On the way...

Sir_Cooms

Member
You are the man. GZ on overcoming this urge and going for a run. Trust me your on the right path. Before you brain gives up on your porn addicred brain pathways its strenghtens them from day 7 to around week 4 of your reebot. So its normal that this can be the toughest time that you are going through right now.

Please see Source: At time: 1:07:10

Oh my God! Thanks so much for sharing this video. I watched it 3 years ago and it was my first in-depth introduction to porn addiction and how it affected me. I will give the whole thing another watch. Thanks so much!
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
The reboot process takes 90 days, you could be feeling down as a natural result of your brain detoxing from porn use.
Stay the course! Like you said, in the past you've started feeling better after the 2-3 month mark. Keep pushing through

Yeah, you're right. It's very easy to forget that it's all part of the process when you're in the middle of the storm. The real gift is being mindful that the urge is not permanent and it is all part of the process.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
"I will look back on my journal and be proud of how far I’ve come." - your own words.
Keep going, man. 💪
You are an inspiration.

Thank you amtunja5j for stopping by! I should give all my past entries a read when I make it to 30 days. Things are definitely easier today than they were on the first week.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 28 – No PMO:

Time flies quickly. It feels like only yesterday that I got started journaling. I am grateful for being consistent with my entries. They played a big part in me not losing hope because when I first started four weeks ago, I was in a really dark place – trying desperately to stay positive while my depression and anxiety were eating away at me. I still have strong BDD symptoms when I start the day but my mind ‘re-calibrates’ quicker than before so I don’t find myself in that mood for long. I take this as a positive sign that things are improving.

I am starting to shift my focus now on how to improve my environment. I really want financial independence. I don’t want to have to work a 9-5 anymore. I’m not very good at it. I look commuters on the way to work, and my colleagues at the office, and many of them just seem to fit in fine. I am still struggling on the other hand. I don’t like having to get on meetings and put on a ‘fun’ face. I am not very eloquent like other people are and don’t want to participate in bullshit parties with people. I just want to do my work and leave. Worst of all, I try to avoid meeting with my boss, who seems to enjoy giving me a hard time every time she runs into me. I hate all of this. I am grateful that we have a roof over our head and that both my wife and I are bringing in money. But I really fantasize about being independent. Both in location and finances. I feel like I am already becoming more and more disciplined. I track my weight and exercise regularly.

I know that I will never, ever get there (running a successful business) if I continue wasting my life away watching porn and indulging mindlessly. It might take a while before any business venture takes off, but just the fact that I am maintaining good habits and getting rid of my vices is a good place to start. It also feels good to be able to say I’ve been 1 month clean of porn & masturbation – my two greatest vices. Unlike many of you here, I don’t think I can live normally while masturbation is still in my life. I’ve had a masturbation addiction before porn came into the picture in my teen years. So, I have as much a problem with masturbation as I do with porn.

The next two weeks will also be a decisive part of my journey. I will try to build up a meditation habit to assist me in reaching 90 days, so I will start with 30 minutes today. I do not want to relapse close to the end of the year, and start 2023 with a 5 or 6 day streak. If I do relapse however, I will continue to fight and just take the L. PMO will not break me.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 29 – No PMO:

I wrote this entry in two parts, with the first paragraph in the morning and the remaining two I wrote at night:

Part I: One day away from thirty days. Normally I’m more ecstatic about making it this far than this. But today I woke up with severe BDD symptoms. I got on the r/BDD Subreddit to try and find tips for dealing with my symptoms. After about an hour or so, I started feeling better. I also changed my frame of thinking a bit, given that I am pursuing a more productive 2023. I feel a lot better now. I am writing this as I prepare to go on a run while listening to the lecture by the late Gary Wilson on porn addiction.

Part II: I came back home feeling positive after the run. My head is clear and I am already thinking of ways to start working on my business idea. My boss’s behaviour in the last week removed a false sense of security I had about my current job and led me to realize that my fate is in some asshole’s hands – and that’s not something I want. It’s great that this event happened when I’m just around the corner from 30 days, as I feel my mental resilience is better now to handle some verbal abuse (I'm not going to let it slide but I can't risk losing my job at this time). I’m looking to tackle my drinking problem next. I will lay down a plan and work towards it. I’m thinking for the first 2 weeks after 30 days to give it a rest and not pressure my dopamine receptors too much. Another dip in dopamine (caused by leaving another addiction) could cause my mental health to plummet so hard, which is why I think I should be careful to cement my gains before I move on to tackle other vices. Not everyone is the same. Even in my case, there are some things that I can tackle all at the same time, but I don’t think this is one of them.

