Been A Long Time

Submitted by The Fonz on
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Hey yall.

Been a long time since I last posted here.

Since then, I've been following a predictable pattern. I go some time without PMO, then I relapse, go some time without PMO, then I relapse.

Still living at home with my parents. I've finally got all my red tape shit together to apply for teaching jobs. So I'm hoping to get out of here by September.

As of lately, I've been relapsing more than usual. It seems like any little cue I see just sets me off. My theory is that my "hypofrontality" has been compromised. I told my family I'm going to try to take a week off TV because I find it too "hyper-stimulating." We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, I decided to come back to this forum because I noticed that I tend to do better when I hang out here. Perhaps it's something to do with the benefits of collaboration.

The plan is to post once or twice a week with updates and thoughts and strategies. And also to pick peoples' brains by reading a couple of your blog posts when I stop through.

So, anyway, here I am. I'm back yo! Haha.

Peace and good vibes,
The Fonz

Comments

Yo Fonz

Always good to hear from you.

Since you were last here, two really good forums have picked up speed. You might make better progress on one of them, so check 'em out. The guys tend to be a bit more...um...direct than I am. Stop A lot of guys from here have gone over to them, so there's lots of action on both.

YOURBRAINREBALANCED.COM

REDDIT.NoFap

Glad to hear your career is about to get underway. Hope you find just the right gig.

*big hug*

1 Day Down, Beginning Day 2

@emerson: Thanks yo. In the spirit of trying to find replacement activities, I've decided to try to get back into learning the keyboard.

@Marnia: Yo. Thanks for the links. I checked them both out. I figured out how to operate yourbrainrebalanced, but the REDDIT one has too much going on and I can't seem to figure out how to post, haha. I think I might post at several places at once. Might as well. I think I like this site because of familiarity. It's like someone who only uses one brand of toothpaste his whole life, haha. However, one con of posting here is I feel like, over the years, I've taxed all your compassion. You're like the Mother Theresa of porn addiction, haha. So, no need to always read and respond to my posts. You deserve a break.

So, um, I wanted to wait a while before my next post, but I just had some things on my mind. Mainly the fact that my bro is coming home for a three-day visit tomorrow.

I love my bro, but that puts a halt to my plan of not watching TV for a week. He loves watching TV, and it would be awkward if I isolated myself from him to avoid watching TV. My hope is that I'll be able to keep him busy during the day, and then we'll just watch tolerable movies or TV shows in the evening.

The only thing is he likes watching music stations. I still haven't figured out how to deal with the cues of music videos. To me, often music videos are as good or better than porn. Like, how can I watch Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna videos without wanting to relapse? In fact, I've relapsed to their music videos before, haha.

I'll figure out a way, I'm sure. I just needed to vent my worries. Maybe I'll just try to dance around to the jams and not look at the video.

Peace and good vibes.

You're

always welcome here. I just want to make sure you get the support you need, and it's really exciting to us to see these forums doing such a good job.

Can you sit not facing the TV and pretend to be interested in something on your laptop?

Thanks Marnia. Yes, I think

Thanks Marnia. Yes, I think these other forums sprouting up is a positive sign that there's been a subtle shift in the perception of this issue since I first hit the PM forum scene.

And, ah yes, the old laptop trick. I've used it to good effect in the past. But sometimes when I can see Beyonce out of the corner of my eye shaking it, it's hard to convince myself even that I'm more interested in what's on my computer, haha.

But I'm certainly going to give it a try.

I had this thought, and I'm not sure if it's right or not, but I was thinking that maybe there's power in deciding. Like, what if I just decided, "OK, no matter what I might see on TV in these next few days, I'm deciding right now that I am not relapsing for those few days." It feels empowering to say this, but I'm not sure if maybe it's being too optimistic. If I could just decide to not relapse, maybe I'd be further along in my recovery than I am. Or maybe making a firm decision to not relapse despite challenges is exactly what it's all about. Hmmm. Any thoughts from any of the fellas?

Thats pretty much the idea

Quitting porn is obviously hard. And yea about quitting, you really just have to say "I am not looking at porn no matter what. No matter how shitty I feel, no matter how horny I am, no matter how depressed/anxious/sick I feel, there is no way i am looking at porn." I had other responsibilities, but I made it my number 1 goal each and everyday to stay away from PMO. I needed to reboot my brain/penis and that was the most important thing. Each and everyday, my number one priority was no PMO because I realized how much it was actully derailing my life. Making it your goal doesn't take any time or energy. In fact, it gives you more time and more energy when you don't look at porn and ejaculate. It just takes extreme focus

I don't mean to critisize or judge, but you almost make it sound like it is out of your control. When you go to PMO, who is the one sitting down, turning on the computer masturbating to people having sex? You. You are the one who has to control yourself and the good news is that its very very possible to keep yourself away from porn.

