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  1. #31
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    Day 35. Cravings for substances are few and far between.

    Cravings for porn have been very strong in recent days. It comes up once or twice a day, but the thoughts and urges are very strong. This could be due to it being one of the first behavioural addictions I've ever given up, and also the first time I have ever considered or tried to give up porn.

    I'm doing my best to keep busy, but one thing I'm well aware of is the impending digital detox which is going to leave me with a large amount of free time. This is another addiction - to my computer and phone. Whether it's trawling through wikipedia, music sites or forums online, or messaging people on social media. Admittedly the main use of my PC is for gaming, but I've found without substances the appeal for long gaming sessions is dwindling.

    I've noticed that I'm not getting as many stress related symptoms anymore. Alcohol used to give me upset stomachs and days after drinking would give me dizziness, headaches or general malaise. These have all gone now which is a relief. I suppose quitting both of them has also given me this clear head.

    It's also nice to know I can drive whenever I want to, and not have to work out when I had my last drink and if I'm legal to be able to drive my car.

    I wonder when things will start to get easier - although this all depends on how much time I squander on the negatives of quitting things, as opposed to the positives of leaving these addictions behind. Keeping busy helps to an extent, but it's keeping busy looking at a screen, and this in itself is becoming increasingly tedious.

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  2. #32
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    I can not compare what you going through but my worst addiction were ciggies, I was trying to quit it for the last ten years. When I quit and try not to go back I had so much time on my hands (I had never thought how much time smokiing consumes) I started to build my rock garden, then flower bed on front yard, then sides in garden, Eh I planted so much I have a hard time to keep it in shape. I already made rock garden smaller like half of what i had before, I also have huge veggie plot, The work in garden took my mind away from smoking. I think it helped me not to go back, It is 12 years now
    of being ex-smoker.
    I do understand cravings I really do
    ''“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  3. #33
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    I understand the struggle with smoking as it took me several attempts to quit smoking. In the early days of smoking cannabis I mixed it with tobacco. When I started smoking weed again most recently around 2 years ago, I only smoked cannabis on it's own.

    Last year a friend of mine introduced me to cigars, and paired with drinking and cannabis I found cravings were quite high. I must have smoked around 15 cigars in one year. Now that I'm not drinking, I found having one cigar on Christmas day was more than enough. My original intention for a cigar was twice a year - once on my birthday in July and one for Christmas. Now that I'm sober I find all sorts of cravings aren't nearly as bad. My overspending has been reigned in, as before I would go to the shop frequently for drinks and snacks and spend far too much money on consumables.

    The past 36 days I haven't overspent. I think I've addressed cravings for fast food as well. Me and my partner decided we'd only have it once or twice a month and a meal out once a month too. That way we're not wasting money on food. 1 dinner from a fast food place can cost more than my entire weekly budget for food - that makes no sense. But back when I was drinking often and stoned on weekends, I needed no justification to waste my money on food other than simply craving it, and not being sober enough to realise my money was burning a hole in my pocket.

    Our garden and house are projects I wish to continue when I sell my gaming PC in spring. When the evenings are lighter and I don't have a screen to distract me, I think my other hobbies and interests will naturally come to the forefront of my life. I'm still convinced that going several months without a home PC would be prudent, as I need to cement these new lifestyle choices firmly before I get even a basic PC. Whilst this PC wouldn't be able to run video games, I do think rationing the WiFi access to said computer would be wise, so that I won't waste excessive amounts of time each day on the computer.

    Me and my partner were discussing addressing our diets further in a few months and focusing on healthy eating. We're both well read in said subject, and we know what needs to be done. As with anything in a household - this has to be done together through co-operation. I'm hoping towards the end of February should spell the end of the colder weather, which means I can start doing my staffing regularly and exercise outdoors daily. This routine helped my mood and general wellbeing even when I was still subjecting my body to excess drinking and smoking weed. I imagine when paired with sobriety I will feel even better in myself.

    Next week I will have passed my probation at work and receive a pay rise. In 2 pay cheques I will have paid off what I spent on my card for Christmas, and finish a 2 year loan 14 months early as well. With my finances stabilised I will have more disposable income for health food and also to get out more and fund rennovating our house and garden more. I suppose quitting in winter was always going to be trickier. The length of daylight is rather overbearing, and the general mood in winter isn't as positive as in spring and summer.

