Today is the 9th day of abstinence, and somehow the enthusiasm I had for going to straight 30 days of abstinence minimum is fading. Of course, initially I started out thinking that I will *never* surrender to the temptation but a few days later I compromised it to "30 days first, and other plans later". At this moment, I am undergoing temptation to watch pornography, and well it is quite a temptation. The whole hormonal sexual system just fires up in times of stress like this (although today's Sunday, I have a lot of pending assignments) and just shuts down the rational mind completely. The old brain wishes to take over.
But then the right feeling starts coming back. Frank, stop. Remember who you are. Think, O Stoic! Don't be impulsive, you'll get into huge trouble. You see, this is the most difficult part in overcoming addiction. If you can't get yourself to regain consciousness and think, you're guaranteed to go back to addiction. No matter how much willpower you have initially, it'll start fading and you will be left with only conscious will, not the newly-programmed desire to beat addiction. And so, to wake myself up, I'm listening to some music I have just for these type of scenarios.
First, I put Clocks by Coldplay which puts me in a kind of serious trance that detaches itself from emotion. And this is integrity in the moment of choice. You use reason to select which emotion you want to experience. This choice cannot be done without an initial will to actually use reason, which will be provided with the shame, guilt, depression and anger that the addiction has produced. By the 9th day, I have lost touch with the negative feelings associated with the addiction, and all the tempting feelings remain programmed. This is where affirmation right from Day One plays its role.
Now, I put Low (X&Y) by Coldplay. More of Coldplay -- I have Swallowed in the Sea, White Shadows, Twisted Logic, and Square One lined up, in ascending order of potential to provide inspiration. This kind of music gives me a hybrid feeling -- of compassion ("please, Frank, don't surrender, you have the power") and of courage ("Be strong! Let not thy character melt to these flames of lust, remember the Pledge of Stoic Honour").
I think that this is the most important period of recovery: integrity in the moment of choice. When you have spent some time being abstinent, temptation comes back. During this period, you do have lots of moments of consciousness, you do know that you're being tempted, that this is wrong, and that you have the power to change the situation. Lord, give me the power to change things I can change, serenity to accept things that I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference.
The motivation to have integrity in the moment of choice is based on two emotions: that of the pain of being addicted, and that of not wanting to live such a lifestyle. I think the latter idea provides excellent long-term motivation, while the former is suited for short-term motivation. So I just got myself a snack (bread and some curry, I am fully vegetarian by the way), although I told myself it wouldn't be the healthiest thing to eat, especially right now. But, well, I'm eating it now because I don't really have an eating disorder, I can control that well (I've gone to McDonalds and Pizza Hut and have spent a whole dinner eating nothing but salad). By the way, I'm alone at home right now, forgot to mention that.
Well, I can't think of more to write. I'm sort of in an okay mood now, having regained composure. Now I have to focus on my assignments. Philosophical thinking has undergone priority shifting, mainly because my preparations for college are going to be very tedious. Do write your comments, I really want to know what you think about me and my blog (even if it is really harsh, please do write openly).