Finally posting

Dungalef

Member
Day 24

Man, feeling super horny today. I'm not feeling like I want P, I know too well how that ends. BUT this is the kind of time where I start making compromises. Experimented earlier to see if I could get an erection with just sensation, and it worked great. But that needs to stop, because it's a very short step from that to MO, and MO so often leads to a relapse for me. Not right away, but it starts the downhill slope.

That's something I'm determined to keep an eye on this time...the little stuff. That's what led me to ruin my streak of nearly 90 days a couple of months ago, and I don't want to do that again. That's a lot of what this journal is for: making myself be aware of any compromises, so that I have time to stop the patterns before they escalate!
 

cookiemonster

Active Member
Day 24

Man, feeling super horny today. I'm not feeling like I want P, I know too well how that ends. BUT this is the kind of time where I start making compromises. Experimented earlier to see if I could get an erection with just sensation, and it worked great. But that needs to stop, because it's a very short step from that to MO, and MO so often leads to a relapse for me. Not right away, but it starts the downhill slope.

That's something I'm determined to keep an eye on this time...the little stuff. That's what led me to ruin my streak of nearly 90 days a couple of months ago, and I don't want to do that again. That's a lot of what this journal is for: making myself be aware of any compromises, so that I have time to stop the patterns before they escalate!
Sounds like we have the exact same sort of issues we encounter during our reboot and same attitude to how to deal with them.

I had one 10+ week streak early this year which went downhill after erection testing, which led to MO which led to relapse.

Just now the exact same thing has happened in my reboot where I effectively erection tested and then MO'd a few time, each more compulsive than the last. The only thing which saved me was learning from my mistakes last reboot and posting on reboot nation to initiate a circuit breaker. I said that even an MO at this point counts as a relapse for the next few days and it has allowed me get back control.

Keep going, sending you support.
 

Dungalef

Member
Day 27

Still going strong, but I'm also getting to that point in my streak where I need to remind myself why I care about this....otherwise it's so easy for my vigilance to just keep sliding. On Monday I looked stuff up on imdb again, and even browed google images a bit. Didn't come across anything very sexual, but it's still super unhealthy for me. I keep thinking about a quote from the easypeasy method book (which I found half-helpful, but not fully) about the "thrill of the hunt." That idea totally captures the problem I start having around this time, where I do stuff like I just described on Monday where I'm searching around where I might see something sexual, but might not. Because the odds are low, I feel safe from a relapse/streak reset. Because there's a chance, though, I just get enough of a dopamine hit (or whatever it is) to get hooked, and probably reinforce addiction paths. Bleh. Easy to start feeling like a relapse is inevitable, because I haven't figured out good ways to actually stop this slow slide once it starts. Sometimes it stops, sometimes it doesn't, but I feel almost like it's out my control.

Right now I'm actually feeling a bit more optimistic, but the above thought-process is what I was feeling yesterday, and what I often start feeling intermittently when I'm this far along in a streak.

So, I'm recommitting to not playing that imdb game, or other similar games. Next time I want to do that, I'll come post in here instead. And one of these days I want to really capture some of the reasons I want to quit, to remind myself.
 

Blondie

Respected Member
Nice job on day 27 Dungalef.

Yes, searching around for "innocent" content can quickly get you into trouble! Been there done that. Great job realizing the situation and not getting sucked into the abyss.

So, I'm recommitting to not playing that imdb game, or other similar games. Next time I want to do that, I'll come post in here instead. And one of these days I want to really capture some of the reasons I want to quit, to remind myself.
This!

We all have to know why we want to quit. It's a very important step to get you far down the road, especially on hard days.

Best
 
That idea totally captures the problem I start having around this time, where I do stuff like I just described on Monday where I'm searching around where I might see something sexual, but might not. Because the odds are low, I feel safe from a relapse/streak reset. Because there's a chance, though, I just get enough of a dopamine hit (or whatever it is) to get hooked, and probably reinforce addiction paths.
Yeah I can definitely relate this - think it's why my relapses have often started from "innocent" Google image searches :rolleyes:
But it's great that you're recognizing your triggers and working on them. You got this! 💪
 

Dungalef

Member
Day 29

Just one more day to 30! I'm noticing that situations that used to always be problematic for me aren't triggering me anymore. Used to be that pretty much any time my wife left the house and I was working on my computer alone, I would have an incident of some sort. Same when I was working by myself away from home. (A lot of my work is on the computer). Anyway, today I was working away from home for the morning, and didn't even come close to having trouble. Porn and porn subs weren't even on my radar. Not a huge thing, but it's a big change from how it used to be even 6 months ago! So nice to feel like failure isn't inevitable.
 
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downhillfromhere

Active Member
Really great work on soon to be 30 days!

What you’re saying about needing to remind yourself about why you care, I really get that. My two relapses after starting recovery were because I sort of drifted away from caring, or engaging with why I was doing it. And it goes so fast too, I went from saying I never want to watch porn again, to full relapse within a day. It starts small, like an image search or checking out someone on Instagram. From there it’s almost like I’m placing myself on rails headed for relapse. I forget what I was actually trying to do. Not always fast, it can take days or weeks, but eventually it leads there.