I myself am not percect; I went 79 days at a stretch and relapsed, and had other long stretches were I eventually relapsed. The key for me was that a relapse was NOT a week long binge where I pmoed 5 times a day. A relapse was me looking at porn and masturbating ONCE for maybe a minute tops. after I was done I would always get so pissed at myself and rededicate myself to no PMO. All the relapses I had havent really amounted to anything other than a chaser for the next few days. None of the other problems really followed up once they were gone. If i binged though, which again I never did, im sure the problems would start to resurface.

Also about suggestive stuff on tv... when I rebooted, I was a psycho about it. I don't watch that much tv, but if i was, or was at a friends house, and a suggestive commercial or something came up, i literally looked away from the screen. I would pretend to look at my phone or just distract myself with something in the room because depriving your brain from those images speeds up the reboot. I did the same with billboards or stuff in magazines. It speeds it because you don't get exposed to a trigger. Also, just because its not "porn" per say, doesnt mean it can't slow down your brains recovery. Your brain needs rest from all sexual stimuli. That means fantasizing too.

Finally, I did a ton of things to keep myself distracted from reading crime novels, to meditating and they all helped. These activities are a part of my daily activiites, and I actully enjoy doing them now. I would never have imaged a year ago that i would enjoy reading or meditating. However, if there is one thing I can suggest, its excersising. it doesnt matter if your running, lifting weights, or playing a sport, excersisng seriously reduces cravings.

Hope this helped. don't be to hard on yourself, but remember, its all in your hands.

I'm a big Fonz fan

but I think the real issue is that he hasn't developed ED, or hasn't tested with a partner and discovered he has it. Without that motivation, it can be hard to give up a habit that much of the world is assuring you is harmless.

The ED guys are luckier in a weird way. Their motivation is clearer.

very true

When I started it was because of bad social anxiety and depression. When those effects are tangible, its easier to stay away from porn because your suffering every single day. Now that those problems have drifted away, I have to keep reminding myself why I am not looking at porn. For me, my uncertainty in my ability to preform keeps porn away.

Also yea, I thought the same thing. I mentioned in a post once that in a way guys with ED are lucky because the ones without ED probably don't end up on this site. Some do and I think those guys are fortunate. It is also a much bigger motivation to quit porn when you know that you are unable to perform

@needops: Yo. Thanks for the

@needops: Yo. Thanks for the thoughtful response. And you said everything I needed to hear. I think you're absolutely right that it's wrong to think this is out of my control. I think sometimes I flip to the "disease model" of addiction. It can be useful to think this way when learning to accept urges, but then it can be destructive when you start just thinking it's out of your control like having the flu or something.

@Marnia: Ya, I think suffering from ED thing would motivate me more. My main motivation is that I feel mentally, emotionally, physically waaaaaaaaay better when I'm not PMing. But these improvements are easy to take for granted, and I forget how much I'll miss them when the urge to go look at porn becomes overwhelming.

So, um, my bro came down last night. And I survived the TV cues he brought with him. Just gotta do that a few more days in a row, then I can hopefully get back to abstaining from TV. So now I've officially gone three days without PM. Not a huge amount, but one day at a time, right?

Also, whoops, I just realized that I've updated this post way more than I'd intended to, haha. I think maybe I just need to post a lot to help me get through the first week.

Peace and good vibes,
The Fonz

First week

Sometimes you have to take a stance in this life. If you discover that something is bad for you, you stop taking it. And defend that decision to friends family and alike. The TV im refering to here, but this stance comes from the zeal in my nature. Others can be more diplomatic i suppose.

What i wanted to say was about choice. Some of the worst days of my life have all been recently when ive literally fought dragons for control over PMO. Sometimes won sometimes lost. It seems to oscillate between a bodily arousal and a mind arousal. But when i have won i feel victorious, to suffer a full half day of intense cravings but come out the other side the winner.

I dont have ED, so sometimes its a head scratch as to motivation but for me it boils down to feeling more alive, more in touch with my feelings and inner life. More self respect, and positivity.

There a definate danger periods for me at least. The immediate day after a MO is a big risk time. About a week after is another risk time. After that it generally gets easier. But also sneakier. Then its a matter of watching out for the random surprise attacks. Be interested in thoughts about handling those.

Sometimes

you just have to do something because you decide to test it. Period. If you start "arguing" with your limbic brain...it wins. Wink After all, it's there to save your life (and genes), and it has the ability to hijack your rational brain under stress. That's sometimes a good thing...but skipping masturbation to porn won't save your life or genes, so no real risk there.