I’m glad that I made it this far. I am not looking forward to tomorrow solely because it’s Monday morning in a few hours and I have to drive an hour to work. Hitting 30 days should’ve been a cause to celebrate, but now I’ll be stuck listening to an overbearing boss that I do not like. It’s okay though since I am counting the days before I get to do my own thing someday.

Here’s to the first of many months…
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 30 - No PMO:

30 days without porn or masturbation. This is the first milestone of many. I've had a bit of a tough day today, but I am extremely happy that I made it this far. I should give myself a break because today is cause to celebrate. I might save that till the weekend. Mentally, things are starting to look up. I woke up with a mini anxiety attack but it didn't take long before I took back control over my mental state.

When I started this journey a month back, I had no idea how I would even begin to take back control of my life. I was not doing well but there was no one I felt I could tell what I was going through, not even my wife. Journaling everyday and exercising massively helped me take back the reins. I no longer feel like I am at the mercy of my porn addiction. It still feels like an unstoppable force whenever I get horny. I still get the tunnel vision and that dreaded feeling that porn is the only way out. But now, even in the middle of all that, I feel as though there is a way out for me.

There were many instances over the past month where I felt that I was gonna cave in. Bringing myself back from that feeling was the real milestone that should be celebrated. I faced the beast at its worse (the first three weeks) and came out victrious every damn time. I mentioned in one of my earlier entries that all my past over-one-month streaks were characterized by a strong conviction that I would never watch porn again. This would usually result in little to no urges (because I believe the conviction removes white-knuckling that results from doubts, which cause cravings, that result in relapse), which meant I seldom had to face the beast and conquer it. I have a strong fear of relapse and cravings, hence why the slightest urges triggers my fears that I would relapse, which send me on a downward spiral to Coomville.

This time I was hit with some really serious urges, the kind that would send my streak down the drain in no time. This time I did not give in. I fought and stayed my ground. This is why this streak, to me, is more precious than many others that preceeded it.

Probably worth mentioning that I had a dream where I had a sexual encounter with a woman. It wasn't my wife but it wasn't any woman I know. It was another vivid dream which brings the total to 3 intense sexual dreams. This is really odd since I rarely ever dream, let alone have 3 vivd sexual dreams in one week. My brain is so fixated on sex and sexual release, but unfortunately for it, it's gonna have to wait some more.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 31 – No PMO:

Another day free of self-indulgence. I’m getting horrible mood swings, where I go from happy and optimistic to depressed and anxious in the span of one hour. Today I got stronger urges than yesterday. I don’t feel like I am going to relapse so I still feel like I am in control. But there is that lingering emptiness that doesn’t want to leave me alone. I just want to sleep and not have to go to work, but unfortunately I have to show up every day. I wonder how long I can keep this up for before I have a breakdown. I am planning to take leave from work later this month because I plan to quit drinking. I will need time off obviously to deal with the withdrawals. Something tells me it’s time I quit this other addiction now too so I’m gonna listen to my gut on this one.

To deal with urges I got today to watch porn, I decided to go for a quick workout at my local gym and then run back home. It helped curb the urges a little bit and my head feels clearer. I’m confident that I will be clean for the rest of the day especially now that it doesn’t feel like a steep uphill battle anymore. I don’t feel like a relapse is imminent when I get an urge, but I still don’t exactly feel safe either. After I got back home from the gym/run, I went online and unfortunately wasted some time scrolling through Reddit. It appears my mind is searching for some stimulation as I find myself looking through different Subreddits. I’m also still horny but nothing feels out of control.

