Reclamation

I'm 28. Over the past 18 years, my porn addiction has evolved into a sex-seeking addiction. It's not just porn that's the issue anymore. It's:
  1. Attachment issues and sexual obsession, hyper-sexuality and a constant sense of missing out - Hyper-focused on obtaining external mates, approval and desire from females - A motive to do everything in my life in order to attract someone instead of focusing on myself
  2. An interest in real life voyeurism and novel sex (recreating porn interests), joining kink, poly and swinger sites, browsing and visiting escorts, seeking encounters, using dating apps and chats addictively. Confusion around commitment and desires
  3. Changes in sexual orientation interests at times, have acted on it a bit
  4. Penis/penis-function based worth and trauma - Bad masturbation habits at a high frequency - Chronic pelvic pain and dysfunction (numb)
  5. Fantasy (reinforces the issues)
  6. Warped, unnatural interests, taboo/immoral/racist themes, hardcore and novelty for dopamine highs
  7. Coping with craving, withdrawals and discomfort
  8. Snooping on social media (girls, exes etc.) and getting triggered
  9. A core addiction to technology - Porn, porn references, triggers and ads everywhere
  10. Seeking and fishing in general... (looking for it anywhere I can find it)
Seeking itself is the issue. That's the role dopamine plays. It's not the porn but the behavior that needs addressing in every place it arises. I've always been hypersensitive emotionally and nervous-system wise. My whole life and all my relationships have been a series of small traumas. There is a loneliness and lack of belonging I feel. There is an emptiness in my life porn creates and fills. I do all this to self-soothe.

Core emotional issues and themes:
  • Attachment issues. Unprocessed relationship grief, resentment, sadness, confusion, attachment, longing, jealousy
  • Lack of purpose on an ultimate level, mundane level and career/life level
  • Aging and appearance - Clinging to youth, relevance and what they mean - Apperance based worth
  • Highly sensitive plus a noisy ruminative mind - issues around self-regulation
  • Being behind in life, executive dysfunction, overwhelm, paralysis, addiction/default to planning but not initiating - Not in the career I wanted
  • Loneliness, No real hobbies, trouble initiating them based on the above. Lack of belonging
  • Regret
  • Chronic invalidation
  • Chronic pleasing and reassurance seeking - Low assertiveness and self-defense
  • Highly sensitive with emotional dysregulation
  • Childhood neglect, conflict and immature parent, family dysfunctions and conflict growing up
  • CPTSD - Many small traumas
  • Chronic shame all tied in and low sense of identity - Using criticism, perfection and pressure as motivation. Extreme self-pressure - Not good at dropping things to focus on the important. Everything is important (also an executive function issue)
 
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Gonna try a question based format based on the intro post and adjust it over time.

Did I act-out today?
In the middle of the night yes. After waking, no, not porn, but I'm still on dating and sexual sites and seeking out casual sex semi-successfully. By that I mean I've found interested third-parties. But deep down, based on my sexual dysfunctions, I'm terrified. And an aspect of my intuition tells me it's all porn inspired and self-soothing. A way to get my dopamine because porn doesn't cut it anymore. There is a lot of artificial sexual content and triggers in the process. A lot of dopamine driven seeking. Just work and being burnt out is probably the only thing stopping me most the time. Bed is usually the issue.

What are some patterns I engaged in?
Just what I mentioned about

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress?
With sugar. I also noticed how bad my tendency is to seek reassurance at every moment.

Anything else on my mind?
I use porn as an escape from reality. I need to change my focus to nonduality, oneness, unity. I need to seek truth. I need to meditate and rewire my brain that way. Use my suffering. Make exploring my experience my main focus and refuge. Instead of external things, I need to look inside. I need to make my constant moment to moment experience and existence my refuge.

What am I grateful for today?
I'm living in a nicer place than I used to with nicer people and I'm lucky. It's clean, modern, tidy and I feel more like I belong here. I'm looking forward to a holiday soon where I'll see my family.

Lessons going ahead?
Charge my phone away from my bed. Quit all the dating and sex sites but keep in touch with the nice people. Delete Snapchat and similar chat apps. True satisfaction comes from the mind/oneness and break from being "you", not from material objects or fleeting sensations based on reactions to externals. I need to re-read dopamine nation. Sleep and eat better. Simplify my habits. Get the baseline down. Focus on oneness. Use firm-self compassion and nothing else to move ahead. Refuse to do it any other way.
 
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Did I seek or act-out today in any way? What are some unhelpful patterns I engaged in (not just porn)?
Again it's subtle things. I linger on sexual content during mindless browsing. I still check accounts I should have deleted by now and feel conflicted about even though I know deep down what to do. I haven't let go of my seeking of sex. It's been a long time since I've had it. I've been super socially anxious lately. Porn contributes. And I've been interested in too many girls at once and giving off the wrong impression to some that I really like them a lot. Other unhealthy habits include beating myself up over things. I always get overwhelmed and depressed how behind I am on everything at this time of year and how much older I am. None of this is new. It's all a loop I've been in for years.

What do I still need to gently practice being more accepting of?
My progress. My life up until this point and all the influences on me that have led to this point which haven't fully been in my control. The external standards I measure myself up against. The things I think I should be doing. My appearance and age. The fact things take time and the stages I'm truly at, not where I want to be. I need to keep starting where I am. I need to be more accepting that I also can't do everything I want at once and to go easier on myself in general. I feel really down on my age.

What am I justifying too much? What are some blind-spots I can think of?
The dating apps and seeking sexual partners online

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress?
I didn't really. Just sugar again.

Hows my sleep, nutrition, hydration and exercise?
I do go to bed each night at a reasonable time but my phone and nervous system are an issue. I also tense up a lot in bed. Nutrition is bad. Lots of sugar still Avoiding cooking. Hydration needs work. I walk heaps as I always do but do need to do more posture work.

Anything else on my mind?
I hate how tense I am after social interactions. I hate how much I have to force my personality and calmness these days. I really do inhibit how much of me I share with the world and then resent myself for it. I'm too ashamed to be my full self with others in terms of vocabulary, interests, humor etc. Confidence is very low.

What am I grateful for today?
I have a good workplace surrounded by great people. Had one workmate really open up to me about panic attacks he had in the past after I mentioned I do meditation. I have a nice easy job.

Lessons for resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
We need a balance of equanimity, wisdom and compassion. Addiction is a selfish pleasure based behaviour even if we don't fully control it. Recovery is for others too. It's also for the sake of everyone we are gonna have an impact on. We need to connect to heal. Equanimity is an objective nonjudgemental awareness of things as they are. Not getting too attached to good feelings just as much as the bad. Just accepting the flow of life stoically. Mindfully. The kind of Radical Acceptance seen in DBT. We need to be more aware of our minds through mindfulness, self-awareness and meditation. Dopamine, pain and pleasure are all linked in the brain. The world bombards us with it all.

