On the way...

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 40 - No PMO:

One of the most stressful days brought about by my day job. The day is almost over but the stress is still present in me, even though I already switched off and went home. Despite that, I am very happy that I made it to 40 days without watching porn, masturbating or even fishing for porn! I have unfortunately caught myself a few times after having made the decision to relapse. Catching myself and not allowing myself to slip is an achievement in itself though, so I will not beat myself up over it. My BDD symptoms have drastically reduced (almost non-existent for long stretches of time), which is another massive achievement. I'm sure when I quit caffeine my depressive symptoms will likely resurface, but that will not stop me from fighting the good fight.

I'm nearing 50 days, and I know the days will pass fast, regardless of whether I choose to relapse or not. I am so proud of myself of having made it this far without relapsing, even though the opportunity presented itself countless times over the past few weeks. Each day I abstain I grow stronger and freer.

In terms of urges, the day was relatively quiet. I was focused on my work because my boss and work environment can be very toxic. I'm lucky to have made it another day and for the first time in a long time, I look forward to tomorrow.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 41 - No PMO:

Today was another hectic day at work. So glad that it's finally over. 41 days and I am still on the path. Today was mostly smooth with no urges. I was concerned because I was really stressed out at work, and like most of you here, my brain has a jacked up stress response mechanism. I'm on stand-by for any urges that may show up unannounced.

The road is long, which is why seeing tiny improvements along the way make it worthwhile. But at the same time, I try to see the 'low points' in reboots as a good sign. Imagine that if progress was in such a way that you would feel so bad and not see any improvement at all until 4-5 months in, most of us would never sign up to those rebooting challenges. People went into reboots the early days to experiment (late 2000s - early 2010s), and when it took only a few weeks of abstinence to get results, it made us correlate porn with negative patterns in our life. But another way to frame it would be: When you get PAWS or experience heavy withdrawals, or flatlines, etc. you should view it as: 'All that torture just because I quit this poison, can't imagine what it must've been doing to my brain... all the more reason never to go back.' You get the picture. Of course, I bet most most of you here have thought of it this way at least once before, but it's good to always keep reminding ourselves.

Stay strong.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 42 - No PMO:

I think my body is reaching a stage where it's accepting that PMO is not an option. The urges come and go but the intensity is nothing compared to the early days. It is a blessing to make it to this point, but I will never get complacent again knowing my pattern of behavior in the past. Besides the few occassions where my urges got so intense on this journey that I almost relapsed (but even on those times I did not look at anything), I have been unapologetic about the boundaries I set for myself.

I feel good about this streak and I am starting to think that it's the final one. The one where I finally leave porn and masturbation behind me. There is no place for masturbation in my life anymore. Its association with porn is too strong to ignore and there's no way I believe that I can reincorporate it back without porn. I still have the 'cumbrain mindset' which will take time to shakeoff. But it's a bit premature to think about full recovery at this stage considering I am only 43% of the way to my goal of 100 days.

On to the next one...
 
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Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 43 - No PMO:

This is gonna be a late one since I missed yesterday's update. I feel less and less anxious with every day that passes. I'm starting to exercise regularly again as I hope to make some progress before the end of the year. I didn't miss porn or masturbation in the slightest yesterday, which is another strong sign of recovery. My main target is to end this year on a good note, and start 2023 by focusing on putting in the work to free myself from the 9-5.

I did not feel urges yesterday and I was mostly in control. I stopped fantasizing or having vivid sexual dreams, which is a sign that my mind is slowly accepting my new lifestyle. Nothing feels better than to watch an addiction that's plagued your life for so long, slowly die infront of your eyes.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 44 - No PMO:

Another PMO free day. I am very grateful to have gone this time without relapsing, especially because the opportunity presented itself several times but I still chose to hold my ground. Today was relatively okay, I didn't get serious urges and I spent the day without thinking of porn at all. I am still struggling to stick to a healthy routine, but I am exercising regularly and eating healthy these days.

In terms of my mental health, I keep fluctuating between feeling good and 'meh'. So I would say the mood swings definitely have their effect on me. I am almost 45 days in now, which means I will hit 2 months PMO free in about 2 weeks. I guess another added benefit is completing my first NNN challenge in several years. I look forward to a better day tomorrow and I know that the harder I push through, the better the reward later on.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 45 - No PMO:

Today was somewhat more difficult, but I am glad it passed safely. I have to be more cautious in the coming days as I just quit caffeine and processed sugars, and I am going through some tough withdrawals. That being said, every day that passes, I get more confident of reaching my goals. I'm also impressed that I am not getting complacent, on the contrary, I am getting more disciplined.