I did some recallibration and decided my new goal is 100 days PMO free and not 90 days. That includes no sexy time with my wife as well, unless she wants it. I want to do a full reboot and slowly start to incorporate intimacy back into our lives during the rewiring phase. Of course I will discuss this with her and will listen to what my body wants. Right now, I have cravings for porn and not sex with a real person, so it’s easy to tell I have to wait a bit more. Another way to look at it is I am only 31% of the way to my goal of 100 days. 31 days sober is not a bad start for an addict but looking at it from a different perspective, 31% is still an F in almost any exam. I have to continue pushing through and the closer I am to 100%, the better things will get. Also time flies so I'm not complaining...
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 32 – No PMO:

Today was mostly uneventful, with nothing much to report on. I had some urges throughout the day, but they were all manageable. I’m listening to the old Your Brain Rebalanced podcasts that featured Noah Church, Charlie, Gabe and the late Gary Wilson as guests. I enjoy listening while going out for a run or to the gym, which is what I did today. Turns out I actually forgot most of the science behind addiction-related brain change. It’s nice to get a refresher. Also, it made me feel better how the guys were going through the same tough times that we’re having to endure now. I feel more hopeful about the future and will keep working my way to a hundred days and beyond. I still don’t have a solid rewiring plan in place or how my wife and I will reincorporate sex back into our lives. But I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. For now, I will keep listening to those podcasts and gracefully sailing through the tough times.

It's been a month since I last looked at porn. It’s worth reminding myself of the amount of pain it brought me and damage it has done to my relationships. I feel that it’s easy to forget all that when I haven’t used in some time (and 1 month is not a long time), but because my cumbrain is craving dopamine so much that it’s trying to convince me the bad times were not as bad.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 33 – No PMO:

Morning update:
Today was a relatively good day. My mental health was good and I felt more in control than the past few days. I expect the mood swings to continue for another few weeks before things start to improve. Having hope that things will improve one day is what drives me to continue this journey. I suspect however, that things will get even worse before they start to improve. It is imperative that I stick to the path because I have no intention of going through this again.

I know that my lowest point (mentally) when not watching porn is still higher than the highest point when watching. It is also quite early to expect 33 days will undo damage from years of abusing porn. Despite this, I do believe my body is starting to adapt.

Night update: I got home late from work and unfortunately my low mood kept progressing, even though I was feeling good throughout the day. I feel like crap now and just want to sleep and not have to work tomorrow. Sometimes I just feel stuck with no way out of a depressive state, other times I feel so good. In terms of urges, I had slight urges to watch porn but nothing too powerful. I just have to push through for another two months.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 34 – No PMO:

Today I didn’t do much besides my day job. I didn’t have much energy and my BDD was bothering me. I get horrible mood swings that just won’t leave me alone. I’m feeling pretty low right now but I am determined to continue this journey. I have a strong urge to go on Reddit and just mindlessly scroll through the subreddits that I used to frequent in the past; basically just procrastinate. However, in the past I will usually do this when I am ‘porn fishing’. Reddit is my go-to spot for relapsing. The cumbrain loves this search and seek when I’m scrolling and come across an NSFW post. I would get a hit of dopamine as I debate myself whether to open the blurred photo or not. Not this time. I won’t even allow myself to dance around the red line.

I’m making plans to quit caffeine as well. It is fueling my anxiety and making things a lot worse. In the last two years my caffeine consumption grew so much that I was easily consuming 200-350 mg of caffeine a day everyday (on average). Sometimes even more. I allowed myself to continue this behavior under the pretense that things are quite stressful right now (surprisingly, stress doesn’t actually subside – but keeps getting worse), and that as soon as this stressful situation passes, I will ‘quit’ caffeine. After my PMO addiction, caffeine is probably the biggest addiction with a negative impact on my life. I’ve always known that at least a large portion of stress is due to my coffee/energy drink abuse. I always consume/do things to excess, and then spend so much time trying to rid myself of them. I decided to use the annual leave I’ve taken next week to try and tackle my caffeine addiction. The other big reason I keep putting it off is because I tell myself that my porn addiction requires my attention (which is a fair point), and as mentioned earlier, I prefer tackling one problem at a time. Now that I am 34 days PMO free, I am actively looking at what other bad habit I can remove from my life before the end of the year.

