There are many people on RN who use porn blockers and I think that's great - whatever works for you, do it! I've never seen the point of arguing over different philosophies as long as we have the same goal in mind - fuck porn.

But for me personally, I've never used a porn blocker and I don't ever see myself using one in the future. The only thing I use is the safe search on Google because that's usually where I start my ritual of heading to Mordor. Of course, even that is funny because I can turn it off within moments and get right to it!

My philosophy is similar to yours, in that at the end of the day, I want to know I can trust myself and that I can be okay without my training wheels for the long haul - and I'm in it for the long haul.

And as far as triggers go, this world is a pretty fucked up place with "triggers" everywhere, especially on the internet. I think we sometimes do a disservice to ourselves when we try to dodge triggers because it disempowers ourselves and puts us constantly in fighting mode and living our lives with constant anxiety about tripping up. Complacency is not good for our recovery, but neither is fighting 24/7 and looking for trigger demons behind ever rock and cranny. I've lived on both sides of the fence and it didn't feel peaceful or something I would want to do for the rest of my life.

Balance is everything. Balance is key.

Everyone needs training wheels for the first while and that's absolutely okay. But for the long haul, you have to take them off and learn to have faith and confidence in yourself.

So yes, porn blockers are great and there's NO shame in using them.

And yes, at first, it's good to not look at triggers that might make you slip. But as for me and my future self, I want to be looking up and smiling at the world, instead of looking down afraid of it.

Best brother.
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 57

Today is a new day. From here on out, I will be putting a new plan in action, where instead of hiding from my triggers I face them head on. Before my last relapse, I made it 78 days without any sort of blocking software on my devices, just old school self control. So I know it is possible.

Granted, blockers do a great job of making it easier to abstain by removing many of the triggers, but it also strips you of the ability to experience the triggers and learn to cope with them.

This is mind over matter here. Our brains are powerful entities, and if the brain wants something, it will find a way to get it. That's how we learned to fly and send people into space, after all. But the essence of me is not my brain, any more than it is my body. I just need to remember that I am not my brain. My brain answers to me, not the other way around. This is brain-rewiring at it's core foundation, and it is more than possible.

Either control your brain or it will control you. I already know who is going to win this battle, and it is me.

I got this shit.

Fuck porn!
 

Skittelz

Active Member
We got rained out at work today. So no work, and no outside projects, no walking dogs ... just me in this house alone all day with a computer. One of them with no blocker on it ...

But it's fine, like I said before, I got this shit. I've been in the kitchen most of the morning making infused chocolate bars for a client. I've been running behind on my kitchen work anyway, so it's nice to make some progress on it.

What could be more calming and relaxing than making chocolate? The way it all melts together and pours into the molds is cool to watch, and kinda just puts you in a good mood.

It is lonely tho. And quiet. And I get bored easily.

These are minor hurdles tho. I've been here before, and it's just something I gotta get thru. I ain't too worried about it.

I was initially thinking that today was going to be hard day, like a real test of my resolve. But surprisingly enough, I have not had any real urges today. Occasionally it will cross my mind that porn is right there for the taking, but I guess the last two days have made me stronger mentally. I just don't want the porn, I can honestly say that! I do not want it. The only pull I feel sometimes is the compulsion that one gets from any addiction, but it is not from any perceived enjoyment. It is purely addiction.

If I get bored, I'll come back here, I promise.

Fuck porn
 

downhillfromhere

Well-Known Member
I get what you were saying about going through those sites in order to block them. I had a similar experience going through some Instagram profiles a while back, trying to block certain ones and trying to get different recommendations. Just being exposed to the stuff definitely harmed me, even if the intention was good.

Haven't really decided what I think about blockers yet. I will say that I have blocked all "adult" sites on my iphone, in addition to blocking the ones I would typically go for. So far I haven't tried to get past them, but it's good to know there's at least some resistance if I ever try it.

That said, I agree that training ourselves to say no is the only was to truly be able to make better decisions - and if we use blockers, it can only be one tool of many that must be used.

---

Oh, and fuck porn. 🙌
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 59

Nothing much to report really. Another day on the wagon is so much better than another day stuck in the porn-hole.

I have to be honest about something tho. Porn isn't my worst problem. I have been experiencing a lot of good days, and some really bad days as well. Some days I don't even want to get out of bed, and I struggle to find a reason to get thru the day. While I know that porn addiction has contributed to those low-feeling, depressed days, it would be foolish to say that is the entire issue. I had a violent and traumatic childhood, and I didn't realize until recently how much pain I still carry around from it. I am still angry, hurt, and harbor feelings of inadequacy and shame today due to what I experienced as a child. And also due to the things I used cope with those emotions, like drugs, alcohol, and porn. I am seeing a counselor, and this is extremely helpful in working through those issues.

I find that quitting porn is only a small part of the road ahead of me. Porn is also the easiest knot to untie in my life, the other issues are much harder to work out. I need to remember what life is all about, and learn how to live again, and love again. I also need to learn to forgive the people who hurt me in the past, forgive myself for the damage I have done to my own life, and have some compassion for myself and others. Porn may be the issue on the surface, but the issues that are hidden beneath it run so much deeper than porn ever could.

As always, fuck porn
 

CloseToToast

Active Member
Way to go Day 59 so awesome @Skittelz !!!! I am not quite sure how to word this, i know we have never met and only interacted a few times but I understand those challenges you are facing all too well. Its like an onion, Porn may have been the outside layer but as you unfold this journey you realize what remains needs to be tackled as well. I wanted to say that I am proud of you for doing what you need to reboot your whole life. This journey even in its darkest times will only result with a better you.

"Sometimes when you are in a dark place, you think you have been buried, but actually you have been planted"
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 61

I meant to post yesterday, but the day was super busy and time got away from me.

I've been enjoying life this last week, and not really focusing on my personal goals. I'll get back to them, I'm just taking a break -- a mental vacation, if you will. I've been doing all the things Iove doing ... Playing guitar, smoking weed with my friends, walking/hiking with my dogs, fishing, having sex with my wife, kayaking, etc. It's been nice to get out of my head for a while, and mix up the routine.

Also, I have been working on a basement remodel with a friend of mine, and this last week we got a lot more work done installing electrical wires as well as outlets/switches. One room is 80% complete, the other is less than 50%. But we'll get there.

And I have a fishtank to set up as well. I used to have one when I was in my 20's and I loved it. I still can't remember why I ever got rid of it. I've always preferred a live-planted aquarium with driftwood, large shelf-type rocks, and flowering plants/lilypads. And as far as fish, just a few, but very colorful ones to enhance the natural beauty of the underwater garden. I think I will set it up to be a meditation spot for me to practice mindfulness, with a chair or some pillows in front of it.

Wife and I are going to the river today to swim and cool off, looking forward to that.

So much to do, gotta run.
 
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