All relapses are premeditated

Discussion in 'Porn Addiction' started by mindfulman, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. mindfulman

    mindfulman Fapstronaut

    I have been in a few nofap groups and recovery groups and paid therapy groups to overcome porn addiction. 10 years of recovery.

    When we have a relapse, often the attitude or question is, “what caused you to relapse” or refer to triggers or events as “causes” of the relapse. Go into deeper thinking about this. Ask the question, “why did I CHOOSE to look at porn, etc?” Everything we do is a choice. But the ultimate act of relapse, whatever that looks like to you is always preceded by several “Seemingly Unimportant Behaviors”, or SUBs which ARE actually VERY important. They are part of a very complex RITUAL that we perform every time we go down that path. For example, I’m not going to go to the porn website. I am just going to look at pics of actresses. Then it changes. You google for bathing suits. Then nude. Then it gots to hard core sex videos or whatever your usual drug of choice for pornography is. So when we say “avoid triggers” or manage triggers, maybe it would be better to recognize the SUBs and not make the choice to do one of these seemingly unimportant behaviors.

    And when we relapse, let us no longer lie to ourselves that something “caused” me to do it. Let’s not ask each other “what caused your relapse or slip? Let’s own the fact that we made a choice. A deliberate decision to take our drug. Nothing “made me do it”. As a very wise addictionologist with 40+ years of experience, and a dear friend once told me, “ALL RELAPSES ARE PREMEDITATED”. Let’s be accountable to our own selves and be honest and admit that we are the reason for the relapse. Nothing else. No pretty girl. No dream of porn. No accidental pop up on our phone. Let’s own our behaviors and choices.
    Hugoalsace, Ogikubo, ....... and 17 others like this.
  2. hubbawulf1234

    hubbawulf1234 Fapstronaut

    Totally agree. I can almost exactly know if I"m going to slip or not when I wake up that morning.
  3. Thank you for your contribution @mindfulman!
    I agree too. But on the other hand when I look back and see that - despite everything - I had chosen to watch porn again then and then and then again, isn't that because of my addiction? I mean, I know, it doesn't help much to blame addiction. Of course I should be held accountable for my choices (also by myself). But isn't it still a fact that I'm addicted and therefor prone to relapse?

    (Sure, I know I can't afford to look at any subs. But my addicted mind thinks otherwise).

    Of course I have still many free choices. For me the important question seems to be: am I doing enough to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid a relapse?
    Although the truth is that I'm still consuming, I'm only taking breaks of several days in between. I'm 100% sure that I want to quit and never look back. But that's not what's really happening.
    mindfulman likes this.
  4. Vairagya

    Vairagya Fapstronaut

    Truth is spoken by you. I just relapsed today after 10 days. I had a choice, a moment of weakness and all goes down flush. I am thinking we have only one life and half of which we spend fighting with ourself and other half doings what we shouldn't. But also withdrawal is strong but we are weak. The day we will be stronger than withdrawl we will win. Watching porn was biggest mistake I made in my life. Hope I learn to value of my life. Thanks thread author you are totally correct.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  5. pmofreeliving

    pmofreeliving Fapstronaut

    Ye! You are 100% responsible for your success and your failure. There are outside forces that you can't control. But you are responsible for how you react.
    mindfulman likes this.
  6. maurice40

    maurice40 Fapstronaut

    I guess I've always known this but have never framed it in this way in my thinking. But I will now. All relapses are premeditated.
  7. mindfulman likes this.
  8. Same here.
    mindfulman likes this.
  9. ZenAF

    ZenAF Fapstronaut

    Not only are replases premeditated, but we're also not "being weak" in that moment. That's not accurate, because it infers that we're giving in to internal pressure. When the truth is much colder: We do a cost/benefit analysis for everything we do. We do one each time before we relapse. That moment when you're finally "giving in to your urges" you've actually simply decided "ah I can take the hit, it won't ruin me". And the big problem is: You're right. It won't ruin you. Yet.

    The truth is we can relapse many many times and still recover at some point. The truth is it's possible to watch porn even as addicts and still be able to lead a pretty happy life in a relationship. However it's also true that it might ruin everything. And that's a big issue when it comes to quitting, that ambivalence of the consequences. It makes it very hard to build up the right kind of motivation that keeps you clean.

    But at the end of the day guys, this isn't about porn. This isn't about a plethora of ass, titties and fuck-noises. What this is really about is us giving up something which is always accessible and we really like. Giving up something that has been ours for so long. That's a skill lots of people never have to practice. Giving up something you really like and could have right now. In a society where we give ourselves everything and anything we want right as soon as we can. It feels counter-intuitive to not do that too with porn. We're contradicting our primal nature by quitting.