Lessons and actions going ahead?
Accepting reality. I still need to live life and if I don't accept reality as it is, it's just going to get harder and harder. I need to accept what levels of control I have and take the recovery seriously. Digital minimalism is an area I also need to get back into exploring. With sex, I think it's not bad I want it, but it's difficult to reconcile the dating app stuff. I need to learn also not to hide my true self so much. Going way, way easier on me. Giving myself more time in life and being more forgiving of my regrets, progress and appearance. Working on the roots of the addiction matters most. The traumas and sensitivity. The mindfulness. The list in my first post. I need to let go of the past to move forward. I need to come into alignment with my new direction towards seeking nondual awareness and oneness which is already present. Remember the difference between pain and suffering!

Here are the 10 steps to practicing Radical Acceptance according to DBT’s founder, Marsha Linehan:
  1. Observe that you are questioning or fighting reality (“it shouldn’t be this way”)
  2. Remind yourself that the unpleasant reality is just as it is and cannot be changed (“this is what happened”)
  3. Remind yourself that there are causes for the reality (“this is how things happened”)
  4. Practice accepting with your whole self (mind, body, spirit) - Use accepting self-talk, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and/or imagery
  5. List all of the behaviors you would engage in if you did accept the facts and then engage in those behaviors as if you have already accepted the facts
  6. Imagine, in your mind’s eye, believing what you do not want to accept and rehearse in your mind what you would do if you accepted what seems unacceptable
  7. Attend to body sensations as you think about what you need to accept
  8. Allow disappointment, sadness or grief to arise within you
  9. Acknowledge that life can be worth living even when there is pain
  10. Do pros and cons if you find yourself resisting practicing acceptance
 
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Did I seek or act-out today in any way? What are some unhelpful patterns I engaged in (not just porn)?
In the background yes. I have people on hold. People from dating apps. For the attention. To fill the void. To feel desirable. I let myself be distracted by things today. To have sex so I feel like somebody actually wants me in that way. As I am now, I feel like nobody has ever wanted that from me outside a relationship. I also act out in bed still at midnight and after midnight.

What am I truly seeking?
Connection. Being wanted. Knowing my body still works. Feeling good about myself. Feeling confident. Feeling attractive, wanted. Feeling included. Feeling excitement and replacing boredom and loneliness. Adding variety to a mundane boring life. Not missing out on the stuff the privledged lucky people get to do. Clinging to my youth and making up for the boringness of it all and the wasted time. The not going out.

How strong is my sense of purpose and my progress in this area?
In an intention-based phase. Some bits of exploration here and there. Thoughts about career in my head on the mundane life level.

What do I still need to practice being (gently) more accepting of?
That I can't do everything at once, that things take time and that time is still finite. That things happened the way they did and I can't go back. To be here and now instead, always, come back to now. To simplify always.

What am I justifying too much? What are some blind-spots I can think of?
Holding onto the dating apps and sites. The couples and females I'm in touch with. It might be fun what I'm seeking but it's not for healthy reasons.

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress? What feelings am I avoiding or stuffing down? Am I allowing discomfort and pain? Can I let myself just be sad?
I've been letting a family members health issues get to me. The fact they hide it from me and won't admit or accept it. I have some resentment for my mother how she doesn't care for herself well and held me back in life because of it. I also have time anxiety right now and feeling all my inner self-pressure regarding all the things I was meant to have sorted out by now and could have.

What do I need compassion for from myself? What ways do I beat myself up? Do I feel selfish for putting myself 1st?
Just how much I'm a product of the environment. That it's not all my fault, just up to me to fix. Once I find a purpose that is. I need a strong sense of purpose to hold this all together. I beat myself up for feeling slow and behind in life.

How's my sleep, nutrition, hydration and exercise? How are my foundations and basics? Am I distracted? What's distracting me? What am I putting off?
Sleep not so great. Nutrition horrible on holiday with family. Hydration has been bad. Exercise not so great either. I'm definitely letting my sexual desires and dating desires distract me, as well as feelings for my ex still which I haven't let go of despite it almost being a year now.

Anything else on my mind?
I need to get healthy and be in healthy relationship. I need to recover and then re-evalutate my sexual tastes and interests, my desires etc. I relaxed well in social situations today.

What's going well (in general)?
Like I just mentioned above. I have hope again. I've simplified my habits and tasks more.

What am I grateful for today?
Family. Sunshine. Peaceful moments of contentment. Relaxing into what is. Being radically accepting.

Lessons from resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
Radical acceptance is accepting, even your non-acceptance. Habits need replacements. Addictive behaviors should not be treated as habits. Radical acceptance and equanimity are about the same thing really.

Lessons and actions going ahead? Can I take any right now and after this post? (Review what you wrote)
Suffering is baseline for humans. Anything you feel, someone else is. We are all in this. You are never alone in any single issue you're facing. Sleep is one I've put off so long and need to sort out majorly. As lonely as it is, I need to be intentionally single and dating-app-less for a while. I need to accept that technology is unnatural even if it's socially dominant right now. I need to find belonging and I can't do that while I make myself more and more anxious and ashamed through porn use. I need to keep living simply. I need to get myself sorted before I try sort and let all of other peoples issues get to me too. It might feel selfish but I need to. Reality is messy and confusing for everyone. I need to settle into that more. I need to accept I'm in control of very little so I can let go and focus on the tiny bits I can nudge in the right direction to reshape my future and transform truly.
 

Simon2

Active Member
Welcome to RN! You seem to have many insights into your situation, which is great and will be helpful in overcoming your addiction. Are you seeing a therapist? Might be helpful? For me, it helped to link my insights to concrete actions in my life.

Stay strong!
 
Thanks. Yeah I've been meaning to get a therapist. Had a bad experience with the last one. Taking action and initiative and not avoiding things has always been a huge issue and part of the executive dysfunction brought on by compulsive unwanted porn use. Really appreciate you taking a moment to check out my journal.
 
Did I seek or act-out today in any way? What are some unhelpful patterns I engaged in (not just porn)?
Just got home from a long holiday with family. As soon as I returned here, I lost everything and binged and even spent money on porn and dating apps. A full backfire. My mother doesn't know how to look after herself and neglected me growing up. I'm scared of basic adult tasks so I delay and put them off. As a result I'm a terrible cook and very self conscious to cook in front of others. Especially at 28 years old with zero experience. I feel so shit and ashamed about it. All the basic recipes don't follow the plant based diet I want to adhere to. I binged like crazy and sought out things that aren't within my natural sexuality but enough to give me my baseline dopamine.

What am I truly seeking?
Normality from the damage porn has done. I am simply dopamine driven and in a dopamine deficit.

How strong is my sense of purpose and my progress in finding it?
Listened to some Rupert Spira. Reading a Buddhist recovery book. Trying to remember now and again to come back to the present and let the truths I'm learning sink in during everyday life. Remembering reality is always, already, one, whole and complete. Anything else I do within that is supported by that, wether things fail or go well for me. Either way. It's up to me what I want to do but ulimtatley I am unconditionally held by existence. I am a fragment of existence. Neither worthless nor full of importance.

