Report after relapses. Sadly, in the last few days I relapsed with everything. Even with junk food. I played a video game that wasn't even fun or satisfying. I got rid of it after two days three days (bofore that there was one slip with the same game). I added some junk food later, but luckily for now I only spent a little bit of money on it (it's a big financial problem for me when I binge on it). Today and over the last few days I've been watching porn and masturbating almost all the time. Before I returned to gaming, I was watching it for several hours a day, as if it was instead of gaming. That means I have to abstain from all three, otherwise it doesn't make sense. My plan is thus: I'm gonna block all my internet except for the most crucial things (college stuff, facebook for communication, public transport, email, bank, doctor stuff, library stuff, this forum) and give the password to my best friend without telling him what it's all about. He's gonna think it's just so that I can study. I'm blocking reddit because there's no option to allow only specific subreddits. I'm also somehow gonna block all internet on my phones. That way I'll have no way to download games, waste time browsing random shit, look at any sexual stuff. I know there's a way to break all those restrictions if I really want to, but it's going to take a lot of time. I'll couple it with keeping busy and it should be fine. If I spent the last week on hardcore studying like I was planning, right now I would be perfectly prepared for tomorrow's exam. Instead I've been just looking through the notes for the lest couple of hours. I'm only grateful that it's gonna be an easy test instead of something that actually requires real knowledge.
Quick report for the last two days - 11am. So two days ago was a clean day, I left the apartment and did a lot of studying. Then yesterday in the morning I just relapsed with porn. I wasn't even thinking, I just did it. I went to classes where I really didn't want to be, and then as I got home, I immediately got ro porn and I watched it until almost 2am. Today was the first day I broke my strek of getting up at the perfect hour. I woke up at 7, and decided to go to sleep. I didn't sleep in long, only about 1,5 hours (which is a huge improvement I guess, because three weeks ago my natural sleep without an alarm would last until noon) and then I started watching porn immediately. And I only finished just now. I'm getting stressed out by things. I have to modify my marketing project today, it's not a lot of work, but because of the procrastinating I feel stressed out about it. I generally feel like I've procrastinated too much and now everything's going to be terribly hard. Anyway, I'm gonna do my morning routine now and if the sleeping habits are a little ingrained by now, I shouldn't have much trouble falling asleep at the usual hour.
Report - morning. Yesterday in total I relapsed two or three times with porn, I dono't really remember. Then I think there was one time when I started and stopped, because I thought "why the fuck am I doing this, it doesn't make sense". I also played a video game for like half an hour, late in the evening. Before that I actually started downloading the game, but I got rid of it before I started playing. Then I got it again, started a bit after 10:30pm. I played for a short while and I hated it. I needed to get rid of it. My initial thoughts were "okay, I'm now gonna play this for several hours, because I don't care one bit about my sleeping habits, and then the first thing in the morning I'm gonna sit in front of the computer and continue playing". But as soon as I launched the game, I remembered how much this all sucks. I actually forgot how crappy my life is when I binge on video games and porn. I thought "I can't be doing this, because it's going to screw up my sleeping habits on which I've been work for two weeks now; I'm gonna get back to the cycle off getting up at the last moment, skipping classes, never being prepared for anything, gorging on junk food, feeling crappy in the evening and starting over in the morning". So I stopped. I think this is the only reason why I'm trying to abstain. Because it sucks so much when I don't. It sucks way worse than having a prospect of an uncomfortable eternity in front of myself. I have a really hard time thinking. I woke up at the right hour, but I didn't get up for hald an hour. It's not as bad as it could be, at least I didn't go back to sleep. I had a pleasant night. Hopefully tomorrow I will still have the discipline to get up immediately. What can I do today to improve it? I'm going to get out of my apartment and study a lot. I'm gonna go to college even though I have no classes today, I'm gonna print out the notes that I have, and I'm gonna sit with them for several hours. This should be a nice accomplishment that should give me enough of a boost. Then I have one errand to do, and then maybe it will be a good enough weather to go for a bike ride.
Report - 2pm. I just relapsed with porn again. This is the third day in a row. I was just sitting in my apartment after all the morning routines and the urges hit me. I did some stuff from the list but then I gave up. I just decided to do it. I wonder what it was that allowed me to break out of the binging cycle those two weeks ago. I guess I just have to finish my morning routine and get out of the apartment. Then only come back for lunch and then leave again.
