43 Day relapse - my longest streak yet... a post to myself

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by mananddog, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. mananddog

    mananddog Fapstronaut

    TL;DR cause I've got a feeling this is gonna be long....:
    • Hit a point of near suicide because of my addiction (again)
    • Sought real-world help (addiction therapy and books) and started addressing my PTSD and addiction at the same time
    • Went 43 days, my longest ever streak in the 13 years I've been addicted
    • Relapsed today and writing this letter to myself to remind me how I feel and what I've learned
    • Try to stay upbeat and positive about my recovery so I don't spiral again

    I thought I made the decision to really make a change to my life many times, but it did not last long. I spun deeper into binging and relapsing more and more until I found myself fighting for my life. I was in a terrible place because of porn again, I didn't want to wake up in the shame of myself and I wanted to end what I felt.

    In desperation did 3 things I've never done before:

    1. Reached out for help from a specialist addiction/PTSD therapist
    2. Opened myself up to psychological science and bought my first book on addiction/PTSD
    3. Absolutely, 100% decided to come out to my friends and family about my addiction when I'm ready

    It might not sound like much to many, but for me, these are huge changes. Before this, I never said that I've been addicted to porn out loud IRL in 13 years. No other human being knew of my addiction. And because of this, I never truly took in the reasons for my addiction and never looked deeper into the why or the deep pain I felt.

    In essence, after this, my addiction no longer just existed in my head but was now in my physical world.

    Even after my first therapy session, I felt the weight lifted off my shoulders. I soon understood that with the way my brain works (I really don't hold myself accountable for anything!) that I really needed to come out with my addiction one day to go the full circle.

    I have PTSD, porn was my soother for the last 13 years. Shitty things happened in my life and I used to think "it's okay, push your feelings away because I can just watch porn to make me feel good". There's one thing knowing this, but there's understanding this and that took time.

    In fact, it got me past my first few weeks. Discovering and learning about my addiction was key to that, luckily the self-help addiction/PTSD book I have talked me through and introduced me to more learning and understanding about these medical conditions as I went along. Each chapter was written in an informative manner, with less emotion and more science - which speaks to me. The book also contained real-world reflections from recovering and recovered addicts about each chapter of the book. It also asked me many questions about how I felt and what I was reading.

    After 3 weeks I was feeling great. I had the typical list of abstinence benefits and I was feeling on top of the world. I had identified key triggers for me - turns out that urges for me are triggered less by porn/triggering content, but more about my emotions and how I feel. My therapist provided me with help on those and was really supportive of my streak so far.

    But last week all of these trigger points fell into place for me. Visiting my family home (which always triggers my PTSD) and feeling very very low, not having anything planned with friends equalling more time alone, feeling extremely lonely, relationship issues... I started to get less motivated each day, read my book less, and in effect, forgot to remind myself so often about WHY I'm doing this (something that's SUPER important to my recovery).

    Sometimes when you're feeling good about addiction recovery, it's easy to forget how close you are to relapsing and that you should never, ever let your guard down.

    The last trigger to hit me was my therapist had to cancel my appointment last minute - at this point, the accountability I held myself to had gone.

    I can't remember what triggered me but I relapsed and it took over despite a voice in my head screaming at me to stop (a first for me, which I guess is positive).

    Right now, a few hours after relapsing, I feel so, so full of shame. Every day I tried to remind myself that relapsing would make me become the man I DREAD to be. I have a vision of the man I want to be, that people close to me think I am, and today that was not me. I am disgusted with myself and so so ashamed to the point where I am sat here in tears at what I've done. I am dreading telling my therapist what I've done and the thought of doing what I did again makes me sick.

    Despite all these feelings, I am trying to stay positive. Like an Athlete that loses a point, I do not want to get angry at myself and spiral down that road.

    In 43 days, my LONGEST streak so far, I've achieved a lot. I've started a journey to come to terms with my addiction and I am learning more and more about it. The actions I took have been a monumental change for me, and for that, I am damn proud.

