A Pilgrim's Progress

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Squire, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Squire

    Squire Member

    Hey Madman, first off it's fun to address you by your screen name! LOL! I'm really glad the stuff I wrote helped you. It helps me to write it, but it helps me more when I get a response now and then and realize it helped others.

    I am really curious about how you have managed to go 100 days multiple times in the past? I've never gone that long, since the day I first masturbated as a child. So if you did that on a consistent basis, that would mean you would have a relapse just 3 times a year, right? If I'm doing my math right, then out of 365 days a year, that is about a 99.2% success rate. DUDE! MY BROTHER! THAT'S REMARKABLE! Tell me how to do that! But now I want you to imagine I'm a college student taking a class and I am going to drop out of college because I only have a 99.2% and can't manage to make a 100... What would you would say to someone in that situation? In my humble opinion, you know how to control PMO and have demonstrated many times you can do it. So I wouldn't focus much more attention on how to stop PMO. Do what you have done in the past that works so well, and if you stumble once every 100 days, try not to sweat it, just don't go into a binge, get started right away on your next 100 days.

    PMO was just a way you used to medicate how you were feeling, and sometimes you go into a binge of that old medication because your regular resources aren't enough to help you cope with what you're feeling. But that medication isn't working well for you. It produces side effects you don't like. It actually produces the opposite effect in your emotions as what you are aiming for. So you need to move on from that and find some things that work better.

    So some relevant questions are, what are you feeling, why are you feeling that way, and how can you deal with the symptoms and the root cause in healthy ways?
    • What are you feeling? Try to put it into words.
    • What are some healthy ways of managing that feeling when it is overwhelming? Make a list and work down through it when you feel overwhelmed. Exercise, prayer, meditation, reading, posting in a journal, maybe anti-depressants or some other medication would help.
    • What is the source of the feeling? When and why did it start, maybe something back in childhood.
    • If you look back through some of my earlier posts interacting with @HowToKapow you'll find a few ideas about how to process stuff from the past.
    You have my sincere condolences on the loss of your parents. I don't know what role they may have played in some of what you are feeling. Maybe there is some unfinished business with them, some need for forgiveness of them or by them or some lack of affirmation or even abuse. Just because they are physically gone now doesn't mean your dealing with them in your head is settled yet.

    Re: the Christian faith, I've studied other religions quite a bit and appreciate so much goodness and beauty I see in them and wise insights that have helped improve my life. A key difference I see is that every religion teaches us ways to try to save ourselves with good behavior, which is impossible to do on a consistent basis and leaves us with uncertainty about whether we've done well enough. In its ideal form, the Christian faith is a perfect God himself providing the solution for our alienation from him, then God living inside us to help us grow into the people we should be. I think we need that kind of comprehensive rescuing. I need a way of relating to God that does not depend on me achieving perfection on my own. And I find this in Jesus.
     
  2. Squire

    Squire Member

    THANKS @A New Man for this info! I am eager to learn more about shame and how to manage it, as it is a major issue in my psyche. Up until now the only things I've seen and read on it per see are from Brene Brown. She is better as a speaker than a writer. Gotta get ready for work but looking forward to watching the vid when I get a chance later today.

    Love the Buddhist stuff, a lot of wisdom there. I've been wanting to read up more on Daoism. I really identify with the idea of waiting patiently and kind of going with the natural flow of life rather than stressing out because things aren't exactly the way I want them to be.

    Thanks for posting my friend.
     
  3. madman

    madman Member

    Squire.

    How did I go multiple 100+ periods w/o PMO? Thanks for asking. It helps me to rehash it.

    They were not consecutive. It was more like 100+ days. Then 20 days. Then 30 days. 2 days. 1 day. 100+. 3. 2. 0. 0. 0. 30 days. 100+ days. Binging for days.

    I think it helped to not keep track of the number of days, and not look at it all the time. I also got so low I was sick of acting out, so the thought of it turned my stomach. I was to the end of my rope so to speak. I had hit bottom. Or so I thought. The only way was up.

    I used to track the number of 'good' days religiously, but it got to where it seemed it was setting me up for failure looking at the tracker all the time. I obsessed over it.

    Like, on day 32, wow, how long am I going to go before I PMO again? Can I make it to 50?

    Of course I didn't.

    When I stopped thinking about it so much, I did better, even though I still had a tracker I could refer to on my cell phone. I could check it any time I wanted.

    During those 100+ periods I would occasionally glance at it every few weeks and then try and forgot about it. If I could geniunely forget about it, it helped. It was when I started obsessing about it, I gave in and PMO'd.

    I still couldn't help look at it every few weeks though because I wanted to know how I was doing.

    After so many time of 100+, and then PMO, I gave up. Frustrated, I began binging out, and that is where I am at today.

    I have convinced myself it's not so bad really, so I PMO, and then feel crappy for days. Weeks.

    I truly am a madman. The self destructive behavior I indulge in may do me in.