Report (morning). I relapsed with porn. I feel crappy. Yesterday i had some plans on what to do after work, but I didn't do any of it. Instead my new plan, which I formed even before I finished working, was to go home and watch porn for the rest of the day. And that's what I did. After some fantasizing I just wanted to relapse. I think these were all the same excuses as the last time. After that I didn't break discipline - I went to bed at the right hour and I got up at 7am. Then I trimmed my beard and shaved, and took a cold shower. Now I feel like doing nothing. I'm gonna make breakfast and then I'll see what happens. The one thing that I hate most about the addiction. This is what I wrote yesterday: It's interesting what I feel right now. I want to ask a girl to go to a wedding with me. No big deal if she doesn't want to. So normally I feel it's going to be a bit scary, but I'm gonna do it anyway. But fantasizing makes me want to withdraw from reality and not ask her out at all. And I think this is the worst effect that my addiction has on my life. However, it is not only the relapse that makes me feel like a loser. It's mostly the fantasizing, the need to go back to that safe place away from reality. All those thoughts that I have when I fantasize make me feel like a loser.
Edit: 10:50am. What the fuck is happening?! Why did I just relapse again?! I have to get out of here before I relapse again.
Report. I had some urges for porn today, but I was at college. I was thinking a little bit about giving up. I was thinking that I'm tired and that it'll probably be harder and harder. I don't really remember. Something along the line: this is going to be such a long time with this unpleasant void in my mind. But then I met some people and got busy. I had a very hard time studying today and yesterday, but I passed the test and got an A, it was a very easy test. Then I went for a vegan burger with a friend. Today my ex-girlfriend wrote to me to chat a little. I guess we're friends. She told me she has a boyfriend and I feel really hurt. It's been a little over 4 years now and I still can't get over it. I guess time itself won't do it.
Report. I have been browsing the internet so much today. I technically started studying for a test that I have tomorrow, but I only read 4 pages out of 17. I feel low energy, distracted, etc. For the last few days I didn't have time to ride the bike, which is what I use to generate energy. Though if I studied like I should have been, I would have time this evening. I'll continue studying tomorrow. I only need to get a B. Another small problem is that I have medicine that I have to take twice a day and it has to be right after a full meal. So I have to plan my days around classes, commitments, and meals, and I still want to go to bed a bit after 10pm. So the problem is that I can't just eat the last meal before going to evening classes, because that would be too early for the medicine. So I have to eat at around 9pm and then I don't have time for biking before I go to sleep. However, this is mostly just some excuse. If I ate faster and didn't waste time on the internet, there wouldn't be a problem. I will now go to sleep, because I feel tired. I have to get enough sleep tonight, because on Saturday I get up at 5:30. I just feel like in the last two days I didn't have any excitement or any success, it was just riding the tide. And then the tide goes down or whatever, I have to use conscious decisions to stay up. Otherwises it will be a binge sooner or later.
I didn't have time to write yesterday, so this post is for Wednesday. Report. I'm clean. 10 days of no games (or related stuff), no junk food. Also I decided to count the number of days since the beginning of the attempt, instead of since the last relapse. Thus, because I relapsed with porn once, but didn't go on a binge, I'm counting it as if I have 9 days. If I can ever stabilize it at one relapse a week (obviously I'm not planning to relapse), it will be an improvement by a factor of 2000% - because instead of watching porn 2-4 times a day, sometimes up to 6, about 20 times a week, I'd watch it once a week. However, if I don't go on any more binges where there's several sessions in a row, I should be able to learn how to better deal with those tough situations. And eventually I'll know how to prevent a relapse every time. Various projects. On Tuesday I got an information that I'm gonna be hosting 7 more hours of workshops. It's going to be on June 19th, which is the day of my first exam. But I don't have a problem with that, I'll be ready for the exam a few days in advance. I didn't get elected yesterday. In fact, I got the least amount of votes. On the meeting, I got two certificates that list everything I did for the organization this year - I forgot how much of it there was. It was really nice and the meeting, which was the last one this year, was very emotional for everybody. I got very sad that I didn't get elected and I tried to rationalize it somehow. I even got comforted by some people. But then on the way homem I realized I didn't actually have any reason to be sad or angry. I gave a good speech, I don't regret anything, I went out of my comfort zone a little bit (because giving the little speech was scary). I also got a nice notebook as a gift, which is gonna be useful to write all the things I always have to do, now that I'm trying to keep busy and actually work on my life. I passed a test yesterday (C+). I have another one tomorrow. And then I start studying for the exams. I'm now gonna go do some errands around the city, after which I get to studying. Edit: I should be able to go biking today, finally!