What do I still need to practice being (gently) more accepting of?
My appearance for sure. I hate my face, my hair, my imperfections, my asymmetries. My ex wrote in her diary a list of reasons to leave me including that I was ugly. It's stayed with me a long time now. I also need to accept reality in general. Just accept where things are at and not dwell so much on where I keep wishing they had been by now. I also need to accept being single.

What am I justifying too much? What are some blind-spots I can think of?
Dating apps still. I could just delete them but I'm compulsively drawn to them as much as the porn. I need to quit them alongside the porn.

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress? What feelings am I avoiding or stuffing down? Am I allowing discomfort and pain? Can I let myself just be sad?
All the stuff I mentioned above. Having a bus trip helped and listening to helpful books is helping. But my life here alone is hard to manage in terms of enforcing my own consequences. Listening to podcasts on Nonduality is helpful too. I just need to stop taking free time and money as triggers to seek out sex. I need to allow myself a period of abstinence.

What do I need compassion for from myself? What ways do I beat myself up? Do I feel selfish for putting myself 1st?
Trauma. Trauma is why I'm here. Not big trauma, just trauma. Appearance. I need to accept how I look. I don't think I need to like it necessarily or fool myself I look great, I just need to accept myself as I am and maintain perspective. I want to put myself first, I don't feel selfish.

How's my sleep, nutrition, hydration and exercise? How are my foundations and basics? Am I distracted? What's distracting me? What am I putting off?
Sleep is bad. I have the start of a resolve to sort habits around this. Nutrition was bad during my trip but better here at home. More conscious. I'm just still scared of cooking and knowing what to cook. Fear of making mistakes, basic ones, and looking silly in front of experienced others. It's a genuine fear I've made massive in my mind.

Anything else on my mind?
My parent smokes and keeps it a secret from the family but we all know it. Their cough is horrible and I worry for them but find it too hard to confront them due to how they reacted in the past. I've never had a figure of reassurance because they never even knew how to care for themselves. I've also been thinking that the point of relapsing, there's no control so finding solutions for that point is pointless. We need to focus on the things we can control. Prevention and learning from the setbacks.

Other thoughts I had today:

Imagine a building

- Porn is a room inside another room called the internet
- The internet is a room you can get to via an elevator - the elevator being your phone
- The internet room is full of valuable things but it also contains the porn room
- The elevator is in a room representing your life, but it hasn't been well maintained, there's a door leading to a room of bliss, joy and contentment but it's gotten sealed shut and blocked off by trash.

Just a random thought about how we all know deep down that our devices and internet, as well as our life are the true issue. Nobody on the forums wants to admit to themselves, including me, that getting rid of devices for 90 plus days would solve 90 percent or more of our issue. But it's on my mind.

What's going well (in general)?
My resolve and my new direction. Me coming back to logging my progress and self-reflecting. Meta-cognition is an important executive skill and without these questions, I wouldn't find these posts as easy, but now I'm enjoying them. Plus each post and life experience inspires new questions. I didn't fight with my mother much which can happen when I see her. We both clash often over how I approach things. We trigger each other easily. I've gotten back into habit tracking but with rules to make sure I keep things simple. Being with my family helped me feel refreshed.

What am I grateful for today?
The fact I had a break and some free time today and I'm feeling more okay in general about certain things. In hindsight, a lot of past worries seem silly now and just part of an old phase and story and that feels good. I've also grown out of certain girls I used to be distracted by in public but now see as immature.

Lessons from resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
The happiness setpoint of dopamine. For every bit of pleasure or pain, the brain tries to rebalance the scales but the scales can be overpowered by the pain side while the pleasure side is weakened and we need more and more just to feel normal. The best solution is to go towards suffering more in general. Mindfulness is an important factor in nearly every solution I've come across for everything in my life. The model we have of reality matters too because it informs every single thing we do and all our values and what matters to us. Knowing that the universe and all creatures share the same one nature, means we must treat everything with compassion. We never have to like, but it's neccesary that we love. Cues will always trigger us for life. Years of abstinence and we can still trigger the massive pathway we have formed. We just have to use it less and less as much as possible.

Lessons and actions going ahead? Can I take any right now and after this post? (Review what you wrote)
Need to work on sleep and appearance acceptance.
 
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Simon2

Active Member
Finding ways to make ourselves feel better about who we are is key. You are not ugly. Maybe you don't conform to beauty standards, but you know some very successful people do not. You can be beautiful inside too.

Since you mentioned how bad you are at cooking - maybe that's an avenue for growth and starting to feel good about yourself. Cooking isn't a mystery you can't conquer. Order a vegan cookbook. Maybe start with a search for "easy vegan cooking" or something. Try some recipes. Realize that you CAN do it. Feeling better about ourselves is a key to leaving addictions behind I think...

Maybe you read your cook book a bit before going to bed - make a plan for something you'll shop for and cook the next day :) ... kill two birds with one stone lol. - or not - but I also find that I need a routine for bed that doesn't involve PMO - which I did for so long just before going to sleep. Also, leaving your electronic devices far away from your bed - if you tend to do PMO in bed before sleeping.

Stay strong!
 
Yeah, you're right. It's always come back to chronic shame and low self-compassion. High standards for myself and trying to meet high external ones. Comparing myself. I'm gonna try focus on my inner beauty but that's not easy for me in the slightest. I still wanna look after the looks I have as well. And yes, cooking will help me a lot long term. It will be a way to show myself that I'm worth looking after. Tomorrow night it will likely be vegan pasta. My ADHD symptoms make all this shit so annoying to manage. There's so many very important things on my plate all the time. They would be less if hadn't put them all off. Sometimes I literally just forget them amongst the sea of others.

Had a dream about my ex trying to get me back or at least keep me around via a phone call. I said everything I thought of her and how much she hurt me. Woke up unable to fall back asleep. Luckily I had put my phone on charge away from the bed and made new rules for what I call rest hours as opposed to sleep hours. The rules are that, at bedtime, I don't have to think about anything at all, nothing. I don't have to force that state either. I don't even have to relax if I can't. I just am allowed to not think and to enjoy just being there in bed no matter what happens or what comes up sensation-wise in my body. I come back to the moment, I forget about time, it doesn't matter. And I definitely don't worry about if I will sleep or not. I trust my boy will do that automatically when it needs, so long as I provide the best conditions for it.

That's how we need to treat meditation as well as our lives too. Especially recovery. We don't try force or control, we build the conditions for the recovery to grow in. We maintain that and the weeds take care of themselves or we just don't notice them anymore.

If we look at our lives like this one object. The object is slowly being eaten away at by mould and grime. The longer we leave it, the harder it will be to hide the damage done once we clean it all up and restore it. That's why this is urgent. But that stuff doesn't come off easily. It takes a lot of effort and can grow back. We need a lot of tools to clean it. Some of it will remain as dark patches we will have to accept as part of it now. That's what addiction is. It's slowly eating away at our lives every day and the later we leave it, the worse it will get. We need to know it will keep eating away even when we are in phases of denial or avoiding recovery.
 