    I glad you find enjoyment in my screen name. No one has ever complemented me on it. I secretly like it too ! :)

    What a beautiful thing you shared about your faith. Wow. It touched my heart in a big way. Christians piss me off a lot (excuse me for the expletive) ... and I am one of them. I spend a lot of time angry at myself.

    But Christianity in its purity is a beautiful thing. Thank you !

    I struggle to believe life can be good, free of PMO. It has pretty much destroyed me. My mind is trashed.

    You've given me so much to chew on. Wow. Thank you.

    Blessings to you. Thank you for sharing.
     
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  4. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Member

    Squire, Thank you for calling by my journal. I like the reasoning behind both your name and the title of your journal. You have some really solid ideas that executed honestly should bring relief from our common affliction.
    Reading HTK's footer I presumed that the question was how well can you bear to sit in a cell for 4 hours without medication? I would say that I always score poorly on that and can only perceive that I ever would.

    I Look Forward to following your progress brother
     
    Squire likes this.
  5. Squire

    Squire Member

    Hey Madman, your name is cool. You know one of the first images it brings to mind is a bunch of guys who hang out and you are the one they call "Madman" because you're not afraid of anything. You're tough and fearless. When nobody else can get the job done, send Madman in, nothing stops him.

    Ooh I think you're right about not looking at the counter but it's so so hard for me not to keep that counter. I want to see those days adding up. But I do tend to struggle at significant numbers - the half month mark, the 30 day mark, etc. I can imagine the 100 day mark would feel like that too.

    Ok, I see what you're saying about the periods of binging between the long streaks, but I think my observation still stands that you do in fact know how to go 100 days and you've done it multiple times. So re: PMO, something to look at is how you can prevent one relapse from turning into a binge. I don't have the solutions for that, I have the same problem. Maybe some others reading this could help us out. I do think though that after I get past the first week or so after a relapse I'm on more solid ground. So it's super important to get your feet under you quickly and then put some distance between yourself and your last relapse.

    Yeah Christians piss me off too. But out of the over 1 billion people who wear that hat, those who are genuinely disciples of Jesus are a small minority. An enormous number wear this as more of a tribal identity, like a nationality or a favorite sports team. And they pair it unnaturally with a lot of bad things that give it a bad name: racism, nationalism, imperialism, materialism, etc. I want to cut through all that crap in my life and figure out who Jesus is and how to be like him.

    Here's how I figure it. Every religion can teach me at some level how to be a good person. It's like learning a skill, like learning to swim. But I believe that Jesus not only teaches me how to swim, he provides me with a life jacket and sticks me on a ship that will take me to my destination. I don't have to try to swim across the ocean to save myself.

    And I also don't have to be perfect in overcoming PMO to be loved, accepted, mentored, and saved by him. He's ok with messy people.
     
  6. Squire

    Squire Member

    Hey GreyHeron thanks! I'm looking forward to lots of productive interaction with you in the weeks and months ahead.

    So @HowToKapow, should the last word in the sentence be "meditate" or "medicate"?

    Apply this scale to the the statement: "I will spend 4 hours in a room with no distraction and Im not allowed to meditate"

    I am trying to picture what it would be like to sit 4 hours doing absolutely nothing and not meditating. Does this mean just thinking about my past, being alone with my own thoughts, but not using meditation techniques to calm myself and still my mind? Just letting my thoughts race and wander? I'm trying to conceptualize what happens in those 4 hours. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  7. HowToKapow

    HowToKapow Turtles smell nice

    With "no meditation" im looking to cut out all subgroups of attention exercises and other exercises like:

    Vipassana,metta,energy work,self inquiry, breathing focus meditation, mantra meditation, thought observation meditation

    These things in the end are also a distraction just like pulling out a smartphone on the toilet.
    Its mostly an extra clause for people who have lots of practice with meditating (100h+). I noticed in myself that for me on the DoF scale i go from duh to high anxiety when I dont allow myself to meditate.
    So when you sit there, instead of the old saying watch your thoughts pass by, you have to be your thoughts for 4 hours 100% immersed in thinking. This will rate your quality of thoughts (spiral dynamics level (google spiral dynamics colors if you wanna know more about this) new agers call it "vibration") instead of your capability to detach from your thoughts which in my opinion has been irrelevant for DoF, as it does not rate core beliefs (i.e someone who believes the world is a scary place will have a much harder time with the 4h, but he might be much better than another person who has a meh attitude if he can track his breath very well but this distorts the result too heavily, its non-indicative and also can be a huge factor that just needs to go..keyword "spiritual bypassing" )
     
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  8. Squire

    Squire Member

    Just a quick post today as I'm feeling a little wobbly in my recovery . . . and predictably so, in my case, because I have just past the half-month mark which is a psychological barrier for me. But hey, "way to go, me!" this is a great milestone I haven't reached in a long time! And talking with you guys has helped.

    So this weekend I'm feeling irritable with the fam, having trouble getting motivated to get projects done, and have had to deal with a little online social faux pax with a friend which worries me a little because I don't have a whole lot of friends. But I'm also the kind of person who doesn't like to make mistakes, so to have one pointed out also makes me feel kind of dismayed.