Edit: Early afternoon. I just remembered some music that I used to like really much, and then I remembered it was from a soundtrack from a game I only played a little bit. I listened to it just now and it reminded me of the entire game series. That was a stupid decision.
This is what I wrote between 9 and noon. Working. I am now sitting in an exam room as an invigilator. I only have one candidate in the room. The stressful part was talking to the wole group od 9 people. But now I only have one person until the end of the work day, so it's not stressful at all, considering how I have every instruction written down and I basically just read them out loug. I was very happy to get this opportunity, as this is only the second day of work I have ever done (except for private lessons). I'm mostly doing this for the experience and only a little bit for the money. My self-esteem has been suffering for the last cocuple of years, because I'm still relianat on my parents' support at 23. I want to get accustomed to working and get comfortable with the idea, so that I can later go to a more serious, more responsible job. Sleeping habits. I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and got up immediately. It feels so awesome, I think that's the ninth day in a row where I didn't have any trouble getting up at the planned hour (7am, today was an exception). I didn't even have a problem on Monday, avter the very hard relapse on Sunday. Perhaps this is because I go to sleep at the right hours - I usually plan to go to bed around 10pm, and rarely go after 11pm; I only do if I have something important to do. However, about half the time (a bit less maybe) I can't fall asleep immediately, and sometimes fall asleep between 2am and 3am. This probably has something to do with taking a nap during the day. I should either hide my sheets and pillows for the day, never enter the bed during the day, or not be home between noon and five. Relapse analysis. I relapsed very hard on Sunday but I didn't go on a binge. Why is that? I can think of several reasons: I have too much to do to relapse again. Even on Sunday evening I didn't have time to do it again, because I had to prepare for Monday. Yesterday I didn't even have time to ride the bike, and I really wanted to.I now have tools that help me deal with all of this. I know the triggers and I know I have to avoid them, so I just do. I have activities that I can do to regulate my mood. Didn't work for the relase though.I have commitment and I really want to abstain. It was simply that my choices weren't thought-out enough. Next time, if I make the right choices (like don't take a nap, leave the apartment, take a cold shower r go biking instead of panicking), it's going to be okay. Honestly, I have no idea why I forgot about taking a cold shower.Maybe I think more positively. I don't think in the depressing terms of the 12-step groups, like that I'm an incurable addict forever*, that I can never do it without the help of a "higher power", that I'm powerless to resist, that I'll always be dependent on a group of people who keep thinking these things. I won't tell them any of this, because that might make it harder for them.Maybe I remember that life feels just so damn good when I abstain. Maybe I didn't forget it lake that last time.On procrastination. I have so many tiny little things to do. I could do them all in fifteen minutes, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I should do them today. But I really wanna go biking in the evening. Today I should stay outside of my apartment, because I'm getting sleepy. I have to obtain some notes for developmental. I should also study them. I'm going to a workshop as a participant towards the evening; it should keep me occupied, not asleep, and totally regulated. The bigger things are appealing. The smaller ones not so much. On the reason. I should thing of the reason to believe in, but I'm feeling very sleepy. I don't know how I'm going to survive the day. Here's the plan: I'm gonna go home after the exam to change and eat something. I'm not gonna lie down. Then I'll go to college and do the little things. And then I'll go to the workshop, eat something, and bike if I have the time (I won't neither for biking nor for eating). What is the reason to believe in? It's supposed tob e a set of reasons for which I'm trying to change my life. A set of reasons for which I'm abstaining from porn. A ser of reasons that are deeply important to me, that I adamantly believe in, and that are the fundamental basis for my change. They are supposed to resonate with me so much, that I won't ever be able to give up again.
*Though I understand that I'll never be able to watch porn or play games in moderation; but that's totally not a problem for me.
Report. Today again I don't have time to analyze my relapse! Why is that? I went to the workshopsp and they were AWESOME, even though I was terrified as hell until one minute into the first one - then I started having fun. I told my coordinator I can easily handle more, even though I knew 4 is enough for the whole project. So there might be another chance to improve myself. Here's the fun thing: I made another commitment while I was under positive emotions; I'm sure as hell that I'll be terrified again before long, but it doesn't matter, because I've already made a commitment so I can't quit anymore. If the probability to relapse is the function of how much spare time you have, then I DON'T HAVE TIME TO RELAPSE! Because I got a job for tomorrow! I'm mostly doing this for the experience and not for the money, because my self-esteem suffers from the fact that I've only worked for one day in my whole life at 23. I gotta get up at 5:30, so I'll go to sleep now. I also didn't have time to ride the bike today, and I really wanted to.