After reading yesterday's lessons, how can I avoid acting out again? How can I break my unhelpful patterns?
I need to keep learning about Dopamine. Need to work through the book Dopamine Nation more.

How can I continue to explore purpose today?
Use the Sam Harris Waking Up app. Listen to the Rupert Spira podcast. Look into further study.

How can I be more accepting of things today?
Focusing on the parts I can control like always. Practice radical acceptance.

What are healthier ways to soothe my anxiety or stress today? Allowing discomfort, sadness. And stop avoiding? Can I be compassionate, easier on myself and put myself first?
Mindfulness, acceptance, self-compassion. Presence. Coming back to the moment. Remembering I'm part of something much bigger. Replacing bad habits with healthier ones.

How was my sleep, how can I make sure I move more and eat well today? How can I stay focused and focus on my priorities?
Sleep went great with my guidelines in place for myself. I need ones I can consistently track. I need to focus on being plant based at the very least and with no added sugar! Anything else is fine for now. Those are the main two I wanna make habitual for now. I have been tracking added sugar so I will keep doing that. I also need to avoid caffeine and dairy. They make me anxious and have poor digestion. I also need to sort out the broken tooth I currently have. I need to make it a habit to read my personal priority list each day too.

How will I address my justifications and blind-spots? And what actions can I take right now?
I need to eradicate dating sites and sex sites. I just have to as much as I hate it. I need to find other ways to solve my loneliness and insecure attachment. I need to question my need for a relationship to resolve everything in my life because it could never work that way. The promise of sex and not being lonely is what sucks me in. It's a desperate need to find out if anybody wants me at all because I don't sense it.

Anything else?
Nobody else is ever gonna fully be able to help me with this. I need to do it myself. Not alone, because we all need support. And therapy will help. But this needs to be my own recovery, I need to see my own system work out so that I know I'm capable. That the recovery was mine. So I don't feel reliant on others in the future. So if I ever slip, it's not because I was dependent on anybody and lost touch with them. No God or miracle can do it for me because then it's not mine to claim. No lessons learned, no core issues seen, no healing. Recovery breaks up open into something better if we are willing to endure the pain of it.
 
I didn't finish this but the draft saved so...

Did I seek or act-out today in any way? What are some unhelpful patterns I engaged in (not just porn)?
Yeah, after work. Binging! Why? Because I got triggered. Simple trigger. Porn use escalates. I'm into gay stuff now and stuff that I just really wouldn't be into otherwise. Deep down I know I'm not naturally into that.

What am I truly seeking? (Don't ever forget how dopamine works!)
Like I said earlier, dopamine. The addiction itself is the core thing. Yes I had some neglect growing up that needs work, and I'm hyper sensitive so emotional regulation is important. But ultimately, I'm just addicted to an addictive hijacking "thing" which itself causes most of the pain and issues that have driven my use and kept me stuck in life.
 
Did I seek or act-out today in any way? What are some unhelpful patterns I engaged in (not just porn)?
Yeah. Dating apps. Grindr for attention and dopamine. To fill loneliness. Snapchat with people from dating apps who I am leading on and not committing to.

What am I truly seeking?
Dopamine. Attention. Worth. Being wanted. Sex. Relationships. My ex back but not actually her.

How are my connections in life?

I need more friends. I avoid my flatties too much.

How strong is my sense of purpose and my progress in finding it?
Pretty strong actually, at least with the ideas I'm still exposing myself to. It's helping. The Buddhist recovery book 'Enough' is good. Been working through it slowly.

What do I still need to practice being (gently) more accepting of?
Loneliness and being single. Not having sex. Both of these while I sort my shit. Sacrifice and payoffs. I need to make sacrifices and remain constantly aware of the payoffs of those.

What am I justifying too much? What are some blind-spots I can think of?
The idea that my sexual urges are natural. They're not at a natural level. They are me trying to escape the void porn used to fill. If I need to use similar tools to porn like dating apps, if they aren't real life, if they are unnatural and superficial and the things I want sexually aren't obtainable in this moment through meeting someone and going through the stages and earning the sex, then I should come back to the present even if I don't like it.

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress? What feelings am I avoiding or stuffing down? Am I allowing discomfort and pain? Can I let myself just be sad?
All of the above. Took time off work. Listened to podcasts. Read recovery stuff. Being more accepting of my life and each moment.

What do I need compassion for from myself? What ways do I beat myself up? Do I feel selfish for putting myself 1st?
Being behind. And not comparing myself to my ex.

How's my sleep, nutrition, hydration and exercise? How are my foundations and basics? Am I distracted? What's distracting me? What am I putting off?
Sleep was shit. Caffeine I have to quit. I have a bad habit of getting coffees at McDonald's and it's ingrained. I need a replacement warm drink habit.

Anything else on my mind?
Either my flatmate feels awkward or rejected because I don't talk to them much. Fuck I need to stop leading people on. I've been doing it too much lately. It's because I haven't processed my last relationship. Also I fear my flatmates have seen the internet history somehow and I'm deeply ashamed if they have. Feel like there's no going back from that. Tramadol is giving me euphoria and making me realise how much I need serotonin in my life.

What's going well (in general)?
I know my direction. I've been more content lately. I've settled down on being hard on myself in many ways. I feel a strong sense of knowing what I'm into again. I also, through these posts and how they remind me of my intentions, have deleted my dating apps more. Not 100 percent but more accounts I didn't need. I always remember this:

It may look like you're slipping still, and in your current context yes you are, but you don't know how much chaos you're containing ever. Today could've been a 10 relapses day and you prevented it through all the work up until now. You have one relapse and feel shit? As long as you're consistently making some kind of effort, you're still progressing.

What am I grateful for today?
Cat slept on me. Was cute. I'm very aware of my common humanity these days and shared suffering of the human race. It's making me feel normal as well as closer to everyone.

Lessons from resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
Mindfulness, meditation, introspection, equanimity. Training the mind with meditation for better thinking habits because the ones you currently have haven't worked. Coming back to the present. The body. Not thoughts and imagery. They are secondary. You are the observer.

Lessons and actions going ahead? Can I take any right now and after this post? (Review what you wrote)
No more dating apps! Find healthier dopamine. Find natural serotonin. Cook! Learn to cook! Stop leading people on. Be single, lonely and feel shit for a while. Remember sacrifices and payoff! Learn about making friends. Compare yourself only to YOU. Replace coffee. Try talk to your flatties more. Contain the chaos. Meditate!
 
Am I willing to be radically self-honest (not just to impress the imaginary others or say the "right" thing)? What are my biggest reasons why I want recovery right now? Selfish ones are fine too...
Yes. I need my life back. I need my executive function back. I want natural rewards back in my life. I want a partner. I want real, great feeling sex one day. I want to be able to feel less socially anxious. I want the things I learn in recovery to flow over into my life. I want my life to make recovery natural.

