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Building My True Self
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Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Lesson 25

Compulsive Ritual: Pornography

1. Some form of negative emotion is experienced (Beginning of Ritual)
2. Urge arises to watch porn from the good feelings I used to experience doing so
3. I try to dispel the thought
4. Images stay in my mind
5. I focus on the thoughts, remembering some of my favourite videos
6. I unlock my phone and flick across the windows, giving myself time to go all in or not
7. Open up Youtube/Facebook/Instagram and 'innocently' browse scanning for images of women
8. Thought arises that this is a safe way to get my high without going too far- I can back out whenever I want I tell myself
9. Click on a few profiles or channels hoping for provocative images
10. Try and convince myself that things are getting a bit more risky, but I can back out still
11. I click on some form of nudity and convince myself I have gone too far (PoNR)
12. Keep looking at more images and start stroking penis more
13. Start searching for strip videos on Youtube
14. Masturbate properly
15. Orgasm to strip video
16. Feel disappointment, but tell myself it's just 1 'tame' video- not much damage was done
17. Clean up mess, go to toilet, wash hands
18. Experience urges
19. Try to fight urges
20. believe urges are too strong, only way for them to go away is to watch porn videos
21. Experience rush of excitement and relaxation at understanding I am going to watch porn
22. Eventually find myself browsing phone again on social media
23. Start searching for videos on Youtube
24. Begin masturbating
25. When I believe I am close to orgasming, I download VPN and open up porn site
26. Browse videos, increasing intensity until I reach orgasm
27. Feel guilt, anger, depression, defeat
28. Repeat steps 18 to 28 until I reach exhaustion (End)

Author:  Kenzo [ Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Hello RG
in building your compulsive ritual for this exercise you say

convince myself I have gone too far

what do those few simple words tell you?
what can and should you learn from that comment?

You know already, but it is great to write it down
You had / have the right of choice
you always have had
Choose, but choose wisely
good lesson :g:

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Kenzo wrote:
Hello RG
in building your compulsive ritual for this exercise you say

convince myself I have gone too far

what do those few simple words tell you?
what can and should you learn from that comment?

You know already, but it is great to write it down
You had / have the right of choice
you always have had
Choose, but choose wisely
good lesson :g:

That tells me that it is a figment of the mind. It's me switching the light to green and giving myself the go-ahead to complete the ritual
There isn't a point where I fully lose control; there is always some part of me that is able to break the chain if I want to.
Part of the ritual seems to be seeing how far I can toe the line before 'oops I've crossed it', where as a matter of fact, that line doesn't even exist. It's all about whether I choose to stick to my values or not

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Lesson 26

I feel like I kinda completed this lesson in lesson 25 by accident, but I'll go into detail on the last time I relapsed.

1. Went to bed feeling unfulfilled, tired and slightly lonely
2. Woke up in the night feeling horny
3. Thought about how good the feeling is and how I haven't masturbated for a long time
4. Considered the urge to amplify the feeling by looking at a few innocent pictures on Instagram
5. Unlocked phone and started scrolling downInstagram feed looking for triggers
6. Realised I have set myself on a dangerous path, but determine to only look at a few pictures without masturbating and go to sleep
7. Keep looking at pics and searching for more risqué images
8. Realise that I am starting to lose control, I should back out now or never
9. Give myself an image limit before I quit, say I will look at 5 more profiles
10. 5 profiles comes and goes, convince myself that the last profile wasn't good enough and so doesn't count
11. Stumble on some form of nudity, I can no longer convince myself I haven't been looking at porn
12. Make decision to finish the ritual and masturbate to a video- I believe that just the once will be ok and I will just stop myself from binging
13. Open up Youtube and masturbate to video
14. Find 'perfect' video and masturbate to orgasm
15. Feel guilt and disappointment that orgasm wasn't as good as I thought it would be

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Lesson 27

Provide an example of two compulsive chains in your life. The first chain should be where multiple rituals are engaged in simultaneously — thus enhancing the overall amount of stimulation derived from the behavior. The second should be an example of how you have strung together several rituals back-to-back and thus, extended the stimulation you were deriving. Post these examples in your recovery thread.