Report. I relapsed with porn, it was a very hard relapse (five hours), but I didn't go on another binge like I usually do. I'm gonna make sure tomorrow I won't have time to relapse. I'm gonna analyse it tomorrow, because I gotta go to sleep now. I had a rather sloppy day before and after the relapse, so that's probably why I gave up. I was incredibly stressed out by the workshops I have planned for tomorrow, but just a few minutes ago I learned that they might not come to pass. To be honest, I'm relieved and I actually hope they won't work out in the end. I'm terrified by them. The guy who I was supposed to go there with won't be able to make it, and I seriously hope the replacement won't be able to either (it's in 11 hours so they'll probably be busy). But if it works out, then I will do my best, because I made a commitment. And that's what matters, isn't it?
Report. I'm very stressed out by the workshops coming up the day after tomorrow. I'm gonna have to use a weird app that I won't have time to practice with before, and in general I'm scared of it going wrong. My friend tells me I'm a perfectionist (I think I'm gonna ask her out). Tomorrow I'm gonna prepare as much as possible. I wrote down another list of things I have to take care of during the next few days, it's gonna be a lot of work, but the most stressful part ends on Monday. Today I met my mom and some of my family. While I liked meeting mom, I don't like the other part of the family. I'm a bit ashamed of that. Anyway, I returned to the city in a bad mood and then I couldn't stop pornographic ideation (thinking about porn and visualising stuff related to it). It didn't help that there's so many hot chicks all around now that it's summer. I went to pornfree and stopgaming and read for a short while. There I stumbled upon this idea that the art of abstaining is basically the art of regulating your mood. I never thought of it this way before. I realised how easy it is to regulate one's mood, and I went for a bike ride. I got some light exercise, got sweaty and totally regulated. Then I took a cold shower and now it's time for sleep. Sleeping habits. The same day I started this attempt at abstinence I also started getting up at 7am every day. So far I haven't had a single problem with that. I think about going to sleep at 10pm and usually actually do it around 11pm. Sometimes it's easy, but sometimes I'm having trouble falling asleep - maybe because I took a nap one day, and maybe because my brain is accustomed to falling asleep at 2am.
I have to find the reason to believe in as quickly as possible, because I'm slowly losing motivation. I felt it today when I was having urges and these unwanted thoughts - it was actually me who was continuing them. I have to find a reason so that I can think about it every time I even get the idea of maybe giving up. Which happened today, my addiction was telling me "give up, give up, it's gonna be awesome; don't you see how amazing is this picture you made in your imagination?" But I knew it's untrue, I thought about how much regret I would feel if I gave up. This is just a totally different state of mind, even if it's just a few days. When you abstain, you don't even remember how crappy you felt those six days ago, when you were binging on all three constantly. And when you relapse and start to binge, you suddenly remember why you wanted to abstain, you remember how crappy this feels and you just go deeper into it to forget about how you've let yourself down. You think "it's been so long since I felt this shit; why did I ever think of giving up? but now it's too late because it's impossible to get back on track". Anf after a few days you forget how good it felt when you were abstaining. The only way forward is to never get off the track. Today and yesterday I thought about how stressed out binging made me. There's always so much to do, but instead of doing it, I would just continue procrastinating. I think the major reason why I didn't want to relapse was the fact that I known how I would fuck up all these projects if I "didn't have time" to prepare for them properly - I would just show up and do a terrible job, and then feel shame and guilt, and I would go back to porn to forget about it. I got an A on the most scary presentation in a long while because of abstention. Abstention gave me a lot of time and a lot of incentive to work - the incentive being "you have to work or you'll relapse". Which is as good a reason as any. I like this because this is a sort of a perpetual motion machine - I want to have a better life so I don't want to relapse, but I don't want to relapse so I have to create a better life.
