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ElectroNugget

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20 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

I talked to my girlfriend about it today and she made it clear that it's had a huge effect on her, more than I knew or expected.

Hey ElectroNugget,

I'm really interested in that sentence you've written. Could you tell more about it? Because I'm asking myself how someone can notice that.

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48 minutes ago, Sapuverell said:

Hey ElectroNugget,

I'm really interested in that sentence you've written. Could you tell more about it? Because I'm asking myself how someone can notice that.

Hey man.

Well, I'm going to have to get a little into the nitty-gritty to fully explain it. I'm going to try to be a little vague for her sake and mine, but to be short my girlfriend has had some mental health issues in the distant past. I have had troubles with porn-induced ED (erectile dysfunction). When we began our relationship I felt it would be best to be honest with her about my ongoing attempts to quit porn, and that sometimes things in bed might go sideways due to that. Basically, that's happened a few times and she seems to have taken it as a slight against her body image, and feels like she has an impossible competition vs. porn for sexual attention. That's really impacted her self esteem, and that's fair. I really don't want to hurt her in this way, so it's been an extra motivator for me to quit for good this time.

I'm also reading a book called 'The Porn Trap', by Larry and Wendy Maltz, which goes into further details on how porn can affect your sex life and your relationships. It's really eye-opening. I've traded temporary pleasure for real love, affection and my own self-esteem my whole life, having to hide this dirty secret from everyone. Now I am trying to liberate myself from it and be open about it so I can change.

I hope that's clear without being too graphic. 🙂

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DAY 29:

Whoah, one day away from a month now. 

Today was OK. I finished up some more drawings for my portfolio, chatted with my girlfriend to try and smooth things over (things have been a bit rough lately), and then went through my old portfolio and deleted a lot of my old art.

Funnily enough, deleting my old work felt kind of cathartic, and like I was making space for a new chapter in my artistic career. There's now a huge hole in my online portfolio, so now I have no choice but to fill it.

I am having pretty intense ups and downs emotionally right now, and I definitely feel a high level of stress, but I am not sure where it comes from since I who knows if it's about life, craving games or porn anymore. I'm just very stressed. But at the same time, I feel hopeful (at least right now) that I am slowly getting on the right path for the future.

I've attached my latest artwork below.

john-muller-lineup-style.jpg

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2 hours ago, Sapuverell said:

Hey ElectroNugget,

I'm really interested in that sentence you've written. Could you tell more about it? Because I'm asking myself how someone can notice that.

 

1 hour ago, ElectroNugget said:

Hey man.

Well, I'm going to have to get a little into the nitty-gritty to fully explain it. I'm going to try to be a little vague for her sake and mine, but to be short my girlfriend has had some mental health issues in the distant past. I have had troubles with porn-induced ED (erectile dysfunction). When we began our relationship I felt it would be best to be honest with her about my ongoing attempts to quit porn, and that sometimes things in bed might go sideways due to that. Basically, that's happened a few times and she seems to have taken it as a slight against her body image, and feels like she has an impossible competition vs. porn for sexual attention. That's really impacted her self esteem, and that's fair. I really don't want to hurt her in this way, so it's been an extra motivator for me to quit for good this time.

I'm also reading a book called 'The Porn Trap', by Larry and Wendy Maltz, which goes into further details on how porn can affect your sex life and your relationships. It's really eye-opening. I've traded temporary pleasure for real love, affection and my own self-esteem my whole life, having to hide this dirty secret from everyone. Now I am trying to liberate myself from it and be open about it so I can change.

I hope that's clear without being too graphic. 🙂

Indeed, talking from experience, my ex also suffered from mental-induced self-worthlessness, low self-esteem and low self-confidence. She would never say "I love myself". Frankly, my answer on the question "Do you love yourself?" back then would be "well, I kinda like myself", which wouldn't be very convincing either.

I would tell her she's beautiful and she would just brush it off, yet I can't even begin to fathom what would happen if I told her she was ugly!

I'm fap-free until Monday myself, so good luck! Nicely done on 29.