(i). My first ritual is watching porn and masturbating:
- I receive visual stimulation from the images I am watching
- Audio stimulation from the sounds I am hearing
- Physical stimulation from the masturbation
- Get to orgasm and release tension

(ii). My second ritual is rarely used now, but was very extensive:
- Stripping off and exposing myself outside ~ gave me a rush from seeing myself naked and the potential danger of someone spotting me
- Using oils to rub on my penis ~ gave me a physical pleasure
- Watching more and more graphic porn looking for perfect video
- Masturbating more intensively to match the porn being watched
- Reaching orgasm at the perfect moment ~ gave me a sense of achievement at finding that perfect video and orgasming at right time

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sat Mar 17, 2018 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Went off the rails this week and masturbated 6 times to some awful porn. It wasn't my best effort, I was kinda coasting and starting to trend down by the end of last week. My main problems were things not going smoothly with this girl I've been seeing- I started to feel bad about myself and wonder why I can't find a good relationship- this led to me getting very down about how my life is going atm, with not many friends and a poor social life. The whole thing got me real down and I started looking for stimulation elsewhere; staring at women on the street, staring at pics on the internet longer than I should be until I completely crumbled.

I gave up for a few days, but now I'm ready to fight again. I've got to take this seriously and start actively reclaiming parts of my life that I have lost. I'm still in a lot of emotional pain, but I can't rely on someone else for my emotional stability and joy in life. I've got to find the reason to live from within myself.

Lesson 28

1. Felt out of sorts and depressed throughout the day (let negative thoughts dwell on my mind)
2. Stared at any woman I could find during the day (gained visual stimulation from women around me)
3. Got home and noticed anxiety in my stomach and traced it to wanting to watch porn (urge to gain enjoyment from my old way of life)
4. Considered taking the edge off my stress with a few harmless pictures (felt relaxed knowing my old ticket out of negativity was always there for me)
5. Intentionally opened up a site that I knew contained triggering pop up ads (felt comfortable starting ritual)
6. Stared at the pictures (made peace with my decision)
7. Looked for porn bots on Instagram (helped me to relax and take my mind off my concerns)
8. Realised dangerous path I was on and broke the chain by talking with a friend for an hour to cool down (realised this isn't a longterm solution to my problems and changed tact)
9. Went to bed, but decided to look at more pics before going to sleep (was still tormented and wanted to escape)
10. Gradually escalated the images until I was looking at porn actresses (increased happiness)
11. Opened up Youtube and searched for strippers (excitement built)
12. Started masturbating to the videos (reached relaxation point)
13. Searched for my favourite video (was close to climax of stimulation)
14. Reached orgasm to favourite video (found success by orgasming at right time)

To increase the stimulation I could have used oils when masturbating to increase the physical sensory stimulation. I could have also increased the intensity of the porn, but I knew that the vanilla stuff would be enough to provide me with the stimulation I needed.

Author:  Kenzo [ Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Hello again RG

Went off the rails this week and masturbated 6 times to some awful porn. It wasn't my best effort,

I would suggest that it was actually no effort, you simply gave way to an urge
now you need to ask why?

you may recall
Find 'perfect' video and masturbate to orgasm
Feel guilt and disappointment that orgasm wasn't as good as I thought it would be

That is the nature of addiction
either you beat it or it will beat you
you may not think or believe this but acting out is ,was and always will be your choice

but making that choice is the tipping point
choose right, recover, choose wrong, dont recover simply degenerate
so learn from this experience
choose wisely and choose now

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

I didn't like your comment kenzo, but I shouldn't have acted how I did and run away. I have gone back to redo some of the older exercises as I feel like I've lost track of things with my relapses.

Lesson 12
Thought patterns I recognise with:
Unhealthy Thought Patterns
-I prepare my environment for relapse by being aware of times when I am unaccountable for anything or to anyone and will often end up in a position where it is very easy to relapse. For instance last week when I relapsed I was very aware that that week would be the optimum time to relapse and binge since I was on holiday from work.
-I believe I am uniquely defective- I’ve been dealing with some form of sex/fantasy addiction since I was about 4 years old and I tend to think of myself as some kind of sexual freak.
-Sometimes I doubt I will be able to make the changes in my life that I want to- I feel like I’ve lost too many years and that i am too behind the curve to bother making the effort now.
-I can be fairly inflexible with my goals- if they seem too lofty I will rarely change them and just convince myself I need to work harder. Maybe I need to focus more on tabling some of my long-term goals and breaking them down into more manageable goals.
-I tend to view my urges as an insurmountable obstacle- I have the belief that my reboot will only prove successful if I can go as long as possible without experiencing any urges. Often when I peak at an image and experience an urge, in the back of my mind will be the thought that I have already lost.
-There is a comfort to thinking of myself powerless before my urges, as it takes responsibility out of my hands for my actions.
-Relapse triggers commonly lead to que’s to relapse as I believe that it has activated something in my mind that won’t go away until I have acted out.
-My relapses always end up with selfish thinking, I will ask myself questions like ‘why do I do this to myself?’, ‘why am I so weak?’, ‘why does this have to be my life?’