I wish you good luck, stay strong and keep away from substitutes!
 
What you’re saying about needing to remind yourself about why you care, I really get that. My two relapses after starting recovery were because I sort of drifted away from caring, or engaging with why I was doing it. And it goes so fast too, I went from saying I never want to watch porn again, to full relapse within a day. It starts small, like an image search or checking out someone on Instagram. From there it’s almost like I’m placing myself on rails headed for relapse. I forget what I was actually trying to do. Not always fast, it can take days or weeks, but eventually it leads there.
Exactly the same for me too
 

Dungalef

Member
Thanks so much for the support guys, it helps a lot to know there are people following my journey and cheering for me. 🙂

Today is the big 30 days! Longest streak I've had in a few months, and now I'm already 1/3 of the way to 90. Next big milestone will be 45.

Maybe I should start thinking of a way to celebrate/reward myself once I hit 90. Any ideas? What sorts of things have you guys done?
 
30 days - great progress Dungalef!
Prevailing wisdom seems to be that we shouldn't rely on rewards for motivation
Although personally I find it helpful so whatever works for you
Personally I just like to buy myself stuff at milestones, although not sure that's "healthiest" :ROFLMAO:
Probably a better alternative would be to do something nice for yourself or someone important in your life
Take them out to dinner etc. Just some ideas

Keep on killing it brother! 💪
 

Dungalef

Member
Thanks @Ezel and @particularly_respecting! Yeah, I'm thinking more along the lines of a celebration to mark the occasion, rather than an incentive. It definitely wouldn't do a lot to motivate me, but recognizing the accomplishment could be nice. 🙂 Thinking about it also helps for visualizing and imagining success...

Anyway, today is 32 days! My wife and kids are all sick right now, so we've been sleeping really poorly. Feeling exhausted and worn out, but motivation isn't suffering too bad actually.
 

Dungalef

Member
Feeling urges today, but I can totally tell they're coming from boredom, not desire. I've trained myself to look for shallow, easy entertainment instead of doing the hard work to dig in and engage in things that don't give instant gratification. This gets a bit more complicated though with my ADHD, since I find that I need a good chunk of time to engage in a "slow" activity before I can really get going. That's a bit hard right now with 2 kids under the age of 3 in the home! It's been a challenge for me to find ways to handle all of the tiny fragments of free time well, and I find myself just relaxing into things like online games, social media, etc far too often. which means that when I DO have larger chunks of time, I'm already primed to waste that time on dumb stuff, since I haven't built up any of the required muscles to do harder stuff. It's a bit frustrating sometimes, especially since before our 2nd was born in January I was just starting to feel like I was getting into some of my more meaningful hobbies again.

Some of of those more meaningful hobbies for me are things like reading older books, reading poetry, going for walks, even doing a bit of classical calligraphy (that one is a newish hobby, and it still takes a lot of effort for me to engage with).

As it is I just spend SO much time on the screen, what with having work that is almost always on a computer, and having a hard time finding hobbies to engage with that aren't on a computer.

I think one of the things for me is just NOT opening my phone during every piece of free time...giving myself space to just be bored sometimes, just to focus on the present. Experience whatever the experience is to the max, even if it's a bit of a dull one (like reading the same story to a 2-year-old for the millionth time, haha).

All this being said, I don't want to be too hard on myself either. I've had a tendency in the past to get so zealous with reforming my time-spending habits that I make a bunch of unrealistic expectations and am hard on myself whenever I just veg...just because I know that's not optimal, doesn't mean it's horrible either. Because when I set myself strict rules like not using the computer at all during my free time, I find that I can only maintain that for so long before I cave. And when I cave, it's easier to turn to porn at that point since I'm already in a pattern of not holding to my pre-set standards.

As I've seen it said on these forums before (I don't remember where), at the end of the day it's a win if I just don't look at porn. Even if I waste some time on other stuff. Because none of them are as toxic as porn, none of them hurt my relationships like porn does, none of them go against my own morals like porn, none of them run the risk of destroying my whole life the way porn does! None of them erode my personhood and confidence as much as porn does.

It's just so hard to find a good balance sometimes. Maybe it's just about keeping these things in mind and working towards it as I can, but not holding myself to any particular standard? BUT being deliberate about habit-formation is good too....I'll have to let it stew a bit. Maybe some of you guys have some thoughts for me? Not sure if I was at ALL clear in what I was saying above, haha.
 
As I've seen it said on these forums before (I don't remember where), at the end of the day it's a win if I just don't look at porn. Even if I waste some time on other stuff. Because none of them are as toxic as porn, none of them hurt my relationships like porn does, none of them go against my own morals like porn, none of them run the risk of destroying my whole life the way porn does! None of them erode my personhood and confidence as much as porn does.
I think this is a good way of thinking about it
Building healthy habits takes time - I'm working on it myself now
Yeah it would be great if I spent every free minute running a marathon or creating a world-changing piece of art
But that can come later. For now I'm happy if I'm reading wikipedia or a forum post instead of porn - still a huge improvement
Step by step brother 💪
 
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