Battle Journal

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 90!

I faced some temptation yesterday, due to my own intrinsic need to sabatoge my progress. I knew I was reaching a major milestone in my recovery, so my brain was plotting against me a little bit. I actually started thinking maybe porn wasn't really that big of a deal after all, and perhaps I had blown this way out of proportion. What the fuck brain, you've got to be fucking kidding me. Just goes to show you gotta be ready to fight at any time.

In the end I stayed strong and true to myself, and today I get to remember yesterday with a feeling of pride rather than one of regret. Instead of giving in to my whiny brain, I did a water test on my aquarium and planted live plants in it as well. So much more rewarding than porn.

90 days is not a long time, only 3 months really, but it took me 8 months to get here so it seems like a lot longer. Compared to the forever-future I plan to have without porn, 90 days is a drop in the bucket. But even so, it's a symbolic day for me, because when I started it seemed like an impossible task. I feel more confident than ever about my future, one where I have full control of my own sexuality, and both the time and ambition to live my best life.

Fuck porn.
 
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Skittelz

Active Member
Day 91

I'm still on the wagon today and having a sort of rough time with it. Circling the bait, mainly. Nothing extreme, I was just browsing SFW pictures of pretty girls in bathing suits, and the occasional topless picture that popped up in the mix. This is the mentality that leads to relapse, I call it "red flag behavior", and it lets me know that I am in dangerous territory and I need to alter my path. I am altering my path right now, that's why I stopped browsing and got on this forum instead.

I think there are two factors in play here, one being that I hit the 90 day mark and let my mental guard down a little bit, as if the worst is behind me and there is nothing to worry about. This is of course, not true, and my behavior today is proof that I am not out of the woods yet. I had this same issue when I passed my mechanical license exam a a few months back, I let my guard down and it led me directly to a relapse very quickly. It seems like whenever I achieve a major victory I tend to start engaging in "red flag" behavior. Not good.

The second factor in play here is that I have started the process of gradually un-blocking adult material on my devices. I believe that porn blockers are a crutch that are helpful at first, but like training wheels, must eventually be removed. I want to be able to use the internet without blockers, because it is a valuable tool, and the blockers seriously filter the information that you are able to access, and a lot of it is not porn related. I often cannot get the information I seek because the algorithm the blocker uses flags it as inappropriate. True online freedom comes from knowing that I don't want to see porn, and therefore not looking for it, some might call this being a responsible adult. If I can go to the grocery store without buying alcohol and junk food, then I know I can go online without watching porn. I just need to learn how to ride without training wheels.

This next step in my recovery is going to be a challenge, I can already tell. I liken it to drug rehab: You do your 90 days in the facility, to get sober, learn coping skills and identify triggers, and you do it a super safe and drug free environment. But then you have to leave the facility and go out into the real world, where drugs and problems are always going to be there. At some point, every addict needs to re-join the world in order to live their new lives in a better way.

I did my 90 days in a protected environment, but now I need to learn how to do it for real. My plan is to slowly uninstall the blocking software, and gradually unlock my various devices, in small increments over time. I don't want to move too fast, and overwhelm myself with it; but I do want to build the confidence to use the internet without slipping back into old habits.

This is my goal, my mission so to speak. I can do this, I know I can, and I will do this.

No creature on this planet can survive without knowing the difference between food and poison.

Fuck Porn
 

SimonM

Active Member
Yep. I started looking at borderline material shortly after completing a 100 day challenge some years ago. 2 months later I was back at square one. Don't follow my path!

I think you have to have an absolutely ironclad commitment to do NOTHING that replicates what porn gave you. No topless pics etc, no searches at all that you wouldn't feel comfortable doing in front of your boss or partner. If you can do that you'll be good :)

I agree with your take on blockers etc. We have to be able to make it without them. If you keep to rule from previous paragraph, then no blockers are needed :)

Fuck porn!
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Yep. I started looking at borderline material shortly after completing a 100 day challenge some years ago. 2 months later I was back at square one. Don't follow my path!

I think you have to have an absolutely ironclad commitment to do NOTHING that replicates what porn gave you. No topless pics etc, no searches at all that you wouldn't feel comfortable doing in front of your boss or partner. If you can do that you'll be good :)

I agree with your take on blockers etc. We have to be able to make it without them. If you keep to rule from previous paragraph, then no blockers are needed :)

Fuck porn!
Thanks for the reply, Simon. It always helps to get a little bit of insight from someone else who has had a similar experience.

I agree with you that borderline material is bad, mkay. It may not be full-on porn, and when I see it I don't feel the urge to masturbate -- but it is right on the edge, hence the term "borderline".

I would usually feel shame right now for even allowing myself to view soft material, but honestly, I don't. I feel irritation with myself for sure, and some disappointment, but not shame. Shame is such a wasted emotion, especially when we are trying to love ourselves and improve our lives.

To speak of it metaphorically, I feel like on my first day out of rehab I went straight back to the crack house. And I may have even bought some crack, and loaded the pipe. But I didn't smoke it, I threw it out the window and went home sober.

In my book that is success. I was tempted, but I did not cave. And tomorrow is a new day
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 92

I'm feeling good today, kind of tired but yet there is a generally positive aura surrounding me. It's a brand new day, who knows where it will take me?

Today my focus has been to be the master of my own destiny, to not merely allow things to happen but to make them happen. I am training to be a foreman at work, so I need to step up and prove that I can manage myself as well as the other workers.

It's hotter than hell today, and humid too, gross. I also have chiggers all up and down my legs, so today physically sucks. But I'm in a positive mood so I'm sure I will survive.
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 93

Today I'm in a good mood. I'm not sure what changed, but I'll take it.