    It's hard to say if I feel better or worse this winter compared to others as I can't recall the day to day emotions of previous years. All I have is an overview of how things had been. Being clear headed now does make life feel a lot more palpable. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed, but this can be due to positive emotions as well as negative ones. I think it's best to take stock of how far I've come, instead of focusing what still needs to be done. I can be good at planning but often act impulsively in life.

    The first week in January is often rife with talk of New Year resolutions and changes we feel compelled to make. In reality we're constantly changing, and the cliche desire to end or begin something on the 1st of January is a little tiresome to hear. As is the phrase "happy new year" repeated by people who don't come across as very happy at the time. For me, I know that positive steps have already been taken and these need to settle down some more before I proceed to the next changes I wish to pursue. Patience has never been my strong suit, and yet I look at the length of time I have lived with depression and anxiety with a sense of awe at times. It's conditions such as these which have caused me to feel a new sense of appreciation for life. Whilst I can readily look at the bad side or feel overwhelmed by emotions, I also find that I'm much more open to being lifted up by the positives I experience in life.

    One thing I'm reminding myself more of as I'm getting older is the value of slowing down. I find my thoughts, ideas, speech, movement and actions are often frantic and impulsive. Taking a step back and taking things in around me is invaluable. Rushing around often leads to half-baked conclusions. When I take my time the results are much more pleasing. I suppose I've been hoping for a eureka moment regarding quitting weed, alcohol and porn. A time where everything clicks - but I know it isn't that simple. I searched for quick fixes for anxiety for a long time, until I realised the whole time I'd been searching, I'd been improving and becoming wise to what could provoke and what would defuse my anxieties.

    With addiction I find it both shocking and admirable that I've realised it's time to move on. The time it took and the emotional extremes my lifestyle choices have taken me is quite astounding. This won't be a quick journey into my next stage in life - but I believe it will be my most rewarding as I intend to tackle this with the clarity of sobriety and I intend to spend the majority of my free time taking in the world around me rather than being stuck behind a screen.

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  4. #34
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    yeah it is tough time to quit addiction when you are not able to be with nature, Physical exercise will help . Just avoid food you had when playing or watching porn, For me the trigger was coffee , my only craving were where I had coffee, I had stopped coffee for maybe two months then started again without craving for ciggy
    You already went a long way, I see you planning everything, just remember not everything will go according to plan be flexible. I wish you a success whatever you do,
    ''“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  5. #35
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    There is no porn - it's one of the things I quit on 1st December. I will be cutting down severely on junk food in a few months once I've paid off the money I owe. Then I'll have enough for healthier foods. I know that healthy eating needn't be expensive, but I like to have a big variety of foods and lots of wholefoods when I eat healthily - so I do end up spending a lot more on my food budget.

    Caffeine is something I'd like to address in the future too as I find I drink too much of it at work and on the weekends it's almost all that I drink and very little else. Simply drinking enough water each day can provide more energy and feeling better - but as with a lot of things it's a habit I know I need to get into but seldom remember to.

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  6. #36
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    I am also kind of addicted to coffee, drinking too much of it, but I replace half of my coffee intake with white tea, I love Silver needle and I am getting it on line organic tea, White tea is not ripe green tea, Very tasty and has incredible calming properties, Beside drinking it straight , I do not need anything with it, I like bitterness. It is very refreshing and also calming so maybe you should try. It is more expensive than coffee that's for sure. Water; I drink only reverse osmosis water it is too much impurietis in tap water , for cooking I use filtered one. RO water tastes kind of sweet and so easy to drink I do not drink any sodas, just a bit tonic with gin but it happens maybe once in two or three months
    ragga take it slowly do not quit everything at once
    ''“If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.”
    ''
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

  7. #37
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    I messed up on day 38 with regards to porn. Past few days cravings had been intense. These feelings had been building and I stupidly caved in. Felt worse off afterwards. Resetting the counter back to zero was unproductive to say the least. Guilt and shame was intense and not long after depression hit home hard.

    I recall a few posts on Reddit by people saying they'd forgotten their favourite pornstars names - I'm not sure why I found that statement problematic, as a few names and faces remained in my mind's eye and were difficult to blank. Undoing 38 days for a few minutes looking at a few pictures of a porn star seems like such a poor return on investment.

    Whilst my timing of quitting porn didn't coincide with a later decision (and failed attempt) to quit masturbation, I think being without both makes the most sense. Using your minds eye to recall or conjure up pornography seems just as counterproductive as watching filmed porn on a screen.