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DAY 30-34:

I hit the one month mark! Pretty cool I guess.

I must admit, I've been away from the site as it feels like the gaming is slipping away from being my primary focus of change, to porn being the big battle. I don't know if I'm biting off more than I can chew right now, but I feel like since they both represented a release, or a dopamine high when I was feeling bad, it makes sense to try and tackle them together. 

That said, porn has been much, much harder to quit and I am battered by extremely powerful urges and temptations every day. I'm now on day 11 of NoFap, with 12 days being my longest streak, this seems to be a hump that I struggle with as today has been excruciating. I've also experienced far more severe symptoms of some of the side effects already discussed on gamequitters: fatigue, mood swings, poor sleep quality, and most annoyingly, painful headaches that don't really respond to medication. I've also felt jumpy and anxious at night. Overall, it's been rough.

I'm really determined to quit and change my life but the forces arrayed against me seem overwhelming, especially since my career also seems to be in the dumps. I've found myself browsing Youtube and Reddit mindlessly, clearly also a shoddy attempt at escaping reality which I will also have to quit or curb severely at some point. Just how deep does this rabbit hole go?

So yeah, really rough couple of days. I will try to get back to regular posts again soon.

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DAY 35-37:

Hit the two-week mark of NoFap today, so that's cool. It's my longest clean streak ever. So setting records pretty much every day now as long as I stay away from Porn and Gaming.

That said, I've still been in a really bad place. Quitting porn and games has shown me very clearly just how much time and energy I dumped into them, because with them removed there's actually very little going on in my life. No wonder it's a mess and my career is in the dump! I guess it's a good revelation to have, but it does feel disheartening. Despite the intensity of my urges, I can see now that quitting is just the very beginning of the journey. Now I will have to build a whole new life, with new habits and completely new routines.

Normally I think I would find that premise very exciting, but since I'm having major career and employment problems right now it feels like a bit too much to handle. Remodeling my whole lifestyle while trying to either A: take the necessary steps to get my career back on track or B: figure out that I don't want to be an artist anymore and pivot, seems like a lot to do all at once. I wish I was a stronger person, that I could face these things and know that I would surmount this challenge. But the matter of fact is that deep down I believe I am weak, and I have no faith in my abilities to rectify this situation.

In light of this intense pressure and rampant self-doubt, I've found myself having suicidal thoughts again. I hope in time they will pass, I guess I just need to hold on while the slow change takes its course, and perhaps carries me to more fertile grounds.

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Hey, coming to you from the post on my journal (after I responded there). 

I think one thing that you should keep in perspective is that you aren't going to change your lifestyle overnight. I've tried that in the past. It doesn't work. It blows up and you end up back where you started. Instead of trying to take on a ton of changes at once, start small. You already quit gaming and are doing NoFap and that's huge. Now you could try adding 1 habit for a trial period of three weeks. If the habit is works well and you are comfortable, then maybe try adding a new one (and so on and so forth). A really solid habit to start with is reading or writing. You can do it as much as you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, just like gaming. This helps fill that void. Then, if you want to branch out from there it becomes a lot easier, because you have a Plan B if something doesn't work out and you need to fill your time.

You are a lot stronger than you think. Weak people are the ones who are still gaming, who haven't hit the two week mark of NoFap and who aren't doing the best to better themselves. It's similar to the difference between a talented person who doesn't work and an untalented person who does. The person who lacks the talent will go much further because they were strong enough to be willing to make a change and acted upon that desire.

Stay strong. You will figure this out, but beating yourself up isn't the solution. Keep in mind that this too will pass and that you need to decide what kind of person you want to be when it has. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy and you're taking on something that is hard. But the respect that you can build for yourself through this journey has no price; it really is earned. I respect you just for being here, for expressing your thoughts and for making it as far as you have, as I believe anyone else on this forum would. We're all trying to better ourselves. So are you.

Wishing you the best and hoping to hear from you soon 🙂.