In the past 45 days, I haven't broken any of the rules I set for myself, and that includes a hard rule against listening to music, exercising daily and no fantasizing. Music messes with my mood and I found that it makes me more prone to relapsing. Also, in the past, I would listen to music for hours after a relapse because I would feel so low, so I came to associate music with relapse. Another rule which I've stuck to is exercising in some shape or form everyday (I did break this rule a few times though). But I think the most important rule which I haven't broken is journaling everyday until I feel I am comfortable enough to move on. I have not set a time when I would stop journaling on this forum. It may be 90 days, 100 days, or 120 days. One thing I'm sure of is I will not stop journaling in the forseeable future (at least not before day 90) because I still don't feel completely safe from falling into the PMO trap.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 46 - No PMO:

Yesterday I had another vivid relapse dream. This one felt very real and when I woke up it took me some time to actually tell that I didn't relapse. Unfotunately I also had a bad encounter with my boss the night before, which caused my mood to dip today. In terms of urges, so far the day is going well with no significant urges to report on.

On a more positive note, I recently (re)started implemented a new habit which is diving headfirst into cold showers again. I've been doing cold showers on and off for about 2 years now, but decided a few days ago to start the habit again after listening to a podcast by Andrew Huberman which he went over how cold showers can help your body release dopamine. I'm dopamine-starved right now so it would be helpful to get my hands on healthy sources of dopamine until I've made a full recovery.

Lastly, I just want to go over how proud I am to have made it this far. I'm also really proud of everyone on here, those who are still in the fight and those who have already won the battle and checked out.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 47 - No PMO:

Having trouble maintaining a positive mindset when on a dopamine fast but I know this is the way. This is the path I must take to be free, but it just feels too difficult at times. I'm exercising everyday and staying clear of the many vices I used to enjoy not too long ago. I don't watch porn, masturbate, eat processed sugars, or chocolate (my second biggest vice after PMOing). Leaving those habits behind has left my brain in a dopmine-starved state. And one thing the cumbrain hates more than anything is losing its fix. But I know beyond the suffering lays a life I've always dreamed of living. I have started on a journey to cultivate a growth mindset using suffering as my close companion.

I found that in my life, I have one of two choices: Either make pain my friend or I become a slave to pleasure. This is the true meaning of being either on the way or in the way.

Today was not too bad in terms of progress. I took a cold shower, exercised, and journaled. Unfortunately I was bored earlier today so I looked up work colleagues out of curiousity. I discovered that a female colleague of mine is also an amateur photographer and she has nude photos of herself, which I hadn't seen before. Maybe it was curiousity, maybe it was the cumbrain, but definitely I am to blame for what happened after (no, I didn't relapse). I had to look and 'make sure it's really her, so I covered the 'nude part' with my fingers and zoomed in on her face. Sure enough it was her, but there was absolutely no point at all to this useless exercise except putting my streak in danger. Luckily I closed the website and stopped using my phone after, but my mind keeps reminding me of her. I don't count it as a relapse, especially since I didn't look at her body, but it's definitely a stupid mistake that I need to be more careful of in the future.
 

Sir_Cooms

Member
Day 48 - No PMO:

I can't say that today was not free of urges, but the intensity seems to be have gone down exponentially in the last 2 weeks. I have gone from thinking about porn all the time in the first few weeks, to having more control over what enters my brain and what deserves to stay there. Before I started this journey, porn clips were living rent free in my head.

A couple of hours ago, I found myself scrolling through YouTube stories. The world is changing very fast. It's starting to feel more and more polarized, or at least that's how the algorithm presents it to me. It sometimes feels like we are all chasing after something but we don't know what. I know for a fact that what I am chasing is not the hedonistic pleasure in the form of PMO-ing.

Another thing is whenever I look at social media posts and videos by 'successful' YouTubers, I don't exactly envy them, but it stirs up these thoughts in me of 'if these people could do it, then so could I'. I am grateful for having a job that pays the bills, but I want to be more independent to pursue the things I love. This is why I believe the journey I'm going through (and most users on this forum) is a big determinant of whether I can actually achieve a life of independence or not. The PMO free journey is about discipline and how much I can train my brain to do the things I want it to do. An independent life (that provides financial, location, and time freedoms) will not only benefit me as a person, but I can imagine it would benefit my future kids and therefore my bloodline. I also want to provide for my family in addition to being there when I do. Not stuck in an office somewhere like a zombie trying to make someone else richer.
 
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