    For me, porn was an outlet as my partner's sex drive is a lot lower than mine - to the point where we have sex less than once a month. It's a situation that causes a good deal of frustration in me, for various reasons. Whilst quitting porn brought new found intimacy, it can't change how my partner is with regards to her sex drive.

    Going back to day zero is problematic - but I know 38 days isn't bad for a first attempt. The whole thing was an anticlimax and created more negatives than positives. When I had relapsed with smoking or drinking in the past it would lead to a binge. Not in this instance - I want tomorrow to be day 1 again without porn and masturbation.

    Knowing what I do now - I can safely say this won't be easy at all. I don't think I'd ever felt cravings as relentless and overpowering as I had done the past few days. No amount of distraction or riding out the cravings would keep them at bay for that long. I'm sure it wouldn't have been a hopeless situation, and would have improved in time. I believe that failing the "No fap" a few days prior to looking at porn today was the initial trigger. Some people on the no porn groups see no issue with quitting porn but keeping masturbation - but I don't believe 1 can realistically be done without the other (at least for me). You're still getting your jollies off fictional situations and fantasizing about something that you're not ever going to be a part of. It's a perverse practice that has been normalised in society when it's abnormal behaviour.

    One thing this situation does enforce is the realisation that I need to enact on my plan to get rid of my smartphone and get a feature phone again. Whilst this may not have prevented what occurred today, it may have given me more time to talk myself down from these cravings.

    At any rate, the reset button has been hit. I'm trying not to be too hard on myself, as anything worthwhile in life isn't easy. This has to be taken as a lesson, and something to build upon in order to give up this habit once and for all. I have to remind myself at least, that porn was the number one recurring craving. Asides from the occasional pangs on weekends, my desire for weed and alcohol has been very tame. I suppose the reading and research I'd done on porn addiction paid off in a sense. They talked frequently about the sensory overload of porn sessions where people's brains were flicking through countless videos and scenes involving all sorts of pornstars that amped up the dopamine to excessive levels. At the end of the day a primate brain isn't equipped to deal with that level of stimulation. Humans are used to a handful of potential mates in a lifetime. Being able to see literally thousands with a few mouseclicks is sensor overload - which is why porn addiction and use can escalate. With that level of choice, scenes and genres become boring when binging on dopamine and an addiction can quickly build. TMI or not - I looked at 1 scene for less than a minute. In a way it was my form of justifying that it wasn't as bad as it had been in the past.

    The brain has a way of tiring quickly of all sorts in life. Repitition creates boredom and porn is no different. The main difference is that when you orgasm your brain releases an opiod chemical into your body that is unlike any other sensation you feel in your life. Hence, why normalising porn and having it readily available via smartphones, tablets and computers with high speed internet is so dangerous and can easily lead to addiction.

    Lesson learned - this was not worth my time or effort to have given up my progress. I guess I need to stop fixating on the days I went without porn - this needs to be a lifestyle change, not some sort of recorded challenge where I charter my progress day by day or week by week. One thing is for sure, I'm going to have to invest in more wholesome activities sooner rather than later, as all this investing in screen time is really grinding me down. I know winter isn't a great season for depression and mood - but I have got to get rid of my PC and smartphone and start living in the real world.

    Ed
    Last edited by raggamuffin; 01-07-2020 at 12:36 PM.
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  8. #38
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    Day 43 no weed or booze. Day 0 of porn. It's a shame - feeling myself slipping into that old, self-destructive habit again. I feel like a failure, but when I take a step back I don't feel like I'm back at square one. Since I tried to quit porn back on December 1st I read a lot about porn addiction and got a lot of good advice from Reddit and other forums. Whilst this wasn't enough to deter my relapse, I don't want to give up and I need to push myself to get back on track.

    At the end of the day actions speak louder than words. With quitting anything it's not so much action as inaction - don't do it. Don't smoke, don't drink and don't use porn. Simple rules that I torture myself with in terms of the mentality around abstinence. As with substances - all you're left with after using porn is negative feelings which build over time with continued use. I don't need any more negativity in my life and I have to let go of these indulgent and selfish habits. Working towards what helps me in life is a necessity - as is letting go of what has been holding me back and making me feel angry and downtrodden.

    On a positive note - I signed up for the work gym. The membership commences on February 1st. It's only £10 a month which is a bargain. With the realisation that I'm going to get rid of my PC in a few months, I've noticed a decline in my gaming time and enjoyment whilst I'm gaming. I've also deleted all the time wasting apps on my smartphone in preparation to be without a smartphone as well. Facebook, Messenger, Netflix, Prime and all my games have been uninstalled. I notice myself checking the phone screen but not unlocking it - as I have nothing to do other than check the time or the phone's battery life. Without all these apps a phone is a phone.

