Well, since the other day I’ve been struggling. I viewed some substitutes later that day, and then again yesterday, and while I ended up actually getting off to fantasies instead, the pattern in these cases has been that: I get myself all riled up with them or with fantasies. Then I’ll pass hours thinking about that, and thinking other sexual thoughts, including while doing other things — until I ultimately MO. There have been days where sexual rumination happens without feeding in to that cycle of MO relapse, but it’s like I described last time — it feels like a toss-up.
This isn’t real sobriety, and I know it. Honestly, in some ways these days strike me as worse than days on which I just MO’d to fantasies, because now the deferral of MO ends up triggering me to think about fantasies (and consider relapsing) for hours. I go uncomfortable directions with fantasies quickly, and of course, there’s the added stimulus of having not O’d for a few days. Whereas before I might MO a few times a day, it happened fairly quickly and dispersed my sexual thoughts. Now rumination makes me more likely to consider viewing substitutes and flirt with the idea of actually relapsing to porn.
Like I’ve said before though, I’m not taking this as evidence that I should stop trying to go no-MO. I know that both my current pattern and the pattern where I’d just MO to fantasies keep porn pathways wired into my brain, and neither will help me heal. It’s just, fuck, this is hard.
I welcome any kind of advice about where to go from here. Where I’m going in my head is to be more strict about putting sexual thoughts out of my mind, to the degree that I can, because there is a degree of the sexual rumination stuff that is voluntary (I know as addicts, that little of our addictive thinking is meaningfully "voluntary", but there are certainly some kinds I could curtail). I figure that maybe then the involuntary thoughts won’t have enough power over me to compel my behavior. Similarly I want to stop touching myself in any way -- I've realized lately that there are kinds of self-touch that aren't masturbatory, but that are sexual, and that I seem to do them compulsively, frequently and almost unconsciously.
I also need to actually establish things like mindfulness and journalling as a routine, like I've told myself probably half a dozen times now. I did that little stint last week, but I didn’t continue the meditation part, and there’s lots of other small habits that I ought to start practicing routinely. To wit, I will commit to posting here each morning for the next 3 days again.
On the bright side all this frustration is prompting me to get more and more serious about fitness goals, and I have been working out consistently and hard. But this wall of text has gotten long enough. More on that tomorrow.
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