So, it’s started. 24 days it what it took. Which is approximately how long it usually takes. A friend asked me to go on to iPlayer and watch Newsnight. As I was typing that in, I noticed from the corner of my eye, a programme about p. It grabbed me and hooked me in, and before I knew it I was watching bits of it knowing that I shouldn’t. Luckily that whole period of flicking through the programme lasted only 30 seconds or so on part, and because it was on the BBC, there was nothing explicit in it. Any other time, that might have been an OK programme to watch, but hey, it’s not in a reboot, and not at this particular time of a reboot. It left me with a deep pain in my heart though, and made my mind go into overdrive.
I then put my relapse preventions strategy in gear, summarised by the pneumonic STAR.
This will be me going in to a healthier auto-pilot mode.
STEP back and observe what is going on in my head.
The first thing is that I think my mind and body are missing porn-terribly. I have a deep ache in my heart, and I am wishing I can act out. My chimp is jumping up and down because it hasn’t been fed for 24 days. I have not satisfied its dopamine rush with the artificial super-stimulus of porn. I have also been busy with my sister and my nephews and niece, so have not really had time to myself. Originally I was going to build a few outer defences-go to the gym, learn a language, play tennis. I have not done any of those. But on the other hand, I have not done anything I did not want either, because I have spent time with my family. Which is healthy.
The second thing I think that is going on in my head is that I had two dates with a beautiful and interesting woman. We connected really well. However she did not want to take things further, and I have felt sad about that. Perhaps deep down I am feeling it as a rejection. And so I have been going on Tinder and an online dating site and writing to a couple of other women, none of whom seem to be as interesting.
TAKE a few deep breaths.
Just chill man! My heart beat seems to be racing away at about 10-20 BPM faster than it should.
ASK yourself what you want
I remember Rob saying that when he was struggling, he would write it down in a journal, or go onto a forum. Which is what I am doing now. My ideal self would be kind to myself. I have had a busy couple of weeks. And it’s OK to feel sad if a date didn’t work out. There is no reason why she would have to say yes to me. The world does not work like that. Moreover, it is not the ‘end of the world’ by any stretch of the imagination. And if I thought about it, I can quite easily deal with this! I have enough resilience inside of me to accept it as something disappointing, but that’s life. It doesn’t say anything about me, or her. And I won’t die from either not acting out, or from her not wanting to see me again!
Remove yourself immediately. I have listened to some feel good music for 30 minutes.
Undo negative thinking. Remember one more time does matter, I don’t have to act out even though my brain is telling me to, my brain is lying to me, and all sort of neurochemicals are whizzing around.
Never forget what you are going you lose. Look, I am on my 25th day. And I was doing really well.
Porn does not fit in with the sort of person I am or want to be. It will affect my health. And it will make me lose out on a beautiful loving relationship with a real woman.
So what is my plan:
I will be careful over the next couple of days. I will go out for a bike ride later. I will continue reading a brilliant book on Willpower (by Baumeister, if anyone is interested). I will start my daily healthy regular habits that I had thought I would do from the start. This urge WILL die down. I will use this experience to learn more about myself, and grow into a better person (growth mindset). I will be more determined to continue with my 90 day no PMO reboot, not least because I have £1000 riding on it. Look at Federer or Djokovic-they are able to bat away any challenge that comes to them (challenge mindset). I will engage with my feelings rather than run away from them (engagement mindset). It is OK to feel sad about my dates, and OK to feel physically restless because I have not acted out for almost 4 weeks now. Patrick Carnes said breaking the addiction is about holding on to reality at all costs. I still have an ache and a yearning in my heart telling me to act out, but it has diminished by 20% simply by writing all this down, and knowing somebody out there will read it, and realising that I have brought my thoughts and feelings out into the open. I am a man. There is nothing bad about me. I became addicted 20 years ago and ended up forming unhealthy behaviours. All I need to do is start building new paths and roads in my mind. Look at my life tree. It’s growing nicely.
I can do this, and I will do this, and I will break free.
I should be like the rock on a beach, where a wave has crashed over it, but then the wave dissipates and it is all calm again.
Laozi, the Chinese philosopher, once said-the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
This is my first step. It will be painful. But it will get easier.
But it’s a step I have to take.
And will take.
Pascal once said: all of humanity’s problems stem from mans inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
That’s all I need to do. Accept myself. Be myself. Be with my thoughts.
I am a cool, interesting, loyal, funny, and intelligent man, with wonderful and beautiful personality traits, who has much to be grateful for.