The last few weeks I have been working more on my trauma therapy journals, and I think I'm starting to get to the really deep issues. The ones I buried so deep so many years ago, hoping I would never see them again. It has taken a lot of writing and crying to peel back each layer, only to find more layers beneath. But I can tell I'm getting close to the true trauma because of the pain I feel when I write about it. It sucks, dredging all that negativity to the surface, because after I write about these experiences/feelings, I feel the pain that I wouldn't allow myself to feel at the time that they were occurring. And I try to just feel it, all of it, and not block it out or bury it, and this also sucks. But after I work through a given memory, I have noticed that I can remember it without it destroying me.

It's a long and painful process, but nothing worth doing is easy. There are no shortcuts in life.

It's been nice today, getting a break from the sadness and depression I have been feeling for a few weeks now.

Fuck porn
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 94

Another good mood today. I'm sure that this beautiful weather has something to do with it. St Louis has been brutally hot these last few weeks, with high humidity and temps in the high 90s. The temp on the rooftops where I work is well over 100° and miserable. But not today! We have officially entered fall, and the forecast is in the low 70s for the next week or so. It was actually chilly when I walked the dog this morning. I really needed that.

I'm still battling demons, and I most likely will be until I die. But that's okay with me today. As long as we are fighting we are not losing.

Fuck porn
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 95

I'm having temptations today.

I was stoned last night, which is when I am most likely to be tempted to look at porn. I was on my phone in bed (a habit I need to break) and I went to a mycology forum where I know some members post inappropriate pictures. I immediately was like, what the hell am I doing? I exited out of the internet browser and put my phone away at once. That is the fastest correction I have had yet, less than a minute I'd say. I didn't waste anymore time on it. Old habits die hard, but my response to dangerous browsing is getting quicker and more resilient every time.

But I feel somewhat triggered today, possibly because of last night? Just to be safe, I left my phone in my lunch box to remove any temptation. I am writing this on my lunch break, and then the phone will go back in the lunchbox when I go back to work. And starting tonight, my phone will stay out in the living room when I go to bed, to remove any temptations there as well.

Making positive changes in my habits will hopefully create a more positive future. I got this shit.

Fuck porn my fellow warriors!
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Day 97

Guys, I'm struggling bad and I need help.

Urges are coming at me left and right, and it seems like everything is triggering me ... just seeing an attractive woman or hearing a pop song on the radio ... my mind is gravitating toward porn on a major scale.

This entire weekend I have been fighting urges harder than I have had to in a long time. Just knowing that my devices have full, un-blocked access to the internet is like a magnet in my brain, pulling towards porn. I hate this. It's like there are two different versions of me fighting over the drivers seat, and the effort to keep myself in check is exhausting me mentally.

I feel like I am on the verge of relapse here. The conflict inside of me is stressing me the fuck out. I thought I was past this, but here we are. I've come so far, and now for some reason my brain is trying to derail all my progress.

I don't want porn in my life. It's a useless waste of time, and leaves me feeling empty inside. I know this is true, with all of my heart. So why does a part of me want to go looking for it? I feel like I can't trust myself, and that honestly feels horrible.

I'm fighting, but I feel like I'm slowly losing the fight, like I'm slowly backsliding into something I worked so hard to beat.

If anyone has any kind of insight to offer, I would greatly appreciate it. I need all the help I can get right now.
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Hey man, don't have much time. But run, run far away for today, do whatever you must.

You don't want this, this is your old self.

Stay strong!
 

Skittelz

Active Member
Hey man, don't have much time. But run, run far away for today, do whatever you must.

You don't want this, this is your old self.

Stay strong!
Thanks for the quick reply. It's perfectly ok that you don't have much time, you breath so much life into this community, and I am grateful everyday for that. I can't tell you how much it helps in a time of crisis to reach out and have someone reach back.

I just had a deep conversation with my wife about this, I told her I feel like I'm sliding backwards into a pit that I desperately don't want to fall into. She says it's only in the moment, and if I fight thru it there will be better days ahead. She's right. Just talking about the addiction and making the struggle known to other people takes a lot of it's power away.

I'm going to take your advice and just run. Shutting down the computers and putting my phone in the truck while I clean my house. You're 100% right when you say I don't want this ... I don't want this.

Thanks again for the support
 

Dungalef

Active Member
You got this man! Take a metaphorical sledgehammer to it, haha.

It's also ok to install the blockers again if you need to, if you feel like the magnetic pull is too much still. No shame in that, your still pretty early on the recovery journey 🙂
 

Skittelz

Active Member
You got this man! Take a metaphorical sledgehammer to it, haha.

It's also ok to install the blockers again if you need to, if you feel like the magnetic pull is too much still. No shame in that, your still pretty early on the recovery journey 🙂
Thank you brother, your kind words mean a lot right now. And you're right, I do got this.

The way I see it, I can go thru this rough time for a little while now, in exchange for a better life tomorrow. Or, I can give in to empty, short term pleasure for now in exchange for a much worse life tomorrow, full of shame and regret.

The correct choice here is obvious. I'm not ready to give up yet, I'm still here and I'm fighting thru it.
 

Blondie

Respected Member
I think you're in a pattern of 90 days now, which on one hand is great, but on the other, you've almost made another bad habit! @Phineas 808 calls this a bad habit within a bad habit, or something like that. I was stuck in this pattern too for a couple of years.

Either way, 90 days porn free really isn't that hard for you now (which is fucking awesome!), however, after arriving there, now your brain starts putting up the fight!

In other words, you're right where you should be :cool:
 
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