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Ending the Loop


Pochatok

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Thursday entry: Day 1 - another mindless relapse. I am not sure why I did not catch this in my mind  as a violence... 

No, I do know- because I do not let the bitter aftertaste of a relapse to sit with me. I quickly move on, like it's nothing. But it has detrimental effects on how I see and treat others, and myself. I do not want to engage in (mainstream) pornography because it is always, always turning people into objects. I want to see and accept people for who they are, not for what they represent. I don't want to see people half-way. 

With that, I want to live by the following values today:

- positive obsession // get things done
- dreaming // see my path clearly
- clarity and presence // be fully aware of how my current actions influence the future
- honesty // no lies to myself, or others 
- movement // do not stagnate, keep active

Let's seize the day

-- 

Friday entry: Day 2. I have been engaging in pornography, but in a very important manner that actually distances me from it. This is similar to how I engaged w/ games prior to quitting- by creating a different relationship that was not rooted in avoidance, escapism, and etc.. Once this was achieved, I no longer "needed" games, and therefore had an easier time quitting.

I understand the risks of this approach, but am already feeling much better about it. It's a lot harder to rewire my relationship with pornography by quitting cold turkey. Instead, I need to kindly, patiently recreate my relationship so that it simply is no longer needed. 

Almost like saying goodbye to a friend with whom I need to part ways- be kind, compassionate, caring, yet firm.

Not one step back here. I want to keep learning.

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Yep, keep up the work and you did it once with games, you ll improve your life again by quitting porn

It's takes and faces dopamine, which stops you from achieving your goals, it's makes you less capable with women and in bed. It breaks your motivation and makes pseudo achievement. But remember, it's all up to you and you can do it, as if you did it before

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On 11/19/2020 at 6:04 PM, Pochatok said:

Hi! I am a 20yo(he/him) college student studying English, Art and Music. When I was introduced to my 1st video game- Tanki Online(haha yes very lame)- I was so overwhelmed with it I would play up to 6 hours per day. As of yesterday, I never play more than an hour a day. But, even that amount I find harmful- I could have cleaned up my room, taken a longer shower, do some exercise, talk to my friends... So, I decided to quit, once again. 

Previously, I've quitted countless times. I would get incredibly mad at myself, delete all of my games and social media accounts only to crawl back into gaming within a week Each relapse would be slightly better than the last- the amount of time I spent playing decreased over the years- but addiction would still win over me. I stumbled upon this site just a few hours ago, but reading all the stories here is so inspirational! I really hope that this time there will be no relapse- I plan on playing games from now on only if that is a way to connect with people whom I can not see physically. Time to break the loop of relapsing yeeeeeee!

Here's my priority list for today(I'm keeping it general on purpose):

  • Finish up the 1st three parts of my last Final
  • Submit paperwork for my campus job
  • Practice for the performance tomorrow
  • Make a list of things to do for Winter Break
  • Clean up my room
  • Do other various paperwork for volunteering, other jobs, financial aid, and classes.
  • Talk to my grandparents 🙂
  • Draw on my own.
  • Pick a new book to read.

Hehe I'm so excited to press the "post" button, I have so much faith in this! See you later, and thank you so much for the read!

Cheers,

Pochatok

 

A new book to read. That is what I wish to do also. It feels like I stopped reading books when Internet came. It's terrible. I loved reading books. When I was growing up. God, what I miss reading books. What did you read about? What is it about? Keep up the positive things you do!

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On 3/20/2024 at 6:47 AM, Dark said:

Hey bro, how are you doing?

A week out for a work trip! Incredible experience, but I came back and relapsed immediately. Starting over today- day 0.

Why  did the relapse happen: lack of intention, lack of reflection. I could have set myself up for success but instead set myself up for failure.

I find myself going deeper and deeper into "unsuccessful" ways of living, even though my character is as strong as ever. I'm appreciated by everyone I meet, people enjoy me and my presence. I feel very secure and confident in myself. Yet...

There is a clear lack of direction to my actions. I struggle to put simple acts together, feeling rather disoriented and easily distracted. I feel both at my highest and lowest at the same time. How do I move on from this?

Tomorrow, i will reflect more on this issue. For now- I am trying my best to live. Thank you for following me along.

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On 3/21/2024 at 3:16 PM, seekndestroy said:

A new book to read. That is what I wish to do also. It feels like I stopped reading books when Internet came. It's terrible. I loved reading books. When I was growing up. God, what I miss reading books. What did you read about? What is it about? Keep up the positive things you do!