Did I seek or act-out today in any way? What are some unhelpful patterns I engaged in (not just porn)? How can I prevent it repeating?
Three remaining accounts: A sexual encounter one, Snapchat contacts, and a dating app I haven't deleted.

What am I truly seeking? What are my actual intentions deep down and even deeper than that still?
Companionship. Intimacy. Touch. Pleasure. Fun. Excitement. Love. Being wanted. Being valid. Being normal. Being seen. Being part of humanity. Belonging. Having more experiences. Not missing out. Feeling in control. Feeling equal to others I'm envious or jealous of or above them, better than them in some way. Emotional distraction and numbing. Relief. A sense of fulfillment and like I've finally arrived.

How can I achieve some of the above in healthy ways long-term?
Trying to make more friends. Prioritising my own joy and hobbies. Doing fun and exciting things. Self-compassion. Emotional regulation and being with discomfort. Seeking enlightenment! Finding a healthy partner

How strong is my sense of purpose and my progress in finding it? How connected do I feel to life, others, nature, the universe?
I am on the right track. I intuitively feel it deep down but I forget to integrate it. I need to stop separating it from my life and remember it informs every moment of my life. Distraction from this can get in the way of spiritual progression. So long as it's a genuine seeking and doesn't make me bypass my problems or make me isolate from others more.

How are my connections in life?
My social skills were very good today. I'll be honest though, I find it easier with people I see as lower than me on some measure. I had great chats with my colleague today and a distance friend on the phone. I am high on Tramadol lately for pain releif and that was making socializing easier because there wasn't this underlying tension I usually carry around with me.

What do I still need to practice being (gently) more accepting of?
My appearance still. And the achievement stuff. Just generally accepting where I'm at. That I can't change others nor should I get so worked up about things in others I haven't even resolved in myself.

What am I justifying too much? What are some blind-spots I can think of? In what ways am I feeding a victim-hood still? (go deep)
That I can do this slowly. Yes patience is good but some stuff I could do immediately and am capable of it. I think the patience should more be applied to myself when I slip and when I genuinely am struggling. But some of it I could put more effort into. I think I also need to work on the things in myself that I resent others for that I mentioned above. I think that's a tool I can use to overcome the multitude of resentments I hold for my ex partners but also my mother. I love them but I have a lot of bottled stuff which I know can harm me deep down. I need to stop edging and self-touching too. I also let myself use my phone in bed sometimes too and ignore my true desires to build better sleep habits. I have trouble reconciling natural normal sexuality to compulsion and feeling like I'm using people to get what I need. I also break my own rules. The rational and reward parts of the brain have this split where I'll be writing these journals while another part of my continues my chats with people on the dating site for example. I also have the issue of thinking sometimes that journalling it is me working on it completely and it's only the meta-cognitive aspect, it's not the initiation and persistence aspect. I guess I really do need to go deeper and deeper into my intentions when I explore them!

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress? What feelings am I avoiding or stuffing down? Am I allowing discomfort and pain? Can I let myself just be sad? How am I coping with my natural sensitivity? What could I be doing better? What am I pretending to be okay about?
Tramadol is doing the trick. I can see why people get addicted. I need more endorphins, serotonin and dopamine in my life from natural sources. Because of that, I can't really tell what's helping me from my own actions. I AM being less harsh on myself. I'm definitely less ashamed of some things I used to hate myself for. I guess I do crosswords and walk a lot. I listen to audiobooks to help me recover. In fact I work through a tiny bit of all of them each day. Curently it's Dopamine Nation, Russel Brand's Recovery book and ENOUGH! (buddhist recovery book). It's really helping me. I did 15 minutes of meditation. I'm doing it as a tiny habit where any amount counts. I'm building the foundation of a habit pathway in my brain for it. I'm stuffing down resentment and the unresolved traumas of my past relationship where I wasn't seen or heard. I'm avoiding my fear of cooking because it feels so embarrasing and shameful to me inside. I eat food. I make tea. I distract myself.

What do I need compassion for from myself? What ways do I beat myself up? Do I feel selfish for putting myself 1st and am I?
I'm feeling okay at the moment. I guess my aging appearance is the only one I really hyper fixate on and the cooking thing. I guess I also just expect so much from myself. But I'm more proactive about that aspect now.

How's my sleep?
Again the pills are helping but that's making it hard to tell how it would be otherwise. I'm dreaming more. I'm getting good about charging my phone away from the bed. If I didn't already mention, I use Habitica for my habit tracking. I never use it for addictive behaviours because I think addictions and habits are separate and addictions shouldn't be punished. I think if there are tiny addictive behaviours that I'm actually fully capable of it's okay. But yeah, conditioning bed to be a place of presence and rest is slowly working I think.

Hows my nutrition and hydration?
Better but bad. Hydration is more conscious and improving. Learning to cook will help so much. I keep making exceptions to my goals. Especially around meat, sugar and dairy.

Hows my exercise and movement habits? Ergonomics? Mobility? What can I work on?
I sit badly. I need an exercise ball. I need to not force good posture though either. That can lead to even MORE tension. Tech use contributes to a lot of my chronic tensions. I need to join classes I think

How are my foundations and basics (adult general self care)? Am I distracted? What's distracting me? What am I putting off?
I need to get onto appointments. Putting health first when it comes to money. Investing in me and my future and recovery. Just need to get better at cooking.

Did I meditate? How is my mindfulness, presence, equanimity? How integrated is it?
Getting better but during and after work it tends to diminish. The waking up app has good mindful moment reminders. Maybe I need more apps like that.

Anything else on my mind?
I like that forcing myself to interact with my flatmates is lessening my anxiety and increasing my sense of belonging and wellbeing. It's so good. I do think I need to spend less time in my room and more with them. I also need to make more effort to do social things. I have an event coming up but I really don't wanna dance at it. I might challenge myself to still go along.

What's going well (in general)?
This logging habit. I enjoy the question format I've creating and how it evolves naturally

What intentions, truths and/or perspectives held daily, could completely change my life for the better?
Your character and compassion matter more than your appearance, so does your intellect. It's a miracle you are alive. People are worse off. You are the universe and belong here. You breathe the air. You are one, we are all one.

What am I grateful for today?
Myself for taking better care of me slowly and putting it at such high importance and realizing it's value. Wanting a better life for myself and now knowing I deserve it and can achieve it. Or at least be kinder when I'm struggling through it. I've been really validating my past self a lot more lately.

Lessons from resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
Addiction at it's core is pain. Physical and emotional. As well as spiritual. It's an area that causes out of control chaos that we can only change by finding something more powerful and the only thing I've come to the conclusion of is the nondual direct path. The realisation of our true nature and the implications of that. Dopamine and serotoning is released when soliving crosswords so gotta do more of those. Prefrontal function increases honesty and honesty is fundamental to recovery and connection with others. It also may strengthen the prefrontal cortex in itself. It's essential to be honest and vulnerable as much as possible. Radical honesty.
 