 

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Hey @ElectroNugget, I really identify with your post. Quitting PMO and gaming and realizing my life was really screwed up by it--check. Career low caused by these things and second guessing career choices (mine was three-to-four years ago)--check. Feeling weak, overwhelmed, with intrusive thoughts of suicide--triple check. 

You're pretty aware of your own problems, so I'm confident you can figure this out. I agree with what George said, a lifestyle change doesn't happen overnight. The only thing you can try and do is be 1% better relative to yesterday, every day. Eventually, that'll compound and you'll realize you've come a long way. While I still feel like my life is in the shitter in many ways, in some ways it is much better than it once was. I take some solace in that, and that will come with time for you. 

And by no means do I want to come off as preachy--this is the same advice I need and struggle with every day. I just want you know that I believe in you and hope you will find your way, because if you figure it out first, that will give me more hope for myself, too. 

And I apologize since this advice was completely unasked for. Again, I just felt like I saw a lot of myself in this.

Oh and by the way, your art is dope!

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Really dig your journaling style, and I see a lot of my current problems in the things you are describing. I too am at a confusing time for myself career wise and it causes me stress each day. I went thru the same thing you described about the porn addiction and ED problems with my EX a couple years ago and she also had a negative body image of herself. Do you find yourself with a lot of free time? Do you have enough activities to fill up that time you used to dedicate to gaming and porn? You mention "fatigue, mood swings, poor sleep quality, and most annoyingly, painful headaches that don't really respond to medication. I've also felt jumpy and anxious at night." Have you tried weight lifting or working out? I think that could potentially do wonders for these issues. I'm only 10 days in myself but I've thrown myself into lifting and exercise and I'm already noticing increases in sleep quality, energy levels, mood, ability to focus, capacity for learning.. etc   

Anyway, hope the best for you friend.

 

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DAY 38-49:

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for responding @NannerZ, @DaBest and @George Wyatt, your responses were very helpful.

I went away after my previous post to Munich to visit my girlfriend and spent more than a week with her on a sort of short holiday. While I was over there I decided to take a break from journaling and just focus on spending time with her, which is why it's been so long since my last update. It was really nice and I could actually see the benefits of quitting gaming and porn when spending time with her. On the flip side, it became apparent that now I was spending much more time texting on my phone and my girlfriend complained that sometimes I seemed a little distant. I suppose in general this highlights my need to be distracted and that if I don't take control of the need then I will just fill it with another unproductive habit. It seems the rabbit hole is pretty deep. So, eventually, I'm going to have to address my problems with the internet in general.

Once I got back from Munich however, I broke my NoFap streak and binged for a few days which has left me very demoralized again. It's a very, very tough habit to break, this porn problem. I just have to try and start again though. It's a two-step process, it seems, breaking habits. It's not enough to stop doing the old thing, you also have to start doing something new to replace it. In the future, I think I'll need to give some more thought to this as this might be part of what's making quitting porn so hard for example. At least I'm managing to stay away from games.

While I've had urges to play the worst of it has just been watching some Starcraft competitive matches. But that can be just as time-consuming as gaming itself, so I'd like to stop doing that as well.

There's a lot of denying myself things I want to do in life lately, which sucks. But I guess it needs to be done.

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Hey man, finally had a chance to catch up on your journal. It's great seeing your progress!

It might not feel like you're making much progress, especially with the NoFap streak ending, but 50 days od no gaming is huge. It doesn't get much easier, unfortunately, but you get much better at dealing with it. 

All you can do is keep trying.

One of my favourite ideologies is: as long as you keep trying, you can never fail

The people who fail are the ones who give up, so it's clear you're not a failure. Keep it up!

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100% agreed with @James Good !

It doesn't matter how much time you "wasted", as long as you come back (and it doesn't necessarily even have to be here) and have the honest intention of becoming better than you were. Some days you feel amazing and truly live up by that creed, whereas other days you are in self-inflicted despicable agony, where your integrity depends solely in keeping yourself away from downloading Steam.

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the kind words. I think being away from the forums kind of made me forget how we're all in this together and I don't have to feel alone with my struggle. I'm going to try and post daily again starting tomorrow.