Hey! That post is from over 3 years ago at this point- I have read countless books since, and am happy to share some favorites. 

- Courage to be Disliked (and the sequel, Courage to be Happy)

- Parable of the Sower (and the sequel, Parable of Talents)

- Dark New Age

- Property Will Cost Us The Earth

- My Black Friend and Other Strangers

- Ecophobia Hypothesis

- Rehearsals for Living

- Beyond the Gender Binary

Also, I understand why you no longer read books- it is very, very hard in the current digital landscape. I struggle with it too- it took me intentionally quitting most social media for many, many months (along with games, tv, comics, and many other forms of entertainment) to resume my relationship w/ reading in a sustainable and compassionate way.

Let me know if you pick up any of these, they're all such wonderful reads ❤️ 

 

 

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Alright, let's get back into it, and w/ a strong identity recommitment first. It's never impossible to change.

I am not a person who indulges in any of the following:
- skin picking
- any other physically harmful coping mechanism

- gaming
- social media as escapism, rather than learning
- non-intentional learning of any kind (such as mindless reading, binge-watching, etc.)
- pornography
- any other emotionally harmful coping mechanism

Why is that no longer me: I must pursue my goals. I know that the world needs me- the world as I want it to be will never, never happen if I do not make it myself. And I cannot get there w/out my 100%. It will take all of us- and I need to start with myself.

I want a world where "work" is not a requirement for basic human needs, where has the capacity to be brave and do the hard thing, where there are no more (bullshit) jobs, where borders are a formality rather than barriers, where empathy and compassion is practiced more often than isolation and fear. 

If I do not quit gaming, I cannot teach myself to do the hard things. If I do not quit pornography, I will not live a life free of fear and isolation. If I continue to escape my physical, social, emotional realities in any way, I will never be able to change the world.

I am no longer a person that engages in skin picking, pornography, games, and any other forms of escapism.

❤️

Po

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Day 1 again- relapsed yesterday, multiple times. While my preferences for content are changing for the better, I need to simply stop. Again, I must stand by my goals more deeply- it's too easy to forget.

If I want to live in the world of my dreams, I must change. 

If I want to be free, I want change.

Every time I have an urge to relapse, I will remind myself of the two statements above. Is it worth to override them yet again? After all, how do I know that today is not my last day on Earth? Tomorrow is not granted.

I am no longer a person that engages in skin picking, pornography, gaming, and any other forms of escapism. I am in tune with myself. 

❤️ 

Let's go again.

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On 3/25/2024 at 3:30 AM, Pochatok said:

- Courage to be Disliked (and the sequel, Courage to be Happy)

- Parable of the Sower (and the sequel, Parable of Talents)

- Dark New Age

- Property Will Cost Us The Earth

- My Black Friend and Other Strangers

- Ecophobia Hypothesis

- Rehearsals for Living

- Beyond the Gender Binary

Thank you, will try those. Glad to see you back!

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On 3/28/2024 at 8:45 AM, Pochatok said:

Day 1 again- relapsed yesterday, multiple times. While my preferences for content are changing for the better, I need to simply stop. Again, I must stand by my goals more deeply- it's too easy to forget.

If I want to live in the world of my dreams, I must change. 

If I want to be free, I want change.

Every time I have an urge to relapse, I will remind myself of the two statements above. Is it worth to override them yet again? After all, how do I know that today is not my last day on Earth? Tomorrow is not granted.

I am no longer a person that engages in skin picking, pornography, gaming, and any other forms of escapism. I am in tune with myself. 

❤️

Let's go again.

Missed a cruicial part of my morning routine- journaling, dreaming, and praying. As a result, another relapse. I must center my intentions. Writing here is one portal for getting there. How do I maintain this routine w/ stability?

- consistent, successive routine: so far, I've been able to implement the following chain: 

  1. wake up
  2. think through the dreams for 5-10
  3. brief prayer of gratitude as I'm getting up
  4. 2nd prayer- of gratitude
  5. ice shower
  6. outside walk 
  7. exercise

Where would planning, dreaming, aspiring prayer, and journaling fit in best -> added in!