Report. I just finished an amazing day. I couldn't fall asleep for a long time, but I felt good most of the day. I spent most of the day working on a presentation. At 5pm I didn't feel it was perfectly finished, but I presented it and got a B+, with a possibility of getting an A if I just improve it a little bit. I put a lot of work in making the presented thought process as consistent and smooth as possible, and it worked out well, even though I was terrified all the way until the last moment. The way I talked was average - a lot of breaks, some stuttering, mostly looking at the floor or notes - but I was very stressed out. Anyway, I'm very happy with myself and the way it went.I applied for the position mentioned in the previous post. It turns out so many other people applied, it's completely unprecedented in the history of our association. Again there goes proof that I would feel terrible regret if I didn't apply. Anyway, I'm feeling pretty good about my chances this time. I'm gonna prepare a short speech and prepare to answer any questions that might come up. I'm pretty sure the next year is gonna be awesome for us.Workshops. I learned that I'm facilitating several workshops on Monday. I knew I would get several of those from a project that I'm in (we're working with the European Comission and Google and teaching kids about migration), but I wasn't prepared to get so many hours so quickly. I'm terrified, but the sooner the better.I got a job offer for tomorrow but I had to decline because I have another commitment already. Bummer, I don't care much about the money (which if very delicious-looking to be honest), but I wanted to do it for experience. Anyway, that's the second very important thing to me that I had to decline in order to meet my mom tomorrow. She was angry with me and I have to show her I care about her.I signed up for a worshop on Tuesday - ironically, it's about how to work with kids on workshops. Oh well. I'm gonna use it sometime in the future.I now have so many commitments, I'm gonna have to write them all down so I don't forget. Aside from all that above, I also have two tests next week. I've always been laughing at people who have to write every plan they have into a notebook, but now I have a need for that myself. Plans. Sunday scares me. I have a lot of plans for Saturday, but on Sunday I'm gonna be basically free to do anything. And that's a very major trigger for be, for all three addictions. I'm gonna have to plan it very carefully and fill it preferably with a lot of activities I can do outside the apartment. Maybe I could go to a coffee shop and spend a couple of hours there working - studying, preparing for the workshops, writing emails. I'll also add some biking after I do the work, and a vegan burger with a friend. With other minor stuff around the day, all bases should be covered. That's a good plan.
I need a reason to believe in. I now have two very strong tools that help me with my abstinence: my list of triggers, and my list of activities. But this is not enough, there's a mojor hole in my armor. Right now I have a lot of motivation and positive energy, and it keeps me going. But sooner or later there's gonna come a moment when I'll want to give up. It has happened 1,000 times in the past and it's been the primary reason of almost every one of my numerous relapses. What I need to counter that is a deep, compelling reason why I'm doing this, a reason that I believe in from the bottom of my heart. I have no need for a list of benefits or a list of any reasons that just "sound good" and that's why I accept them. I need something deeper, something that is an essential part of me, if I am to succeed. I have an idea, but I'm gonna have to think a lot more about this, because I want this reason to be something I can remember and repeat with full conviction any time of day, no matter how bad things get, and I want it to be a solid and complete idea, not just a vague thought. The one I'm thinking about has to do with hedonism, and need of accomplishment. I'm not ashamed of that, maybe that's just who I am. I'm going to work on it and post updates in this journal.
Report. Today was a good day, for several reasons. I got up at the perfect hour.I procrastinated a little bit and confirmed how dangerous it is for my abstinence. I realised how useful my list of triggers is in controlling my behavior.I did some work towards the evening. Before that I felt stressed out because of procrastination, even though I didn't have all that much to do. Another reason to never procrastinate.I took a nap and felt bad about it, as usual. But it didn't bring me down.I didn't partake in any addictive behavior. Steps I take I wrote a list of triggers a couple of days ago. Something I've always been putting off. It's a list of things that I absolutely have to aviod, because these are psychological cues for my urges. For now it's mixed and unfinished, but I'm slowly working on it. For example, today I remembered I still had an account on a media website with a lot of porn related stuff in it. So I went there and blocked it beyond recovery, even though it was a bit risky and a little dumb, and I'm not going there until I'm much better, because it's one of the places where I used to look for porn. Anyway, I'm thinking about this list several times a day. For example, today I was procrastinating but then I remembered it's on the list, so I had to stop. So it's an automatic benefit, because it helps me stay away from urges, and also keeps me from procrastinating. The list is below. The other thing is a list of activities I can choose from when I'm having urges. This is another thing I've been putting off for later. I haven't had the chance to use it yet. I have it posted on my mirror in my room. I should also post the triggers on it so that I can look at it more often.
Another thing I decided to do today is apply for a position at my student association. I didn't wanna do it for a long time after the last two times I lost, but today is the last day to apply, so I decided that I have to make a go for it. It's not a hard thing to do if I get elected, and I'll be able to do more for the organisation. I simply realised that I'd definitely feel regret if I didn't apply - so I just have to go for it. And if I prepare a good enough speech, I might even get elected, who knows.
I haven't been writing here in a while. I've decided I have to try and make a go for it again. I got some advice at a post on reddit [link]. I wrote down a list of triggers to avoid, though it's not finished yet, and I wrote down a list of activities in case I have urges. There are some that work as night-time activities, which is especially important. I'm gonna write more tomorrow.