Need advice: punishment for relapse?

Discussion in 'Rebooting - Porn Addiction Recovery' started by Jodokus, May 7, 2016.

  1. Jodokus

    Jodokus Fapstronaut

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    Here's the thing, for me relapsing HAS drastic consequences and continuous relapsing damage life. Since I felt like I have my addiction under control for about 90% (but that may be much too optimistic) and I want to stay clear for 90 days no matter what I decided to take drastic consequences if I should relapse: to give half of my money to charity and tell a stranger about my addiction/relapse. I should mention that my idea wasn't to constitute a punishment for myself but rather take drastic consequences that would hinder me from relapsing OR make me learn. I think if you relapse and your body feels great and afterwards you're somewhat depressed, body and mind seems NOT to learn that relapse is bad but just get used to that certain cycle.

    So you may ask, why does he want to discuss his decision rather than just to stick to it. It's because I had a talk with a friend of mine who's a somewhat older than me and knows a lot. He advised me against such a punishment and he had the following arguments (in my own words).
    • you don't know if the punishment itself will help you to make better decisions in the future, it's only clear that it will worsen your financial situation, what you may learn from it can't be foreseen.
    • you say relapses belong to the reboot-process, that one should be positive and shouldn't beat up himself after a relapse. Isn't this punishment against that idea?
    • you're giving the relapse way too much significance. Didn't you want to focus on your life? Isn't it better to consider a relapse a small mistake and when it happens try not be shaken too much by it?
    • 90 days is a milestone. But you want to become clear for the rest of the life. So you need to reboot sustainable. What will happen after the 90 days? Do you want to have a hanging sword (punishment) over your head for the rest of your life?
    My answer were like "yes, but ..." Especially the last point showed me that my planned approach makes no sense in the long-run.
    When you ask me, what are the withstanding arguments pro punishment, I would name to things. 1. I want to break the cycle (see bold text above) and 2. I want to learn to stick to a decision and to take consequences.
    But I'm not sure. So I thought it would be good to bring this discussion in the community. Maybe others asked the same question or even lived it out and learned from experience.

    Thank you for your comments, stories and advice in advance!
     
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  2. traveller22

    traveller22 Fapstronaut

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    Hi there.

    That's an interesting question & one that many words have been written about. If your opening premise (in bold) were true, don't you think that after being let out of prison, the majority of inmates would not re-offend? Personally I can think of few worse scenarios for my body than being locked up behind bars for X amount of time.

    A question that your question raised for me is, "what's the difference between punishment & negative consequences?"

    If PMO has such drastic results in your life, why do you (and I) keep going back to it? That's something we each have to ask ourselves. Finding the answer - not identical for any two people - gives us a key to our particular labyrinth & how to escape it.

    Given what you say about the devastating effects of PMO on your life, is the thought of destroying what you hold most dear, not all the motivation you need?

    In one sense it is, but if we are continuing to reach for the PMO/dopamine hit, something deeper is driving us. Anxiety, fear, self-loathing & the desire to destroy ourselves are but a few reasons why we continue with this behaviour.

    Struggling with addiction is such a gift in many ways, as it provides us with a massive opportunity to grow, in a very real & tangible way.

    I'm sitting in front of my computer & watching something on YouTube. On the right hand side I see a link to a music video by an artist that I really love. However, in the link I can see a fit, scantily clad woman, who promises to be in the video. Trigger!!

    Do I click on it & watch?

    In such moments, mountains move & canyon's open up beneath our feet.

    Freedom of choice can be a person sometimes.

    Let's choose growth & life.

    T22.
     
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  3. Peter Stark

    Peter Stark New Fapstronaut

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    Dear sir, don't you think punishing yourself in a harsh manner would just worsen your condition further in a bad way? Instead of using a punishment to force fear inside your mind from relapsing how about an "alternative" to be used every time the urge kicks in to stop yourself from relapsing itself, something like calling that wise friend of yours or going out for a run or stuff like that which you might seem helpful. It might seem a bit difficult at first but once we get a grip of it, the pressure starts withering step by step every time we do so. Also, it feels awesome after winning against an urge. Well, according to me dealing a problem in a positive way instead of a negative approach might prove to be bit successful. But maybe that's just me. Maybe you might be able to find an appropriate positive punishment which might be beneficial for you in both the ways i.e. would help you stop relapsing and won't harm you in any way either. Well, I hope I was able to help you in some way at least.

    Also, kindly do pardon the grammar. This is my maiden post in the forum and English isn't my first language.
     