Speaking of masturbation, here's a lively thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/x93ix/scientific_benefit_to_mastu...

Sneak attacks might stop if you use the Cold water technique on them a time or two.

For Fonz

Thought you might like this Reddit post:

  • No masturbation. Just in case you're wondering.
  • No watching porn. Use filters, particularly at the beginning of your journey.
  • No 'just one pic/vid', 'just a quick check'; I guarantee you, you'll end up relapsing. Adopt a zero tolerance behavior.
  • No edging.
  • If you feel an uncontrollable urge, get busy fast. Do situps and pushups instead, go out for a jog, start cooking something, whatever.
  • Leave your bedroom door open.
  • No facebook bikini pics. Basically nothing that isn't real live sex (read: only standard PIV, no fetishes).
  • For those with ED: No sex until you really feel like having sex, and that's when you get hornier at super-mild stuff that previously didn't even made you twitch. Get at least 2-3 months of strict NoFap under your belt. When you get there, sex is OK, but don't go overboard. Oh, and beware the 'chaser effect' (wanting to PMO after experiencing sex), you'll need plenty of experience for that one!
  • Delete all the porn in your drive. NOW. No questions.
  • Morning wood is a good sign of progress.
  • Wet dreams are a sign of progress. Don't reset your badge.
  • Flatlines will happen (the zero libido/emotion period). They're universally hated by NoFappers. IMO, they mostly occur because of leading a bad lifestyle: bad/few friends, bad/no girlfriend, stress, depression due to other factors, utter lack of chances of getting laid, etc. I dealt with that and they never visited me again.
  • Dead-dick effect will happen (feeling like your dick is very limp/doesn't work anymore). With time it'll go away.
  • Create the habit of going out running/cycling/hitting the gym/whatever. It is fucking imperative that you do some kind of physical activity.
  • Absolutely never say no to a hangout/date/party/any kind of social gathering. You'll be glad you didn't when you're there.
  • Avoid long periods of idleness at all costs. Particularly if there's a computer nearby.
  • Don't expect magical enhancements out of nowhere. Use your newfound energy to get yourself out there and stir shit up.
  • Blue balls will happen, just endure the ache for a day or two and they'll be gone.
  • Your semen may get a yellowish hue. It's perfectly OK.

And most important...

  • No quitting. Even if you relapse, keep going.

http://www.reddit.com/r/NoFap/comments/x8l27/protips/

Day 7

@treehouse: Thanks for the comment. Ya, being able to feel more alive is terrific motivation, although not as in-your-face as, say, curing ED. For me, I first got motivated by some of Marnia's early Psychology Today blogs that outlined some of the benefits of abstaining and some of the negatives of continuing down the porn road. I have to re-visit some of those blogs when I find myself losing motivation.

@Marnia: Thanks for that reddit list. Very thorough, Also, thanks for giving me kudos on getting through those tough first days. All the support is always appreciated.

So, here I am seven days in of no PMO.

I haven't been updating for the past few days because I've been swamped with family events. It's been non-stop. It's been great, but also very tiring.

I knew this onslaught of family events was coming up. In fact, I think it was partly what motivated me to return to Reuniting. I felt like I needed help to get my shit together; I didn't want to be experiencing these family events in the thick of a hangover.

Which brings me to a new point: now that these family events are over, I need to dig deep and find motivation to continue. I mean, I understand that not PMing equals feeling good, and PMing equals feeling socially anxious, self-conscious, agoraphobic, etc. But somehow it's easier to motivate myself when there's a particular event or two in the near future that I want to be "on" for.

So, I'm going to try out a new method to motivate myself. I decided to isolate one incident where I felt like crap because of a relapse, and another incident where I felt awesome because of abstaining from PM. And, when I feel in need of motivation, I'm going to try to conjure these incidents in my mind's eye. If you're interested, here are those incidents...

The bad incident: I had just relapsed to PM. I was feeling crappy about myself and my life. So I went out on a walk. On my walk, I unexpectedly ran into an old friend from high school who I hadn't seen in years. We caught up, and he seemed really successful and happy. I, on the other hand, didn't really have much to offer other than recently finishing teacher's college (still trying to find work, not in a relationship, haven't travelled Europe, etc.). And I think he sensed that I was out of it. To make the event even more awkward, when we said "Bye," I ended up dropping my cell phone like a dweeb, and couldn't think of anything funny to say to make it seem less dweebish.

The good incident: I was in a college class. The class hadn't started and I was sitting at a table with two hotties who, back in the day, I would consider way out of my league. But I was actually making them laugh and that, and wasn't intimidated. Then a guy friend came and sat down, and he and I were going back and forth complimenting/making fun of each others' new hair cuts, and the two hotties were laughing it up like we were the funniest, coolest guys in the world. Had I PMed I probably would have sat there staring at my feet, trying to avoid eye contact.