I've been drawing another character today and I feel a lot better, it's nice to be productive rather than just sitting at home moping.

DND_ART_Chakaxx_005_JHM.png

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Yeah it's easy to forget sometimes, but we're all a community and we're all stumbling through the same old journey. 

Also, do you have a portfolio of your artwork? I'm a DM for a regular D&D and I really love your stuff! 

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Hey Man,

Really enjoyed reading through your posts!  Major congrats on your current progress! The self-control you demonstrated to put those behaviors on hold are commendable, you should be so proud! Have you found a morning routine that works? I have been waking up at 5am, using a variation of Robin Sharmas 20/20/20 Rule. 20 Exercicse, 20mins planing and 20 learning helps me start the day in a great space, and by 9-10 im more than ready for bed, which keeps my day productive. I have also been using a ToDolist called ToDoist which has increase my productivity in heaps! I totally recommend and you can try the basic for free! Does your gf live abroad as well? I noticed you travelled to Munich to see her, I know for my my gf has been a major inspiration to change this area of my life, knowing that I am not fulling my potential or being present in the relationship was really important to me! Congrats again! Thanks for sharing and inspiring me! Keep your awesome are coming! 

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DAY 50:

@James Good Thanks man! Yeah I have a portfolio here: https://www.artstation.com/johnmuller. I'm in the middle of reworking it though so it's a little empty at the moment.

@AssellusPrimus Thanks dude. Actually I haven't really established a morning routine yet, but you've given me some really good ideas! I've been using an app called Everyday to track my daily habits but I haven't been super disciplined about doing them at a certain time. Getting all or some of it done when I wake up like you suggested seems like a solid plan. I'll look into integrating it. And yeah my gf lives in Munich, I'm in Denmark. She's gonna come back in September though!

Today was a good day, finished up some bits and pieces of freelance work, I'm slowly clearing my schedule this week of all extraneous tasks so that I can start a big push with my portfolio next week. Overall a good day as I got a lot done and feel proud about it. Also halfway to a hundred days! How nuts is that? I'm kinda living vicariously by watching the odd Starcraft match, but not enough to distract me from working so I guess it's OK.

Really been boosted by all the responses here guys. Thanks. 🙂

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Man, they're incredible! Remind me to commission you for party artwork when I get around to having D-D&D-D (disposable D&D dollars 😁).

Also, congrats on day 50! Huge achievement.

Here's to many more milestones in the future.

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DAY 51:

@James Good, I’d love to do some commissions, you know where to find me if you ever need any. 😉

 Short entry today as I got home very late. Today I started training to get my Danish drivers license. I had one when I lived in South Africa but it’s not transferable, so I have to start from the bottom here. I haven’t driven a car in about 9 years, but once I spent an hour in the seat it was like riding a bicycle. I really look forward to being able to drive again! This is something I’ve been meaning to do for years, but I always put it off. Now that I have all this free time it’s actually doable. Nine weeks from now I’ll be eligible to drive in all of Europe. Another point towards no gaming.

I also did some more illustration work for a client today and setup a business PayPal account to use for my international clients. That felt very official. Things seem to be slowly picking up on the art front. I’ll continue working on this client for the rest of the week, then it’s back to portfolio next week, which I’m really looking forward to. Overall a good day! Honestly there’s nothing better than ending a day feeling like you made progress and got important things done. I need to remind myself of that next time I think about sitting around watching Netflix all day.

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Hey, John. I've just gotten through reading all of your entries, and I really hope you find the strength to continue in your self-improvement journey. I also want to tell you that your art is really, genuinely wonderful. I'm not saying this to make you feel better or to pad your confidence. You possess a degree of skill in art that I know many people would kill to have. How long have you been drawing? What do you use to create your work? Best of luck!

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6 hours ago, cammyhammy said:

Hey, John. I've just gotten through reading all of your entries, and I really hope you find the strength to continue in your self-improvement journey. I also want to tell you that your art is really, genuinely wonderful. I'm not saying this to make you feel better or to pad your confidence. You possess a degree of skill in art that I know many people would kill to have. How long have you been drawing? What do you use to create your work? Best of luck!