  1. wake up
    1. immediately get out of bed
  2. think through the dreams for 5-10
  3. brief prayer of gratitude as I'm getting up
  4. 2nd prayer- of gratitude
    1. set my future self vision, dreams, and aspirations for today- 3 things i want to happen and experience
  5. ice shower
  6. outside walk 
    1. review the plans for today, and recap yesterday- through a voice message
  7. exercise
    1. transcribe and expand on the voice message from the walk
  8. have breakfast - no distractions, no media. be w/ myself
  9. --- the day passes
  10. review the transcription from 7th point, and make plans for tomorrow + the next 7, 30, 60, 100 days (to be reviewed the next day during 6th point)

How do I ensure that this sticks? Make it public (by sharing here + my personal blog) and make it stick (write it down, physically)

I don't want to forget that I want to be free. I want to do the difficult, important things. I've been running away this whole week. It does not feel good. I am so easily distracted, and yet feel almost no shame for my behavior.

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Another day- was able to implement the above exercise, sloppily. Did not have a walk long enough to review my plans, and set them for today- which is definitely related to my hour-long distraction into reading. It was certainly useful, but inefficient.

I want to make the most of the little time I have left on this planet. It will never be enough- but I can do my best. 

Po

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did not relapse w/ pornography today- the "exposure therapy" is working, and let me share why:

What is "exposure therapy" in regards to pornography?
I watch pornography on purpose within a setting that is de-stimulating (less private, less intimate space)- this helps me react milder to seeing porn.

What inspired me to try this?
My recent experiences of platonic physical intimacy. I got to cuddle and fall asleep, repeatedly, with a friend for whom I used to have intense romantic affection; at first, it was quite uncomfortable- I had to work through the urges to infuse platonic cuddles with romantic overtones. But, as time went on, I became a lot more comfortable just cuddling, just sleeping. And then, my feelings shifted too- I no longer have romantic attachment to my friend; our feelings towards each other run more consistently parallel, and I feel so secure ❤️ I no longer worry about impulsively acting out on my desires, or struggle to enjoy our relationship as it is now.

-> With porn, I hope to gain a same effect- not by abstaining from accessing it, but un-learning my desire towards it. Only then, I will have a secure relationship w/ pornography, where I feel in control of my feelings and actions. 

if memory serves me right, this was a strategy I utilized for video games, too, prior to starting my detox. I tend to track my quitting journey w/ gaming from day 0, but in fact, it started long before that. I would have never made it from 0 to 90 in one take, had I not done so much prep work.

Excited to continue down this road- every time I have an urge for pornography, de-sensitize myself. Remind me that this is not what I really desire. 

Po ❤️ 

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Today, I was not someone who was committed to quitting.

I am continuing a very mindful exposure course, but am not doing enough to cultivate a different set of coping/need-meeting mechanisms. Therefore, I relapsed when urges were strong enough. And, I did not set my values in the morning.

Today, pornography urges showed up when I was feeling very stressed. I need to re-wire myself into doing something else that actually helps: at the moment, porn is most desired b/c I do not have other effective coping strategies like talking to friends/journaling (relational expression), walking/exercise (physical expression), or singing/making art (emotional expression- as in bypassing conscious processing of emotions into feelings). 

Perhaps what I am realizing most closely is that I've been extremely forgetful since February. I am no longer holding deep awareness of my values; I have no long-term plans. I am very present, very intent, but that intent ends with sunset. 

I need to re-form my life again. Even if it is feeble and unstable of a vision, I need to have one. 

So, today I will begin keeping track of four separate living modules: half-day plan (revised/extended in evening), 7 day aspirations, 10-week goals, and 2 year dreams. 

Or, 7 hours, 7 days, 70 days, and 700 days. For some reason, this number has been working well for me. 

Again, I do not want to make this public directly. However, I do want to make and publish artwork that will reflect each one of these. To keep this private is to never commit. 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Pochatok said:

I need to re-form my life again. Even if it is feeble and unstable of a vision, I need to have one. 

 

Great words! I 100% agree on those. If you have a plan you are knowing where are you heading)

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Today, I did not sent an intent of not-relapsing; fortunately, urges were low.

I am continuing to have massive issues w/ distractions. I need to work through this ASAP- a vision is closer, yet I have not arrived at it still. Hustle hustle!

Po

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On 4/9/2024 at 12:54 AM, Pochatok said:

I need to re-form my life again. Even if it is feeble and unstable of a vision, I need to have one. 

So, today I will begin keeping track of four separate living modules: half-day plan (revised/extended in evening), 7 day aspirations, 10-week goals, and 2 year dreams. 