Sorry for the long post. I'm just gonna wrap it up now by saying thanks for all the support. All the people who have commented on this blog, but also all the people who post on Reuniting. I get inspiration and good tips from reading all yalls blogs. We're all in this together.

I'm gonna try to post a few more times to help me get through week two.

Peace and good vibes.
Fonz

There are many, many

success stories these days, so if they keep you going, check out this PDF, which I update now and then. Start from the bottom if you want to read new material. It's over 100 pages now....

BENEFITS

Or visit YBOP's rebooting accounts page (links at bottom):

Rebooting Accounts

And that's by no means all the success stories we've seen.

I am really looking forward to adding yours to the collection. Wink

I know it's hard to stay motivated when that old part of your brain makes your thinking very...short-term. But a lot more is at stake here than you are admitting to yourself. You have enormous potential and I've heard enough stories now to be fairly certain that your only anchor is porn.

This story just showed up on YBOP. You may like it: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/comment/1452#comment-1452

Try a "no compromise" model between now and Sept. 1. Plenty of time to figure out a compromise once you're firing on all cylinders.

*big hug*

9 Days

I scanned that PDF file called Benefits. Indeed, it's terrific motivation. I was pleased to see one of my own comments in it, haha (the one about the girls wearing shades in the rain).

You're right that I often don't admit how much is at stake. Right now, I'm going to pause for a second and try to re-visit my mental and emotional state post relapse....

I just wanna lay in bed all day; I'm scared of going out into the world and seeing people (even just, like, old people at the convenience store); I'm scared to have any Facebook activity because I think people will be able to sense that I'm off my swagger; I feel "prickly" physically; I can't derive any pleasure from any activities (reading, writing, playing music, dancing, life in general); I'm unmotivated and terrified to make any headway in career, social life, romance, family life, etc. I feel like one of those former celebrities turned cocaine addict.

OK, I think that was helpful.

So, I've officially gone nine days now. Rather than enjoying having a respectable amount of days under my belt, I've been feeling kinda nervous about a possible relapse in the future.

I mean, I've only been having minor urges, but I know it's inevitable that eventually have major urges. I'll see something on TV (I've been trying not to watch TV, but I relented last night when the only opportunity I had to hang with my dad was over a game of baseball, which was luckily cue-less), or I'll have a flashback attack, or I'll see something online by accident (I've blocked images, but the other day I was on YouTube and some ad of two girls in bikinis popped up on the side). And when one of these things (or something I haven;t thought of) inevitably happens in the future, my brain and body are going to shout at me,"If you don't relapse now, you'll explode. It's only natural. Screw what Marnia and Gary have to say, go for it!"

I'm not looking forward to that moment, but I think you're right in saying I should try a "no compromise" model. In fact, that kinda model is what has gotten me this far. So, when that moment inevitably comes, I'm going to remember this.

Anyway, thanks again for the continued support. Wish me luck as I continue this journey.

Oh, weird, quick update: my YouTube just recommended me a music video with pornographic material that fits my paraphilia, a video I've relapsed to in the past. Had a little jolt of excitement spread through my body, then I accepted it, reminded myself "no compromise" then started dancing to Sly and The Family Stone to distract myself, haha. Yikes

Maybe you could tell your brain

you'll revisit your decision on [future date of your choice]. That way it's easier for your brain to accept. Learning to set a date and stick to it is already a huge accomplishment.

What do you think you're afraid of? Life can be scary, but so is skydiving...and people do that for kicks. Smile Sometimes you just have to plunge in.

You'll be feeling stronger and stronger as you reboot. Give it a try. I'm convinced you're going to amaze yourself.

Falling Back

@Marnia: Thanks for the encouraging words.

So, after eleven solid days of no PM, I relapsed.

It was television cues (one after the other after the other after the other) that did me in. Surprise surprise.

In lieu of this, I think I'm going to fall back and go on another little hiatus from Reuniting. Not sure my next move. I might try another one of the forums. I might just take a week off then come back. I might just try to go it alone for a bit.

I'm feeling all right. Picking myself up and trying again.

Wish me luck. Thanks for helping me to get eleven days in.

All the best,
Fonz

Glad to see that you are still at this

Good to see that you are still pushing away at this. You and I are alike in that we go for some days then relapse, but still keep trying. Yes, my relapses have been more frequent lately as well. I need to keep reminding myself why I am committed to doing this. My favorite answer is that I always enjoy the rewards of abstaining if I hold out long enough.

11 days is good. We are slowly progressing, but progressing nonetheless. Have you noticed any benefits in your state of mind compared to last year?