    So I'm just posting now to make myself slow down and feel more accountable. I'm kinda tempted to waste time online looking for some p-subs, can't let myself go down that road. It's like circling a drain. Don't want to get pulled into that.

    But you know, I'm at 16 days now and with a little intentionality and effort, I can make it to 17 days. I'll spend a couple hours working on a project and then take the evening off and read a good book. My favorite thing to do. And tomorrow when I post my counter will read 17 days, not 0. That's my plan.
     
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  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Awesome!

     
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  10. Squire

    Squire Member

    Made it through the evening without a relapse. Time for a 17-day-counter celebration. Just because, why not?

    Check out all the Canadians who have turned out to celebrate my 17th. Aw, thanks guys. I love Canada. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Awesome that you made it through and that all of Canada is cheering for you! :)
     
    Squire likes this.
  12. Squire

    Squire Member

    Closin' in on 3 weeks but . . . but p-subs definitely a problem last night. This is the pattern for relapse. This is my warning sign. I'm going in a circle, allowing myself to drift toward the drain. SO WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
    • Stop the victim mindset. I'm a grown man and nobody is forcing me to look at this crap. This doesn't just "happen." I choose to do it.
    • Ask "why am I choosing to do this right now" - because I am feeling a little overwhelmed with work and I want an escape.
    • Ok. So do I have a good work-rest balance? - Not right now. I am procrastinating work and then doing a little work under high stress.
    • Solution: MAKE A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT. Figure out at the beginning of the day what needs to be done for me to feel good about that day, then schedule it. Also schedule some rest time and what I will do during that rest time.
    • Emergency plan: if I start drifting towards p-subs anyway, then I will do the following:
    • Post on YBR for accountability and support
    • Go to same room as my wife and/or kids
    • Put phone and computer away and read a book or do some other non-electronic activity
    I need to remember why I am doing this. I want to be a healthy, confident man with a solid relationship with God and my family. Ain't gonna happen if I don't kick this habit. And giving in to it yet again is only going to make it that much harder to kick the habit later.

    I'm sorry to shock you, Jim Halpert from "The Office." I'll be more careful with my browsing choices. Your respect means a lot to me. LOL o_O

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is what I call the eyes glazing over. And, yup, p-subs and fapping take us back to P eventually.

    I do it all for myself. I've learned to be selfish in the right way, you might say. I didn't do it for my wife, or my marriage (which was shit because of my cheating), I only worried about getting myself healthy. I think this is important, because when we do it for others, we are saying "I don't count. My wants and needs take a back seat to everyone else." I have found that when I do things for myself that I am more open to the needs of others and more understanding of what God really is, and means, in my life. Just my thoughts on things.
     
    Squire likes this.
  14. Squire

    Squire Member

    You guys today I'm at 20 DAYS and tomorrow will be 21 which is halfway to my longest streak of 42 days! THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL I AM GIVING IN TO PMO TODAY. I will reach 21 days by all means. And I will reward myself tomorrow with the best celebratory gif meme I can find. It's going to be epic.
     
  15. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Well said
     
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  16. Squire

    Squire Member

    Ok this happens to me every stinkin' time, I get to these dates that seem significant milestones to me and then start wobbling. So tomorrow is 21 days, which is 3 weeks and exactly the halfway point to reaching my best streak ever. And this evening I'm super tempted by p-subs. So earlier I posted an action plan and am implementing it now:
    • Post on YBR for accountability and support - DONE
    • Go to same room as my wife and/or kids - DONE
    • Put phone and computer away and read a book or do some other non-electronic activity - WILL DO AS SOON AS CLOSING THIS POST
    So I can't very well look at internet porn if I don't look at the internet. Done with computer and phone tonight, going to snack and read now. Thanks for your support, friends, I'll see you tomorrow when it says 21 Days!
     
  17. Squire

    Squire Member

    Crap crap crap. SO STUPID and SO PREDICTABLE, I reached my $%^&# 21 days and IMMEDIATELY relapsed. I was hanging on but wife had to go to work and my whole emergency plan fell apart, no one around so off I go into PMO-land just 'cause the opportunity is there and I feel like it.

    Well, that was 3 weeks of success. 3 weeks of growth. 3 weeks of feeling better and better. 3 weeks of getting a feeling for what life could be like for me permanently, porn free. And I liked those 3 weeks. I handled myself, my emotions, relationships and responsibilities well. One $#@% relapse, as maddening as it is, does not erase all of that hard work. I won't let it erase all that hard work.

    So the key now is DO NOT BINGE. Immediately getting back on the wagon.

    But still feeling like I'm wearing the cone of shame...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. HowToKapow

    HowToKapow Turtles smell nice

    Milestones like that are often the point where relapses happen. The reasons are:

    -evaluations of benefits happen (which often are underwhelming as the process is slow)
    -you want to reward yourself and P is the reward
    -theres often a part in us that wants to feel as much shame as it can so what better way than to blow it up on such a day.

    Dont worry too much about it and get back on
     

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