Thanks Cammy! I’ve been doodling dinosaurs since I was a child but I only really started taking my art seriously in my early 20’s. I went to an animation school in Denmark and since then I’ve been doing it professionally with varying degrees of success for about three years. To be honest if I hadn’t been such a huge gamer I think I would be a lot better at this point (hence: more job security), and then I wouldn’t have to be seriously considering quitting art. The battle between my career choice and my former lifestyle is one of my biggest motivators to quit videogames. I’m hoping I can rectify my skill gap in the coming years with all my newfound free time! Edit: Forgot to mention that I use a Wacom tablet and photoshop to make most of my stuff. 🙂

DAY 52:

Very late entry today but really want to get back into the habit of posting every single day, so here it is. Honestly a very uneventful day as it was a public holiday and I had a migraine headache last night. Slept most of the day to recover and watched Star Trek. Really need to dispose of my iPad and bringing electronics into bed, but I’m really wary of trying to change everything at once. In the past I’ve often had big bursts of motivation to try and reinvent my whole lifestyle at once and usually my experience is that that never lasts. Changing everything takes a lot of willpower and regressing is all too easy (even NoGames and NoFap together are almost impossible for me), so I’m trying to pace myself and allow things to be imperfect while big changes like NoGames settle in. In time I’m hoping the ‘long view’ strategy works to create more lasting change in my life. 

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll feel recharged and can continue with my portfolio. No games! Past the halfway mark by a week now, feels good.

Edited by ElectroNugget
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DAY 53:

Uneventful day again, it’s a long weekend currently so I’ve been taking it slow and relaxing. Game urges have been incredibly strong lately, really want to boot up one game or another, even considered what it would take to do so (starting a new steam account, etc.). Very strange, but I didn’t give in.

I can feel quite strongly now that quitting is not enough in itself, now that the numbers are getting higher and resisting urges isn’t taking up all my energy it’s time to start implementing some new habits to fill the gap. I think I’ll be spending this weekend figuring out what that next step is gonna look like.

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Glad to hear that you feel ready to try some new habits! It might be rough at the start, as you won't be used to them and will probably make some mistakes, but once you get going the experience is well worth it! 

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Thanks @George Wyatt, that's the plan. 

DAY 54-60:

I've been sick since last Saturday with the flu! Hence the lack of updates. After a truly miserable week, I'm finally starting to recover now. Of course, I was completely unproductive during this period and spent most of my time in bed half conscious watching Star Trek or competitive Starcraft matches. I guess I could have tried to read or draw, but I was so out of it half the time I'm not sure it would have been worth it.

I was VERY tempted to break out the Switch to try and distract myself from my illness, and although I didn't do it I do feel like all the Starcraft I watched was a kind of living vicariously that maybe I'm not OK with going forward. I don't know. Of course, I've been in a low mood while being ill and I've felt remorseful about the state of my life, while also not happy about the prospect of never playing again. I guess it will pass when I get back on my feet.

In other news I've been accepted for a Masters Degree course in Software Development in ITU, a prestigious university in Copenhagen, starting in August. I suppose I should be happy about it but it almost feels like quitting on art. Nothing seems to satisfy me. 😛 I really just want to work somewhere fun, drawing cool stuff alongside people I like. But picking up some software skills should help me to pay the bills in between these periods where I can't seem to find full-time work as an artist. And I'm sure going back to university to learn something new for two years will be a lot of fun. I just can't help but feel like it's an admission of failure on the art front.

Once I'm up to full health I want to try ban all electronics from my bedroom for 3 weeks and focus on that as the main (and only) habit I'm trying to change for the immediate future, and see how it goes.

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15 hours ago, ElectroNugget said:

In other news I've been accepted for a Masters Degree course in Software Development in ITU, a prestigious university in Copenhagen, starting in August.

Congratulations! 🤜

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