    Being free from substances has felt great, but my mood and my general outlook is being overshadowed by the turbulence of this porn relapse. Going porn free after this experience should help me succeed. Next time round, when cravings come and go I'll have my gym membership and will be exercising regularly and moving towards a healthier diet. This might not quell every craving, but these new fitness regimes will help improve my mood and help combat my low moods from cravings. As my interest in my computer is starting to gradually decline, I know I'll need to keep busy when the porn cravings rear their head again. At least now I know that no matter how strong the cravings - the pleasure or relief a relapse provides is a complete anticlimax. There is no sense in giving up on hard earner progress for a glimmer of pleasure. As the short lived positive is quickly replaced with a relentless flood of negative emotions.

    It's 2am on Sunday - so Monday will be my day 1 again. Going round in circles with quitting porn feels stupid at this point. I know I'm better off without it and I need to enforce this abstience until the resistence to it lessens and this becomes a real lifestyle choice - and not an imposed hardship. It'll take time before the burden of cravings and the desire to relapse are gone. They may well never be gone for good - but as with anything I've given up, I know the cravings begin to lessen.

    Willpower can sometimes seem fleeting and can often pale in comparison to my doubts and negative rumination - but it will become stronger with time. Identifying these addictions and self-destructive habits has been a rather daunting realisation. Seeing how much needs to be done, and realising that I'm the one who has to do it all. I know I'll come across people and information that will help - but I am the one who has to stick by these changes and not give into temptation. As with anxiety - if I didn't exist, my addiction wouldn't continue to exist without me. This is my fight and I need to stop giving into these negative behaviours. Reading and research into addictions is of little use if I don't put it into daily practice.

    2020 might have gotten off to a rocky start - but I intend to keep going with these self improvement plans. I've already reduced anxiety hugely in recent years. This has relieved a massive burden. Whilst depression does seem quite overbearing at times, I know that quitting my addictions will go a long way to improving my mood and my general health and wellbeing. This won't be easy - but I'm going to make it, no matter how long it takes to get there.


    Ed
    Last edited by raggamuffin; 01-11-2020 at 08:15 PM.
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by raggamuffin View Post
    Day 43 no weed or booze. Day 0 of porn. It's a shame - feeling myself slipping into that old, self-destructive habit again. I feel like a failure, but when I take a step back I don't feel like I'm back at square one. Since I tried to quit porn back on December 1st I read a lot about porn addiction and got a lot of good advice from Reddit and other forums. Whilst this wasn't enough to deter my relapse, I don't want to give up and I need to push myself to get back on track.

    At the end of the day actions speak louder than words. With quitting anything it's not so much action as inaction - don't do it. Don't smoke, don't drink and don't use porn. Simple rules that I torture myself with in terms of the mentality around abstinence. As with substances - all you're left with after using porn is negative feelings which build over time with continued use. I don't need any more negativity in my life and I have to let go of these indulgent and selfish habits. Working towards what helps me in life is a necessity - as is letting go of what has been holding me back and making me feel angry and downtrodden.

    On a positive note - I signed up for the work gym. The membership commences on February 1st. It's only £10 a month which is a bargain. With the realisation that I'm going to get rid of my PC in a few months, I've noticed a decline in my gaming time and enjoyment whilst I'm gaming. I've also deleted all the time wasting apps on my smartphone in preparation to be without a smartphone as well. Facebook, Messenger, Netflix, Prime and all my games have been uninstalled. I notice myself checking the phone screen but not unlocking it - as I have nothing to do other than check the time or the phone's battery life. Without all these apps a phone is a phone.

    Being free from substances has felt great, but my mood and my general outlook is being overshadowed by the turbulence of this porn relapse. Going porn free after this experience should help me succeed. Next time round, when cravings come and go I'll have my gym membership and will be exercising regularly and moving towards a healthier diet. This might not quell every craving, but these new fitness regimes will help improve my mood and help combat my low moods from cravings. As my interest in my computer is starting to gradually decline, I know I'll need to keep busy when the porn cravings rear their head again. At least now I know that no matter how strong the cravings - the pleasure or relief a relapse provides is a complete anticlimax. There is no sense in giving up on hard earner progress for a glimmer of pleasure. As the short lived positive is quickly replaced with a relentless flood of negative emotions.