Lessons and actions going ahead? Can I take any right now and after this post? (Review what you wrote) Immediate actions?
Am I willing to be radically self-honest? What are my biggest reasons why right now?

I need to go towards natural rewards and hobbies. Have fun. Do fun stuff. Know I deserve it. Balance neurotransmitters. Sort my online seeking. Be kinder and kinder to myself but firm, realistic and honest about my capability. Put in effort where I'm actually capable. Love myself so I can be loved by others and love them better but not put it off until I'm perfect. We need others in order to love ourselves too. We need support in life. But no more comparrisons. I need to set connection s my destination. Not fixate on finding a partner but instead fixating on being someone a partner would love to spend time with, be happy to have around etc. Being present, here and now, as much as I humanly remember to. Stick to the ancient and modern paths to help me with it. Love myself no matter how I look and always remember to go towards whats truly important in life. And yes, things may be important to me but there will always be things that should be higher priority and obviously that's where I should direct focus. I need to turn my projections into healing opportunities. And cooking. I can learn it slowly and turn it from a fear to a hobbies and a love in time if I set the intention and never give up. Sleep, diet, water. Treatment, meditation.

I NEED TO KNOW I AM FUNDAMENTALLY OKAY ON MY OWN AS I AM - AT MY LESS THAN IDEAL BEHAVIOURS HAVE DEEP ROOTS I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR WEEDING OUT AND GROWING NEW STUFF OVER - I AM MORE OF THAT THAN THE LATTER
 
Am I willing to be radically self-honest, not just say the "right" thing to impress imaginary others?
Yeah.

What's my biggest reason(s) for rebooting right now? (Selfish ones are fine) What's more important than porn, sex and masturbation?

I would like a high quality relationship with a good partner. There is a girl I like at work. My self-worth about my apperance and self-doubt means I'm not sure she likes me back. As a result, I froze up and ignored her today. I am beating myself up for it because she would be an ideal match for me. I want to feel the natural rewards of life again now that the Tramadol I'm on has reminded me what it's like when you have endorphins flowing and a good amount of serotonin. And fundamentally I just want change in my life. This has been with me so long. Which has just made me think of another question for these logs. What's more important that the things in the question are survival itself. Living. Breathing. Connecting. Enjoying music. Community.

Did I seek or act-out in any way or engage in any unhelpful patterns of any kind? How could I prevent repeats? Did I avoid any setbacks and how did I manage that?

Same as the past few days. It's the dating apps and the fetish/sexual community sites I'm still signed up to online. As well as seeking encounters I wouldn't have before porn including the company of men. I justify it in my head because I only view text based things but of course it's all artificial super-normal stimuli at the end of the day. Bedtime relapses are gone! Simple act of plugging my phone in to the other side of the room each night and voila. This, paired with my new sleep/rest system at night which is: The rest hours until wake-time are sacred. I don't get up even if restless, I don't need to think, I have permission to drop literally everything and not have to remember anything either. Bed it for rest only. That's it. I get up at the same time to stop the alarm every day, no exceptions, even if I slept one minute, that's how you can reset your circadian rhythm. This is a big deal because it had been an issue so long!

This has been with you a long time, are you truly willing to let go? Are you willing to make sacrifices to get there? Do you accept it's gonna need to be lifelong? Are you willing to take a higher perspective, aim for more depth and transcend this?
Yeah. I now see that containing chaos lets the rest of your life flourish. The recovery effects pour over into your life and the rest of your life starts to eventually overpower the original behaviors until they can't fit anymore. But you have to consistently contain it. It's still chaotic on the surface, but every bit counts. You have to believe that. Every bit is counting for something. Every second counts. Every small postive step even if you seem to have 10 steps back afterwards. But deep down, still clinging to seeking sex online. That's the hardest one right now. But the girl I like at my work is reminding me how much more valuable it would be having one special partner. I should dedicate myself again to looking after myself in a way that will attract (if not her) somebody healthy for me to grow alongside. I need to commit to more depth and transcendence. Higher perspective.

What am I truly seeking and intending deep, deep down? How can I achieve that long term?

Same as yesterday. Relief and escape from hollowness.

How strong is my sense of purpose and my progress in finding it? How connected do I feel to life?

Yeah I remember it now and again. It's a reassurance in the background to fall back on. Nothing too active today.

How are my connections in life? How's socializing at work and home going? Are you staying in touch with friends and fam?

I still haven't fully let go of tensing myself up in social settings even though I know I belong. I need to remember I truly do belong in my workplace. As for friends, I do need to try make more outside of work. Currently I have none.

What do I still need to practice being (gently) more accepting of?

Slow progress. Messiness. Just starting and persisting THEN improving later. Mortality and time. The implications. My age in terms of that I'm not always gonna be uber relevant and that's fine.

What am I justifying too much? What are some blind-spots I can think of? In what ways am I feeding a victim-hood still? (go deep) How am I deceiving myself? What areas am I getting too complacent in or feeling too safe about?

Again I just need to be careful of thinking awareness is enough. Awareness is 90 percent a lot of the time! But this takes effort and action too. The other part is remembering that finding out the things we have little control over doesn't mean we shouldn't still try and fail at it, while sometimes succeeding. Because sometimes we are more capable, and sometimes that's the exact thing we need to do anyway to build the new pathways. Edging is a bit of a hard one for me to track but I need to be conscious of it more somehow. I do need more blocking tools. And I do need to be more immediate about preventative actions when I know for sure they will prevent repeat relapses. I need to seriously get it into my head that feeling fine now is not an indicator I'm in control of it.

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress? What feelings am I avoiding or stuffing down? Am I allowing discomfort and pain? Can I let myself just be sad? How am I coping with my natural sensitivity? What could I be doing better? What am I pretending to be okay about?

I hate my wrinkles. My forehead wrinkles. Their shape. It's because I had tissue damage as a kid so I'm resentful at my mother for not taking better care of me. I wouldn't mind them otherwise. I hate many other things about my appearance still too. It's a huge fixation and has been for a long time. I'm beating myself up over the girl I like and how I gave off the complete wrong vibes trying to play it cool around her and went dead silent multiple times. She approached me consciously and now I feel so horrible about it. UGH! I need to be kind to myself about it:

It's sweet that I like her. It's sweet that I was shy. Even if she's taken it the wrong way, it doesn't make anything fundamentally wrong with me. And it's not entirely my fault. I'm anxious and I was scared and that's normal. She may have been nervous too and waiting for you to talk. She might not even be interested in you as much as you think and that's okay too. Don't freak out just yet. Watch the movie she talked to you about so you can talk to her about it next time you see her.

What do I need compassion for from myself? What ways do I beat myself up? Do I feel selfish for putting myself 1st and am I doing it?

All of the above. And no, this is a time more than ever before I need to put myself first. Even this obsessing over a girl. I need to take it not as a sign to freak out more but to go deeper into building myself up and not freaking out if things don't work out perfectly all the time. Not forcing anything.

How's my sleep?

Going much better!

Hows my nutrition and hydration? How's the cooking going?