I understand this pain is part of the process and I am very proud of myself for having made it this far in the journey. I must continue to stay on the path and prepare for the next challenge, and then the next.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 35 – No PMO:

35 days later and I am still in the fight. Today has also been one of those ‘meh’ days. I don’t feel great but I don’t feel too bad either. I do want some time off to rest and play sports while my reboot is happening. I really don’t like going to work every day but I am still grateful for it. I just wish I can make some progress with my business ideas. I know for a fact that there is no future for me in a 9-5. I’m just not good at it. I feel like I may be good at building things and if I do put the effort, I can work on my business ideas. My mental health is a priority at this stage though, and making it to 80+ days no PMO by the end of the year is a good place to start. I’m also planning to quit caffeine for good (to help with my anxiety) next week. I have some time planned off so I can go through the horrible withdrawals and sleep my way through it. I will also start meditating regularly from today. Aiming for 30 minutes per day for 90 days. Hopefully by next year I am confident that I will be in a much better mental position.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 36 – No PMO:

Today is lazy Sunday. Did a bit of cleaning here and there but still lacking motivation. I might go for a run later in the day. The Monday blues are starting to set in as well. I’m trying to work up the energy to start working on my business, but just thinking logically about it: If I quit caffeine next week and coupled with my PMO withdrawals, it is more likely than not that I will have a tough time until the end of this year. It might be a better investment of my time to focus on fixing my mental health and just do some light reading (on starting a business), without pressuring myself into actually starting something that I may not be able to follow through with.

On a more positive note, I took up meditation again yesterday. I did my first half hour and noticed a reduction in my BDD symptoms. Unfortunately, they returned more aggressive later in the day, but I know this is only part of the process. The thing is, depression is something that I can deal, no matter how bad it gets. But depression induced by BDD just cripples me entirely. I really hate it. I am confident that both BDD and depression are brought about by my withdrawals, because in the past, when I am past the initial withdrawals (more than 2 months in), I feel my body would start to acclimate and things will start to feel better. I don’t know how long the tough times will last this time, but I am prepared to give this entire year away just to go through withdrawals. I must persevere and prepare for a storm that will come once I quit caffeine.

Urges to watch porn have reduced significantly over the past week. I had to endure very aggressive urges 2 weeks ago, so I am glad that I am mostly over that. Despite all that, I will remain vigilant in anticipation of an urge that can strike at any moment.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 37 - No PMO:

I'm closing in on 40 days PMO free. I know for a fact that I wouldn't have made it this far had it not been for the daily journaling. It's the only 'new' habit that I incorporated to try and beat this addiction. I've noticed that I start to wake up more and more in a state of equanimity. It's a really good place to be. The low mood kicks in during the course of the day and I still struggle with BDD symptoms. Although in terms of intensity, I would say that has gone down quite a bit over the past few weeks.

In 2 weeks I should be at 50 days. So I am almost halfway through my goal of 100 days. I am already preparing myself for my 'post-porn' lifestyle. Leaving porn behind has created a void, which is incredibly ironic because porn has caused so much emptiness in my life. The 'void' that leaving porn behind has created is basically the time spent edging to porn (hundreds of hours every year), the 'routine', and pleasure-seeking behavior that came with it. The ultimate aim is that good habits fill up the void completely. I basically have gained so much free time after quitting porn. I have always fell into the trap in the past of replacing porn with more 'unhealthy' dopaminergic activities, such as video games and netflix, etc. This time I fully plan to embrace sports and mindfulness meditation, while also acknowledging that the beast could attack at any moment, so I must never go complacent.

I am also mentally preparing myself to quit caffeine, the drug that, along with porn, has caused my life to be consumed by anxiety.
 

tydurden

Member
Day 37 - No PMO:

I'm closing in on 40 days PMO free. I know for a fact that I wouldn't have made it this far had it not been for the daily journaling. It's the only 'new' habit that I incorporated to try and beat this addiction. I've noticed that I start to wake up more and more in a state of equanimity. It's a really good place to be. The low mood kicks in during the course of the day and I still struggle with BDD symptoms. Although in terms of intensity, I would say that has gone down quite a bit over the past few weeks.