I see now that i identify with a lot of unhealthy thought patterns and this is clearly not helping my reboot efforts. When I think of optimum times for relapsing, I should instead think of what I should avoid doing if I think I could be in danger and follow through with those actions. I am not uniquely defective, I am just another flawed and imperfect human being. It is never too late to make changes in life- I have avoided doing many things in my life, such as socialising for so long, but anything can be achieved with practice. Think of how you first felt when you started learning to drive. I should re-assess my goals to make sure they are achievable at first. An urge doesn’t mean a relapse, but dwelling on such thoughts can and will lead to one- I need to put such thoughts out of my head as soon as I come into contact with them. I am not powerless; I am the one in control and I should take command of my actions rather than be pushed about as by the wind. As soon as relapse triggers are encountered I should turn away from them and not dwell on them, they do NOT mean that a relapse is incoming. Keep myself busy and these thoughts will soon fade away. I don no know how to assess the last bullet point- is it my victim complex? That I am powerless before my urges rather than taking responsibility for what I did? Maybe I need to stop thinking of myself as the victim and start thinking in terms of why i acted out, what i can learn from it going forward.

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Lesson 13

They see their lives as a continuous process of growth and development, rather than an episodic book of starts and stops. (e.g. "When I was addicted" "After I recovered").
~ Not too sure about this one- is it that we should view life as one long process rather than in chapters? Some parts of life seem to be in such a format, is it wrong to view it as such?

I think I relate very strongly with many aspects of early recovery despite trying to quit pornography and masturbation for about 5 years.

- I know I can recover from this addiction and build a healthy life, but sometimes in the back of my mind is the thought that a relapse is always creeping behind me in the distant future
- I experience many negative emotions, about my current life situation, loneliness, doubt, fears, social anxiety and questions about what I want in life
- In some ways I can be seen to be weaning myself of my addiction, I started off only being able to string together a day or 2 clean, but recently it is easier to get on longer runs of weeks and sometimes even months clean. However, each relapse leads to a binge which has proven very destructive to my attempts at recovery.
- I used to do a lot of research about my behaviours and thought processes and still reach out to one of my recovery groups when I am going through problems.
- I don't have an SO right now, but when being with women sometimes I have looked at myself and seen someone needy and desperate and I haven't liked what I saw. This happened very recently briefly and so I cut off ties with the relationship. I feel like I need to become less dependant on others before I can offer anything valuable in a relationship. This is a difficult revelation for me to accept and I often find myself reaching out to available women when the chance arises. rejection or problems in a subsequent relationship have been some of the most damaging experiences for me when trying to recover.

Middle recovery habits/thoughts I identify with:

- I try my best to stop looking at the past to determine what I am, over recent months I have come to accept better that I have taken part in many immoral and damaging habits for many years, but that this does not define my future.
- I desire to live a life I can be proud of, but sometimes I get stuck in the thought pattern of trying to live the illusion of a good life. This tends to be when I get stuck comparing my life to others such as when looking at Instagram pictures or hearing about what others have gotten up to. This is a major problem for me, as it leads to me getting very down about myself and feeling hopeless in my recovery attempts.
- I have become more aware of the dishonesty I have used in my life since starting this workshop and really come to realise just how pervasive dishonesty has been in my life. I have used it everywhere, making excuses of why I can't do something, bending the truth or outright lying to protect myself from taking responsibility. Because of this I have been trying my best to live a more honest life.
- I have been trying to develop new life patterns to replace the old destructive habits, but each relapse has led to a subsequent setback in properly establishing these healthy habits, especially when it comes to my social goals, as each relapse tends to knock my confidence in myself and damage my brain
- I have removed some of my social media apps from my phone which lead me to comparing to others or harmful triggers. I still feel like I need to assess other parts of my life or habits I partake in which may fuel my addiction.

Author:  Kenzo [ Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Hello RG

I didn't like your comment kenzo,

fair enough, my comments are posted to provoke thought and analysis that might help, if this does not help then simply trash and move on

good luck

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Kenzo wrote:
Hello RG

I didn't like your comment kenzo,

fair enough, my comments are posted to provoke thought and analysis that might help, if this does not help then simply trash and move on

good luck

No, they were fair enough, I just wasn't being fully honest with myself. Always appreciate your feedback. :)

Lesson 14

"Another important task of health monitoring is to stave off complacency" - this is big, the last major attempt I made at fixing myself I became very lax with my health monitoring and didn't make any attempt to correct my behaviour despite wracking up multiple 'no's' in my daily monitoring.