Made a basic meal in front of my flatmate. Still a big fear of mine. I only know this one meal. I eat out most the time. I do feel super ashamed of all that still. Nutrition has been okay but I'm still eating a lot of sugar and caffeine. Making teas impulsively at work and eating the junk that gets left out for staff.

Hows my exercise and movement habits? Ergonomics? Mobility? What can I work on?

Been too tired after work. I walk everywhere usually but that's about it. Still slouch a lot. I notice and let go of a lot of chronic tension when I can.

How are my foundations and basics (adult general self care)? Am I distracted? What's distracting me? What am I putting off?

I've been currently focused on sorting dental stuff. I need to see a doctor for anti-depressants. I'm still needing to focus on cooking and diet. I need to do laundry more often and clean my bedding much more often.

Did I meditate? How is my mindfulness, presence, equanimity? How integrated is it?

Haven't meditated yet.

Anything else on my mind?

I've forgotten how to be around girls I have interest in. Part of me hopes they will magically come after me so I don't have to go through any of the fear of asking or being rejected or making every further interaction a hell on earth.

What's going well (in general)?

Life. My life feels okay right now. It feels enough. It feels like I've got an okay baseline to work with. Money is getting a bit easier to manage. I'm generally eating better. I know my trajectories. I know what I need. I've had years of working out my root issues and that informs my choices going ahead and gives me options to explore. It all feels like loose threads but I've at least gathered them all together, found the lost ones etc. so I can eventually tie them all together in the end. I'm really good about listening to more audio-books and podcasts. It's a great habit to have. I love to learn. Especially if it helps me to be better.

What intentions, truths and/or perspectives held daily, could completely change my life for the better?

Gratitude for just being alive. The intention to put my health first when it comes to spending. The intention to meditate daily. Stubborn persistence at rebooting for the rest of my life.

What am I grateful for today? Name a win or wins...

I have a good place to work and a good place to live. I have a supportive loving family. I have people who like me at work. I have grown as a person. I am getting easier on myself by the day. I am being more of my genuine self around others. I am more vulnerable and open. I am getting more and more well liked by the others who know me. A win for today was cooking even a basic meal again.
 
How am I going to avoid relapsing after this post? (Go meditate if you haven't or meditate again) Are you gonna do a nightly reset (wipe apps off phone etc.)?
Gonna watch the movie I mentioned and make sure to plug my phone into the other side of the room.

Lessons from resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
Pro-social shame is important. It's healthy. It's why I need this log and why I need to be more vulnerable. It makes me more likeable. It makes me more honest. Honesty is essential as I said last time. I need to also remember the mindfulness and equanimity. I also need to consider joining SAA in my town. I was against it but it's better than nothing. And currently there truly is nothing. I also need to go to more groups in general.

Lessons and actions going ahead? Can I take any right now and after this post? (Review what you wrote) Immediate actions? Am I willing to be radically self-honest? What are my biggest reasons why right now?
Being more myself. Not trying to impress. Being more genuine. I need to keep focusing on myself and improving myself over all else. Face fears more often. Go towards what I want. Go easier on myself. Connect more, it's so important. More groups and more friends. Groups of people who want the same as me. I need to delete the accounts. Also need to keep up the sleep routines. I need to seek my relief in spirituality and the rest of my life. I need to let myself go into a state of deprivation then compensate and soothe over a long period from within that state WITH HEALTHY FORMS OF THESE THINGS. Just starting things and being patient. Dive into the mess. Use blockers. Accept my appearance. Keep learning how to cook. Sort important appointments etc. Being grateful. Meditate to change your brain and mind.
 
Unfinished post which triggered me and I relapsed from it. It's the backfire effect I often get. I have arbitrary rules in my head which are this:
  1. Knowing it's truly time to give something up that I want
  2. Going to delete it or eliminate it
  3. Getting sucked in and trying to get as much of it as I can before I have to give it up for good (re-inforcing my desire for it and the brain pathways) (usually before midnight which my brain says is the reset point, a.k.a. gotta get as much as I can before tomorrow which is when I'll truly stop this)
  4. Going on a binge and falling asleep, repeating it the next morning day or night
I think the best way to sort it is when I'm not in the mood for it.

Am I willing to be radically self-honest, not just say the "right" thing to impress imaginary others?
Yeah. I do need to be honest with myself or no progress will be made and I'll be further from reality which is the opposite of what I want.

What's my biggest reason(s) for rebooting right now? (Selfish ones are fine) What's more important than porn, sex and masturbation?
Executive function. I'm so pissed how long it's paralyzed me and kept me locked up in cycles and blaming myself. I looked back on a year ago and I was in the exact same place, exact same struggles. Knowledge and action are entirely separate and I've spent too long thinking enough knowledge would save me. It's a delusion. A complete and total delusion. I shouldn't stop gaining it but I should stop trusting it, relying on it or thinking it will change anything anymore. Not with an ADHD type brain.

Did I stay off dating apps or trying to gain sexual encounters online? What makes it hard/easy? Can I maintain this difficult sacrifice? How am I going to deal with cravings, urges, withdrawals and sexual frustration going ahead? Why do I feel like I need it?
No I didn't. It's also an addiction. It's just the dopamine/reward system finding another way to vent out the pressure build up. I need to find a healthy relationship. But in the meantime I need to find a way to relieve sexual tension. The only ways I can think of are, going out and meeting girls which doesn't appeal to me and my sensitive nervous system, having sex with escorts which can be expensive, risky, addictive and hollow or using my sex toy fantasy-free when I'm really desperate. That or just being with the energy. It would be better to maintain my focus until one special girl comes along but part of me always doubts if that's ever gonna happen ever again.
 
Break through the fog/Break the spell (at least finish it with basic answers) (The more I accept reality, the more I'm actually dealing with and addressing it!): Am I willing to be radically self-honest, not just say the "right" thing to impress imaginary others but keep myself accountable? Am I willing to question and challenge myself on things I may want to believe that aren't true? What am I justifying too much or wanting things to be true for my own benefit? What are some blind-spots I can think of? In what ways am I feeding a victim-hood still? (go deep) How am I deceiving myself or in denial about? What areas am I getting too complacent in or feeling too safe about? Am I ignoring any external guidance?
I'm in denial about thinking newspaper escorts will be a good idea for rewarding my reboot progress as a natural reward to rewire me to the real thing and motivate me to keep long streaks. It's costly. It's superficial and hollow. They don't want me back (just my money and business). It's fueling objectification. It's an acting out of the influences of porn. I probably wouldn't feel like I need sex as much if I was rebooted so I should just wait the desperation phase out. It's just a sex addiction waiting to happen. It's me being impatient to finding a healthy partner. It removes the natural aspects of attracting mates because it requires minimal effort. Early humans couldn't have done it that easily. That includes dating apps. I'm still thinking it's a good idea to rewire my brain away from porn though while still satisfying my strong cravings. I've been to one before and it was mostly positive. The question is, if I used it to reward streaks, would I manage to not cheat and start going addictively and wasting all my money impulsively? I guess my self-honesty can only go as far as me saying right now I'm not willing to give up this idea yet. Maslows hierarchy places importance on sex as a need as far as I'm aware.