In 2 weeks I should be at 50 days. So I am almost halfway through my goal of 100 days. I am already preparing myself for my 'post-porn' lifestyle. Leaving porn behind has created a void, which is incredibly ironic because porn has caused so much emptiness in my life. The 'void' that leaving porn behind has created is basically the time spent edging to porn (hundreds of hours every year), the 'routine', and pleasure-seeking behavior that came with it. The ultimate aim is that good habits fill up the void completely. I basically have gained so much free time after quitting porn. I have always fell into the trap in the past of replacing porn with more 'unhealthy' dopaminergic activities, such as video games and netflix, etc. This time I fully plan to embrace sports and mindfulness meditation, while also acknowledging that the beast could attack at any moment, so I must never go complacent.

I am also mentally preparing myself to quit caffeine, the drug that, along with porn, has caused my life to be consumed by anxiety.
Great to read about your progress and reflections. It's inspiring. It sounds wise to not jump into quitting all bad habits at once. 29 days into my reboot I find myself filling that void with a few other not great dopaminergic activities; like sugar or Netflix. But I think it's ok. As long as I succeed in quitting P I know I will thank myself for that for the rest of my life. If I end up binge watching Netflix for a few more weeks of my life, so be it. I have also read several success stories of people quitting one habit, and when they have truly done that they move onto the next bad habit. After a few rounds it becomes a habit quitting bad habits or adding healthy habits, one at a time. Caffeine sounds like a big deal to you maybe you so maybe it deserves full dedication from you to quit? Just a thought. Wish you all the best buddy!
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 38 – No PMO:

Today I got more urges than I usually do. As I am journaling now, I’m starting to feel a bit better, but the urges were pretty intense. As usual my cumbrain started rationalizing relapse and why it’s ‘the only way’ I can ‘enjoy’ things anymore. The thing is I can’t imagine going back to porn ever again. No matter how much my brain tries to paint a rosy picture of how enjoyable it is or how I can ‘lose myself’ in the pleasure of edging for hours. That pain that comes after a relapse is something I just can’t handle anymore. I feel like the struggle for dominance in my brain was very one-sided in the past, with the lizard brain always coming out victorious in the end. Nowadays, it feels like whenever my brain starts replaying porn scenes in my head, I also get this sinking feeling in my stomach of having to go through the post-nut clarity again. It almost feels like my lizard brain (the headquarters where the cumbrain and porn monster both reside) also agree with the idea that relapsing sucks so bad, or don’t have enough power as they did in the past to oppose my pre-frontal cortex? I don’t know what’s going on in my head, but I do feel something is different. Maybe meditation did strengthen my PFC after all, and it’s not that my cumbrain agrees with me, it’s that my PFC (voice of reason) is just louder and more dominant now. Either way I’m not complaining but it’s just interesting how little we know about addictions.

It took me about 8 minutes to write the paragraph above, and during that time, my urge has almost completely disappeared. I know it can return again so I might hit the gym after I finish journaling. I’ve also taken up mindfulness meditation once again. I’m trying to make it a regular thing again. Today will be day three. I’m thinking of adding it to my counter above, just to keep track of how consistent I am with it. I’ll probably add more to this journal later in the day.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 39 - No PMO:

I wasn't able to update yesterday after I was hit with the urge, but fortunately I held my ground. Things got really tough at one point but after writing yesterday's entry, I didn't get the urges as bad again.

Today started off well. I woke up with morning wood which got me feeling like a man again! I know there's no shame in not getting morning wood everyday, but I think most of us are hard-wired to feel good about MW. It feels like your brain is checking how good your Johnson is functioning at the start of every day. Either way I'm not complaining, just saw it as a good sign of progress, but I won't go to bed thinking about that odd day I didn't wake up with MW. Although the day started well, I got hit with some strong urges that made me feel insecure about my ability to overcome them. I started fantasizing as well, but thankfully I kept bringing my mind back to the present moment.

But the best news today goes to the fact that I was not at all bothered by my appearance today, even though I got into a few stressful situations at work (which usually triggers my BDD). Always a good day when you wake up with morning wood and go through the day without BDD. Also, although I had lots of urges today, I went to the gym and they mostly went silent. I still got urges, but felt stronger every time I conquered them. Day 40 here I (not) cum!
 
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