Daily Monitoring List:
1. Did I treat myself as a valuable person today?
2. Did I make an effort to communicate with others?
3. Did I speak my mind when I had something to say?
4. Was I honest in all my interactions?
5. Was I aware of my emotions and did I handle them in a responsible manner?
6. Did I follow through on everything I planned to do today?
7. Did I engage in any compulsive behaviour today?
- If yes, did I maintain awareness of the elements involved?
- Did I create a break as soon as a I became aware of the ritual?
- If no, did I role-play a past or possible future ritual to regain confidence in my ability to change?
8. Did I thank God for something today?
9. Did I work on one of my goals today?
10. How would I describe my emotional and mental stability today?

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Lesson 15: Perceiving Addiction
Reading thru this lesson, I think I am one of the rare instances where my pornography addiction developed despite being born into a normal, nurturing family. I didn't experience any sexual traumas.

I always felt excited by sex, even before I knew what it was, and I would often fantasise to create a pleasurable sensation. Later on when I discovered porn I was able to create this pleasurable experience on an even greater level and used it as a substitute for building relationships. When I began masturbating later on, I soon became heavily addicted to the ritual and used it as a crutch for some dealing with some bad experiences I went thru. The reason I continued to use porn and masturbation was to manage my emotions and avoid taking responsibility.

i). One thing I have used over the past few weeks of the workshop is the Daily Monitoring, this has helped me to remember what my values are and force me into action on somedays where I feel lazy or dispirited.

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Understanding Addictions (17)

1. Sensory [sight] - staring at women throughout the day, looking back and sometimes almost crashing the car whilst driving past an attractive woman. Eventually using some form of porn to stimulate further
[touch] - masturbating to increase pleasure
[sound] - listening to music or the sound of the actresses/actors engaging in sex
2. Danger - visiting more dangerous sites or masturbating in secret
3. Suspense - watching certain areas at work knowing that an attractive woman usually walks by, wondering what she will be wearing and if she will appear today. Also visiting dodgy sites with the suspense of whether a triggering image will pop up
4. Past - using past events, usually negative, as fuel for acting out or as an excuse for why I need relief
5. Fantasy - overthinking everything, particular moments with girls. Becoming almost addicted to girls I have some form of relationship. Fantasising about past events with them and possible future events with them to create excitement. Usually leads to some form of delusion and heartbreak.

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Wed May 02, 2018 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Understanding Addiction Part III (18)

Time- usually the longer the better, but this can vary in length from whenever I start the ritual. It could start during a lunch break at work, checking out some girl and eventually doing it too often to the point where I am aroused enough to want to watch porn when I get back home. It could be when I am at home and start flicking thru Youtube or something, but I like too watch as many videos as I can before I masturbate and orgasm.

Intensity- mainly the extremity of the videos I watch has become progressively worse over time

Habituation- videos that once were enough to bring me to orgasm no longer have the same effect. After multiple masturbation sessions only the most extreme videos will bring me to orgasm

Author:  RenaissanceGibbon [ Mon May 07, 2018 9:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Building My True Self

Mastering your Addiction (20)

I did part 1 of this in great detail already, so I'll just focus on part 2 here:

Potential future transitions could be moving out of home, starting a new job or moving out of the city altogether. I could end up returning to my addiction in order to have some relief from the stress of such large life changes. Moving to a new city could bring temporary loneliness and lots of time where I don't have any responsibility to anyone else. I could end up using this new free time by wasting it watching porn. It would feel like welcoming an old friend back initially; I would wonder why I had ever stopped and would soon sink back into that comfortable cycle of binging on porn videos. The relief would be short-lasting however, and the addiction would soon bring more pain than happiness. This would become especially evident in my interactions with others as my social anxiety would return, my memory would vanish and my mind would be clouded.

The descent would be pretty rapid, as I would likely watch many videos, escalating in intensity until I had done serious damage to my brain again. I would probably be able to function at an ok level for a couple of weeks, but I would soon realise how much this is negatively affecting my life again. Signs that would show that I was returning to my old ways would be an overuse of social media, spending a lot of time staring at pictures of women and general stagnation in my efforts to improve my life. If this became the case I would have to spend some time re-establishing my life values and goals and set targets to aim for in accomplishing them.

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