Did I seek or act-out in any way or engage in any unhelpful patterns of any kind? How could I prevent repeats? Did I avoid any setbacks and how did I manage that?
Today I edged a lot. I slept in. In the morning on went to the online sexual community I'm still a part of which is full of porn (I had deactivate it last night and reactivated it a few times today). It was my day off and still I'm letting my desperation for sex drive me. I've still been avoiding cooking. I ended up masturbating to memories and fantasies of my ex as well as stuff I intentionally looked up. I was on dating apps all day too and looked at escort pages. My sex drive and constant loneliness/sense of missing out are very powerful right now. I'm finding the single life as an average looking guy very hard. Average guys don't get very many online matches and the places to meet girls are less and less based on my personality, preferences and interests. Deep down I'm hoping this interest I have in the girl at my work and her friendship with me develops into more over time but I should be patient because I found out she split with someone days ago and had never mentioned him before. She looked pretty sad at work. I've just gotta stop sucking up to her a bit too much and talking about myself out of nervousness. I've gotta let her speak.

What's my biggest reason(s) for rebooting right now? (Selfish ones are fine) What's more important than porn, sex and masturbation?
Plain and simple: Executive functions again! The more I see about ADHD the more I relate and see all the things I've blamed myself for in life being summarized right in front of me. It's been more porn damaged brain all along. I've been trying to run on a broken leg and beating myself up for not being able to sprint. What's important is I find the contentment I'm seeking through spiritual exploration. I'm exploring it primarily t through idealism and non-duality. Sam Harris waking up style stuff. Simple meditation. Secular Buddhism.

This has been with you a long time, are you truly willing to let go? Are you willing to make sacrifices to get there? By the end of the night even? Do you accept it's gonna need to be lifelong? Are you willing to take a higher perspective, aim for more depth and transcend this? Is anything holding you back, are you able to push through it?
I've accepted this is for life and these questions do really get me thinking! I'm feeling tired and not able to complete this tonight. Not willing to fully commit. But I'm still reflecting on it somewhat. I've been studying right now if sex is a need or not.

What am I truly seeking and intending deep, deep down? How can I achieve that long term?
Relief and normality. Wellbeing. Inner balance. Contentment. A feeling of stability. I need to seek natural rewards.

How strong is my sense of purpose and my progress in finding it? How connected do I feel to life? Did I meditate? How is my mindfulness, presence, equanimity? How integrated is it?
Going well. Meditated today too. Feeling more fundamental okayness in the background more often. Gratitude for being alive. Acceptance of the way things are. Appreciation of the little things.

How are my connections in life? How's socializing at work and home going? Are you staying in touch with friends and fam?
Lots of family time today. Getting better at joining group chats and talking to partners of my siblings more than I used to. Work socialising is going well but I've gotta stop leading girls on for attention.

What do I still need to practice being (gently) more accepting of?
Still my age and appearance. The fact that I missed out on who I wanted to be because of this issue. How long it will take to resolve. My lack of major progress.

How did I soothe my anxiety or stress? What feelings am I avoiding or stuffing down? Am I allowing discomfort and pain? Can I let myself just be sad? How am I coping with my natural sensitivity? What could I be doing better? What am I pretending to be okay about?
Still wanting sex to distract the loneliness and fill the boring void in my life. Still have no friend groups outside of work.

What do I need compassion for from myself? What ways do I beat myself up? Do I feel selfish for putting myself 1st and am I doing it? How self-accepting have I been? What do I need to forgive myself and others for so I can own and take responsibility?
The stuff above. I don't accept everything. I do have anger at myself and life but I've gotta remember it's not all my fault.

How's my sleep?
Better without my phone and using my rules. But I broke them last night and this morning.

Hows my nutrition and hydration? How's the cooking going?
I skipped out on cooking. Ate a lot of deep fried and fast food today. Ate meat. Drank coffee. Had sweet stuff too. All things I wanna stop.

Hows my exercise and movement habits? Ergonomics? Mobility? What can I work on?
I haven't been working on this as much as I would want to.

Am I distracted? What's distracting me? What am I putting off? Am I finding it easy to prioritize including habits and tasks?
No but it's good I'm using Habitica and Todoist at all. It's better than nothing.

Anything else on my mind?
I need to stop staying up late.

What's going well (in general)?
These logs. My intentions. My being realistic with myself. My being easier on myself and understanding my brain and environment so I blame myself less.

What intentions, truths and/or perspectives held daily, could completely change my life for the better?
To prioritise natural highs and rewards. To balance myself chemically. To get back into genuine proven biohacks.

What am I grateful for today? Name a win or wins...
Family time. A win is making myself socialize. Making myself do this post and finish it even though I wasn't in the mood. Taking initiative to see my siblings early in the day. Remembering my medications and swallowing pills which I used to be afraid of. Drinking water. Choosing kombucha over other options to satisfy thirst and sweet cravings.

How am I going to avoid relapsing after this post? (Go meditate if you haven't or meditate again) Could you do a nightly reset now (wipe apps off phone etc.)?
Stuggling to delete the dating apps. I need to plug my phone in and lie down in bed.

Lessons from resources? Regurgitate everything you currently know off the top of your head...
Addiction is self-regulation and pain soothing. Physical and emotional pain. We need to accept ourselves in order to move forward though. ADHD is morally judged by society but is purely a broken brain and we shouldn't demonise it. I didn't choose to be exposed to porn at a young age. I could count that as a trauma even though I thought it felt good. I was still a child and another child showed it to me through his older cousin. My mother neglected me a lot growing up. I never felt I had her support. But what I'm getting at is that so much of life can be traced back to not being our fault, so blame and shame have no place. Sometimes, even regret has no place. Disappointment yes, and a resolve to fix things of course! Pain is okay. But self-directed pain on top is just like the second arrow in Buddhism. Pain is pain. Allow it. Don't add more suffering on top.
 
Lessons and actions going ahead? Can I take any right now and after this post? (Review what you wrote) Immediate actions?
I need to explore more if sex is a need and question the escort idea. I need to seriously look at my dating app behaviors and decide what I'm gonna do about my strong sexual cravings going ahead. Edging needs to stop too. I keep doing it to self-soothe and it's bound to be getting my dopamine flowing. Executive function and meditation in the context of purpose need the most focus I think. As I said, I'm seeking relief and normality. Well-being. Inner balance. Contentment. A feeling of stability. I need to seek natural rewards. I need to continue to accept how I look too and be kind and forgiving to myself. I also need to learn to cook and not be afraid of it and go kinder on myself about the whole situation. The stuff I said above applies to it too and the executive dysfunction really does explain why I've always found it so hard. Sleep needs more attention too. Tech is disrupting it a lot. I need to prioritize natural highs and rewards. To balance myself chemically. To get back into genuine proven bio-hacks.
 
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