Or, 7 hours, 7 days, 70 days, and 700 days. For some reason, this number has been working well for me. 

Again, I do not want to make this public directly. However, I do want to make and publish artwork that will reflect each one of these. To keep this private is to never commit. 

First thing that came to my mind reading your entry was your commitment to introspection and your wish to figure yourself out. It's a tough job.

What has worked for me was to find out what I don't want (to do, make or meet), gradually progress to things I want, plan ahead a little and establish a few routines (sleep, work, hygiene). And to prioritize stuff that has the biggest impact. Reading daily is nice, but it's not the biggest priority when you can't provide for yourself or don't have a sleep schedule.

Good luck with your reform 🙂 

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On 4/10/2024 at 3:36 PM, Ikar said:

First thing that came to my mind reading your entry was your commitment to introspection and your wish to figure yourself out. It's a tough job.

What has worked for me was to find out what I don't want (to do, make or meet), gradually progress to things I want, plan ahead a little and establish a few routines (sleep, work, hygiene). And to prioritize stuff that has the biggest impact. Reading daily is nice, but it's not the biggest priority when you can't provide for yourself or don't have a sleep schedule.

Good luck with your reform 🙂 

I appreciate your warmth in this reply ❤️ 

I believe that my basic needs are met, more or less- I do have the basic habits, but no guiding star to drive them further. I get up early, but not as soon as I wake up. I exercise, but don't break a sweat. Why would I- life doesn't have a very clear sense of purpose.

I am starting to uncover more of what I don't want- but there is still so much fog in the area of my passions. It's both an issue of practice- I don't get to do a lot of the things (I think) I enjoy -and an issue of priority- more everyday tasks like reading tend to fill up most of my day.

introspective is difficult, especially when I'm by myself- thank you for your encouragement!

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Brief update- day 5. Both keeping mindful of who I am (not someone who engages in escapist activities like pornography) and what I want (connecting w/ real people- friends ❤️).

Life has been accelerating- I feel more driven than when writing my last update. This urgency is energizing- hope to keep riding the wave, safely.

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And a relapse. Similar mode of relapse- low awareness of what I am doing, no red lights went off until I was well into the process. What frustrates me, then, is that upon recognition of my mistake, I continued nonetheless. 

That's what must go- relapses like this may happen. But nothing will change unless I keep the stakes high, and treat my mistakes as something worth addressing.

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looking through past entries, i notice that my quitting of games was not immediate- i held onto gameplay videos for awhile, and did fill my time w/ other poor habits. it was not until beginning of 2021 when i was able to quit fully. 

i need to maintain the needs that pornography is currently fullfilling in some way- the issue being, i do not understand what those needs are. pornography desire comes up when i am very stressed and/or very tired. 

perhaps, it simply the need to rest (especially my mind, less so my body). i should respect that- my workaholic-ness is what drives me to this level of exhaustion. i need to respect my own boundaries- and here we go, back to self-compassion.

will dedicate the last 30mins of this day to learning more on self-compassion, then.

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Been getting distracted a lot this morning- and upon a social interaction, realized how much my self-awareness expands when I get to talk to other people. It's something I dearly, dearly miss- genuine conversations where I get to be my (best) self. Having access to this currently unmet need- of regular human interaction -will help me greatly w/ my current struggle against pornography.

Here's onto day 1. Much more committed- remember, if I manage to truly rid myself of this one addiction, the effects will span across my entire livelihood. 

onwards!

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11 hours ago, Pochatok said:

Been getting distracted a lot this morning- and upon a social interaction, realized how much my self-awareness expands when I get to talk to other people. It's something I dearly, dearly miss- genuine conversations where I get to be my (best) self. Having access to this currently unmet need- of regular human interaction -will help me greatly w/ my current struggle against pornography.

Here's onto day 1. Much more committed- remember, if I manage to truly rid myself of this one addiction, the effects will span across my entire livelihood. 

onwards!

Onwards! 🙂

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Day one completed- I am committed to becoming a different person. Remember the future I want- and what it will take to get me there.

Today, my main aim is to review a lot of my "everyday" habits, and eliminate all those useless- such as unguided learning, compulsory eating, lack of social engagement, lack of meditation, etc.. It's been overdue, for me to establish more long-term, far-outlook routines.

Onwards- to aid my journey against addiction, I will take some time to read additional essays on healthy relationships❤️

 

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