    It's 2am on Sunday - so Monday will be my day 1 again. Going round in circles with quitting porn feels stupid at this point. I know I'm better off without it and I need to enforce this abstience until the resistence to it lessens and this becomes a real lifestyle choice - and not an imposed hardship. It'll take time before the burden of cravings and the desire to relapse are gone. They may well never be gone for good - but as with anything I've given up, I know the cravings begin to lessen.

    Willpower can sometimes seem fleeting and can often pale in comparison to my doubts and negative rumination - but it will become stronger with time. Identifying these addictions and self-destructive habits has been a rather daunting realisation. Seeing how much needs to be done, and realising that I'm the one who has to do it all. I know I'll come across people and information that will help - but I am the one who has to stick by these changes and not give into temptation. As with anxiety - if I didn't exist, my addiction wouldn't continue to exist without me. This is my fight and I need to stop giving into these negative behaviours. Reading and research into addictions is of little use if I don't put it into daily practice.

    2020 might have gotten off to a rocky start - but I intend to keep going with these self improvement plans. I've already reduced anxiety hugely in recent years. This has relieved a massive burden. Whilst depression does seem quite overbearing at times, I know that quitting my addictions will go a long way to improving my mood and my general health and wellbeing. This won't be easy - but I'm going to make it, no matter how long it takes to get there.


    Ed

    Hi Ed

    I’m curious about porn addiction. I hope you don’t mind me asking.. If you get the urge to, you know, satisfy your cravings.. Can you not just do it without looking at porn? Maybe just think about the porn you’ve watched? What is it that draws you to the computer or phone or whatever?

    I read a book on the porn industry a while ago. It’s shocking and it’s massive. So you are far from alone. There’s tons of stuff on YouTube about “no fap” and stopping the addiction. I really like Russell Brand and he talks about it in his Recovery book..

    https://youtu.be/7yYgfMmLy9c
    "..We are told no, we're unimportant, we're peripheral. 'Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.' And then you're a player, but you don't want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that's being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world." --Terence McKenna

  10. #40
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    Today marks day 66. Things remain the same for the most part. Highs and lows feel more intense. I had noticed that some of the stranger habits I have are occurring more frequently.

    Years ago I spoke with my therapist at the time about my assumption that me and my brother were somewhere on the spectrum. He asked if I'd take much stock in a formal diagnosis and it left me wondering if I would.

    A few weeks ago I began reading into the matter and started to notice a stark pattern. Traits, tics and thoughts that I've kept hidden from virtually everyone were appearing one after another in these website articles and online forums regarding autism.

    Something began to click, and so I looked into the process of obtaining a diagnosis. Where I live in the UK there's a 12 month waiting list after receiving a GP referral before you can have an autism assessment. So I looked around private clinics and was shocked to realise it'd cost me over £1000.

    So I started looking for the questionnaires and criteria they examined and lo and behold I found many of the tests they use. I did a handful which were created by professionals and in each text I scored very highly for potentially having Asperger's.

    Then the same question cropped up - would it mean that much to be to get a formal diagnosis? Reading articles and understanding the tics, traits and characteristics I'd hidden from my day to day life around people felt positive. A sense of closure and solidarity began to form. But I don't need a diagnosis at the end of the day. I have a full time job, I have a mortgage and a long term relationship. Regardless of where I am on the spectrum, I'm getting by alright. I don't want CBT to try and undo who I am as a person, or to take medication to chemically alter my mood.

    Researching what I have has helped gain a new understanding. But autism is a life long condition. What's interesting to note is that people with autism have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. So I joined a forum and did something I've never done before. I listed every single abnormal trait, tic and personal defect I had that I felt wasn't normal. I received a warm welcome by numerous people and soon learned that what I considered defects and what I'd hidden from people for most of my life was perfectly normal behaviour for someone on the spectrum.

    It's helped me understand why I am who I am. Why I have a lit of strange behaviours and such an obsessive and particular mindset. Why empathy often feels alien to me and why socially I'm quite naive and have been taken advantage of so many times. But it's also shown why I have a creative flair and passion for a select few things in life. It reminded me of a line from a hymn we used to sing at school

    "To be understood, as to understand."

    Ed
    How strong, how costly, the urge to fight our fate and turn back time. But life is meant to be consumed, not preserved to ward off doom. One can surely die from fear, before the end is ever near.

 

 

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