    Stop arguing with yourself about porn. Stop telling yourself not to watch it, stop telling yourself to watch it. Stop thinking about triggers and blockers. Stop worrying about it. Don't hold yourself back from thinking about porn and also, don't think about porn. :) Stop looking at nofap posts. Stop feeding it your attention and energy. Just. Let. Go. It's easy. The hardship only arises once you dive into your porn thoughts and then have to pull yourself out of them again.
    Notice when your brain comes up with porn thoughts there's a whole array of emotions going with it, excitement and fear of doing the wrong thing and stress and self-hatred and curiosity and all that shit. Just remind yourself you don't have to feel any of that. You don't have to "battle your addiction". You can also just do something else in this moment. Not because you're trying to distract yourself, but simply because that other thing is much simpler. Easier. Guilt-free. It's a relief once you realize you don't have to suffer for this shit at all if you don't force yourself into it.
  10. hubbawulf1234

    hubbawulf1234 Fapstronaut

    This is the truest thing I've read on here.
    mindfulman likes this.
  11. @ZenAF, vitalizing words meng, you remind me of that guru type fella Mooji, he's always saying that the point of enlightenment isn't to start a war with your ego and kill the thing... His teaching is always this zenful thing about just letting your monkey mind be, and after some time that hyper yet superficial energy will run its course and your brain will naturally fall in its proper place as a tool rather than a master. There's a lot of "warrior" mentalities on this site and for some people maybe being nailed to a cross is the way forward for their particular psychology, but I want to say so often to folks on here that one can probably stop watching porn for a time with that kind of brute mentality, but if you want to be free of the addiction I think you've got to come at this shit from your perspective... That Einstein feller said something like a problem can't be solved on the same level it was created... Secular zen man right there, I feel like that's got to be the final word on addiction and most psychological suffering.
    mindfulman likes this.
  12. .......

    ....... Fapstronaut

    My Journal
    What I like is the balance of these too. My understanding is.. Yes.. Addiction plays a good part. Triggers, relapse.. These terms are associated with addictions. So, when we go to recovery... Controlling SUBs helps in a way that addicted brain's voice is less forceful. Every relapse is premeditated because we make choice to indulge in SUBs.. Not porn directly.
    mindfulman likes this.
  13. When it come to pornography consumption - looking is getting a hit.
    There is no drawing your in, you start looking - you seek a high that comes with looking.

    This is not convoluted, you are trying to stop looking at sexually arousing content but you also say looking at sexually arousing content draws you in to looking at sexually arousing content?
    It seems to me that in your mind, looking at some sexually arousing content(ie photos of dressed models) does not count as looking at sexually arousing content?

    if your goal is to stop consuming caffeine, you stop drinking anything that contains it.
    High you get from beautiful dressed model, is probably just as strong as one you get from naked woman and the reason you crave to look is to get a high.
    High comes from rapid changes in dopamine levels, and seeing an attractive woman, even dressed produces that spike and this is what you go after.
    You know that if you abstain from looking at pornography, you will have massive spike even from dressed attractive woman.
    So your goal should be to develop control over how you respond to craving behavior and eventually develop control over response you get after do watch sexually arousing content.
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  14. That's cold logic. And it's true. If watching porn would mean loosing my arm - I mean 100% loosing it just after watching it, I wouldn't watch - that's for sure.

    You're right.


    That's something I will consider.

    What you say is worth gold! However, I'm having my littles doubts. You make it appear too easy. Yes, let's try to make it easy - why not! But for many it just isn't that easy, even if they do it your way.
    Urge surfing, "Art Visualisation" - these are things I do which are really smooth, pleasant and at the same time very effective methods. So I think I'm already doing it a little like you propose.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2020
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  15. SoundsGoodToMe

    SoundsGoodToMe Fapstronaut

    When I first started the nofap process I couldn't believe the amount of people who couldn't go a few days without masturbating. it seem ludicrous to me. I mean, I was VERY horny but the idea of being "forever soft" was worse than the idea of not having a w*nk.
    I started a group chat and would often get into arguments with guys who said things like "oh I can't help it", "its the addiction", "poor me", etc.
    I hated the excuses.

    Relapsing, wanking, masturbating or whatever you want to call it is MOST DEFINITELY a choice.
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  16. I look at it as a mistake and I always ask the question, "What was I doing just before the wank?" "And before that?"
    "And before that?"... Usually I've started a sequence of behaviors that I know will lead me there and to that extent, I agree it is premeditated, because I KNOW where it's gonna lead. It could be something as simple as checking out some still photos in Instagram, and ramping up to YouTube, then to porn, and then whack, whack, whack, BANG. The question for me is "What was I doing just before I waded into Instagram?" "What was my mood?" "What was I thinking?" Sometimes I can trace it back, sometimes I can't. "Premeditated" includes for me that moment just before I commit to masturbating, that "Fuck it!" moment. I have pulled back even then on occasion.
    It's like I know that if I hang out in bars too much, sooner or later I'm going to drink again. So to the extent that I tempt fate by hanging out in bars, I am clearly getting ready--premeditating--to drink.
    Good stuff.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
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  17. I can easily agree that it sometimes doesn't feel like a choice, but on some level it has to be. The Rational Recovery and Smart Recovery movements as I understand them are based on making better decisions--rational decision making. It also doesn't feel like a choice, I think, because part of me wants to wank and part doesn't. Sometimes the better part of me prevails, and sometimes the lower self does. But it's all me.
  18. As they say: control what you can control. That implies some things are out of our control. But we have to deal with that. Not continue giving excuses but actively deal with it and retake control asap.
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  19. Hugoalsace

    Hugoalsace Fapstronaut

    Wise words indeed. We all need to take responsibility for our actions. Shifting the blame for our own addiction gets us nowhere
  20. I realized I'm thinking about addiction and nofap related things nearly every day. More often than I engage in sexual fantasies and porn urges.

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