    The biggest lesson I've learned this time is to not allow myself to be lonely. I tried so hard with this by trying to play video games with friends or meeting people IRL, but I never had anything lined up after a weekend I knew would be stressful for me. I also had no one to hold me accountable this week, so I've also signed up for the accountability group here on NoFap. Hopefully, that will give me more motivation in the weeks to come should I forget. In the future, I need to identify potential stressful and/or lonely periods in my time and plan far in advance with plans to counter these feelings. The next week is going to be really tough for me, but I'm hoping after 43 days sober and the lessons I've learned it might be a tiny bit easier.

    Don't be the man you DREAD to be. You can change. You are changing your brain every day you abstain, you are becoming healthy, give yourself empathy, be consistent, commit to change, do it for your loved ones and make the investment of a lifetime... invest in YOURSELF!!
    HelperX, Abel100% and Pathofsuccess_1 like this.
  2. Pathofsuccess_1

    Pathofsuccess_1 Fapstronaut

    43 days is a long time. That has sure significantly rebooted your brain. Of course, never an accuse to go back to old ways, but now you need to go longer, each time, it gets easier. The benefits will get stronger, good job.
    mananddog and Abel100% like this.
  3. Abel100%

    Abel100% Fapstronaut

    Yo estuve 18 días y me pareció muchísimo tiempo, tu 43 días te felicito, sabes, para mí la línea Plana (Sin libido) me pareció algo bueno, seguro en la medida en que sigas avanzando los sentimientos de culpa disminuyen , así lo siento en mi mismo. Éxitos yo hoy Día 1
    Volver a iniciar
    mananddog likes this.
  4. mananddog

    mananddog Fapstronaut

    Just relapsed. Streak wasn’t even half of this and it was a relapse in the worst way. I’m so annoyed and frustrated at myself, I feel ashamed.

    I’m determined to change, I’ve lined up more distractions and I’ve identified the triggers again. Going to go for my longest streak ever this time, at least 50 days. I know I can do it. I’ve had enough of this.
  5. Spiritual Redemption

    Spiritual Redemption Fapstronaut

    This is awesome stuff brother. Well done on all your growth. It sounds like you have made a lot of ground, and every relapse is a learning opportunity. Best of luck
    mananddog likes this.
  6. Abel100%

    Abel100% Fapstronaut

    Pregunto: Puede uno basarse en una buena racha 21, 30 días para Comenzar a Sentirse mejor consigo mismo ???
    En la experiencia de muchos el estado de disfrute de la vida al evitar la sobre estimulación de PMO, es algo que deseo experimentar, pero no lo estoy sintiendo, será algo mental y propio de mi mismo ?
  7. mananddog

    mananddog Fapstronaut

    Erugh just relapsed again. 7 days. My 3rd longest streak.

    I'm noticing some serious patterns, but I feel like by using NoFap and "learning" each time, it's an excuse for me. When I relapse, it isn't on softer material, I just let the flood gate down and purge. I hate it, I feel so ashamed for about a week, then the urges start ramping up.

    Like the last relapse:
    - I was feeling lonely
    - I was bored
    - I wasn't surfing my urge

    I haven't been as proactive as my first streak since then. I need to set a routine for both reading the self-help book I am working through, and browsing NoFap as I only visit here when I've relapsed to log it!

    I also need to plan ahead with more people to make sure I'm not feeling lonely and I really need to focus when it comes to surfing urges.

    Back to basics... I'm so ashamed and angry, I hate feeling like this. But I feel like I'm making progress... if anyone is looking for an accountability partner hit me up.
  8. mananddog

    mananddog Fapstronaut

    I used google translate to help me answer this.

    For me, when I hit 30+ days the high of PMO slowed down and the more satisfying things in life became. I know that a lot of people experience depression in the early days of nofap, but it is hard to say how long this lasts for you. You must keep fighting.
    Abel100% likes this.

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