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  4. Jodokus

    Jodokus Fapstronaut

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    @traveller22 I read about the 3 circles and I noticed that my control loss should be prevented as soon as possible.
    @Peter Stark yes I agree, I think it's now to change my decision. I'm already working with the kind of alternatives you're mentioning. But it could proof helpful to reward little successes more. The bitter pill is to accept the importance of the counter-measures. So it might be necessary to go out when I want to stay at home, do sport or socialize when I have work to do. I guess my original plan just shows my lack of acceptance and patience.
    It's still a long way to go :(
    But on the other hand:
    yes, I feel like I'm about to change much more than just my sexual behavior. And I'm already having good results in many areas.

    Also I'll try to reach out for some of my friends when I'm in difficult situation. My most frequent mistake is probably that I don't shut my PC off. So I will try to do that more often which includes that I don't use the forum in that kind of situations.
     
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  5. You are putting a lot of focus on training the body and taming the mind by force. I have been doing that for long time but recently I am using a little bit different approach. Now my goal is to move beyond body and mind. To a state of higher consciousness which is above triggers, conditioning and genetic programming. To a place where I can get myself conscious enough to notice the urge but not engage in it. Through meditation and mindfulness practice. I notice once I get more conscious and more my awareness increase less desire I get to indulge in "low vibration" activities and less fulfilling and satisfying they feel. Maybe I would recommend you to at least explore this approach.
     
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  6. traveller22

    traveller22 Fapstronaut

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    There's a lot to be said for developing a daily mindfulness practice. Anything that can help us create space between our thoughts/urges and acting on them, will be a big help in overcoming addiction.

    Strength & wisdom!

    T22.
     
  7. vulture175

    vulture175 Fapstronaut

    punishment just creates anger, and anger only worsens the problem. as my experiences, i used to really hate hate hate myself so much, and yes i thought of any ways to punish myself, no eating, force to read, force to work, even hang myself, punch myself in the face, hit my head to the wall, even kick myself out of the house for a day, stay in the street in the middle of the night like homeless people did.

    and the result was i was getting aggressive, and i projected on other people, so much hate and vengeance. were they all terrifying enough to help me stay away from pmo? nah. there's a person inside yourself, you punish him, he will fight back by fucking more pmo.

    lust is a soft mental sin. trying to deal with it by hard solution like punishment is never a good solution. we're gotta need to deal with it inside us. as @traveller22 said above, mindfulness is the way to go. this is a mental healing, not mental war. so don't beat yourself up. i did that, and that was wrong, hatred only creates more hatred
     
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  8. We often relapse because of stress, anxiety, depression, anger, regret, fear, etc. Those all are mental tensions that are being built up. They need to be discharged somehow. And PMO often serves as a way how to get that release. On top of all that sexual energy that wants to be released as well. Using force and hard punishment to train yourself creates even more stress and more tension. So the energy buildup is even stronger. So often times trying our hardest to not relapse can actually make us relapse even faster. The harder you try to resist the harder it becomes to resist. It's like trying to stop Hulk from smashing by screaming at him. You have this tension buildup that you are trying to contain with force but in result are just creating more tension.

    The way of mindfulness is to remove that resistance. Completely. If desire comes into mind do no resist it. It does not mean you have to act on it either. But just observe it. And if you do happen to relapse that that's fine. Just start new. It does not make much sense when I write this down but often giving ourselves permission to do something takes away the desire to do it. It's like the forbidden fruit; the fact that it is forbidden makes it so much more tempting.
     
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  9. recoome

    recoome Fapstronaut

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    I wouldnt suggest punishment.
     
  10. themerryprankster

    themerryprankster Fapstronaut

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    Punitive and retribution based approaches are predicated on the rationale mind and it's questionable if recidivism rates improve from them. I told my spouse, about a year ago, that if a law were established that made masturbation punishable by death, that I would begin to make my funeral arrangements. Such is my understanding of addiction, that it is well beyond my rationale mind or morals. For me, I'm no longer running the show the moment my pattern begins, which comes well before the act for me.

    If you're willing to allocate large sums of money towards just attaining 90 days, there are in-patient facilities that may help improve the odds of 90 days.
     
  11. recoome

    recoome Fapstronaut

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    Whenever my mom punished me i ended up disliking her. punishment doesnt help. if i have kids i'd rather be role models for them than punish them.
    maybe find other skills and tools to help overcome this addiction.
    I once made a monetary contribution to this website hoping that now that i've invested some money in nofap that i'll take it seriously, but nope. i ended up relapsing more than once.
     

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