Amas Diary - Thoughts along the way

Hey guys and girls, fellow fighters and Travellers on this far too less traveled road!

First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for participating not only in this journey itself, but also passively or actively in this community. One of the main issues with our addiction is that most people still don’t take it seriously, that its not part of the public discourse. You change that fact step by step, and for that I’m thankful!

Short introduction : I’m a 23 year old student from Germany, and this was part of my life for most of my teen years . My earliest memories of escaping reality by fapping go as far back as age 12 or 13, and what started as something nice once a week soon became a main part of my daily routine. It started with magazines, went on to Porn, more extreme Porn and eventually pretty unhealthy contact to other people on the Internet. I don’t believe in triggers, since you can’t escape them in the times we are living in, but I respect your opinions on this matter so I won’t go into detail. Ask if it matters to you. Anyways, I’d say you could call it an addiction since I was about 15 or 16 - but my memories from those years are somehow mashed together, difficult to separate, you know? I only noticed this years later when I was clean for half a year or so by accident. Best 6 to 8 months of my life. But things changed, and I wasn’t aware of the range of influence this addiction had. Maybe it didn’t back then, still unsure about that. But things went south again and I didn’t even notice.

Well, I became aware of this problem again when I was 2 years into the relationship I still have right now, when some problems became more and more serious and life changing for both me and my girlfriend. First I thought I was addicted to Sex, then I realized Pmo was the problem, or to be more precise, PMO stopped me from dealing with the actual problems that stopped me from being happy. Stopping PMO meant being confronted with some shitty parts of my life, made me unhappy and that led back to PMO. You guys know the drill…

Since then 3 more years passed and I am still struggling. I’m still on my way, and I already passed through good and bad times. I’m new to this community but have a lot of thoughts concerning the matter, since actually all I did the last few years is analyzing this shit.

Let me tell you, analyzing doesn’t help, at least It didn’t for me. It made it actually worse, since I stopped taking actions and rather think about it too much. Thinking and self reflection should be the starting point, but the ultimate way to go is through actions, small steps in the right direction.

Still, maybe I can help some of you with my ideas and thoughts, maybe some of you can use those as a starting point and continue after that. If you beg to differ with any states opinions, tell me. Let’s make this a healthy discussion and support each other!

Thanks for reading so far, I’m aware that you heard stuff like this a lot probably. See you around, and stay strong!

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Thoughts on Day 7

Right now, I hit the point where my self esteem and confidence is getting better and better. Some of you may know it - the feeling that I finally leave the state of self loathing, maybe even minor depression, brain fog lifting, a shift in perception and so on. And I feel good enough to believe in getting all those things I couldn’t have for a while now because of these problems my addiction brought up. I can see myself entering a club, bar or party, behaving all witty and confident and soon dare to talk to an attractive person, make her or him laugh, get more intimate and eventually go home together. Everything I didn’t do before because of the state I was in for so long, everything I desired when seeing others obtain it.

For an hour or so I started fantasizing about all that, the possibilities I’ve got now, what i could achieve now with those new “powers”, now that I’m no longer talking nonsense when approaching someone I’m interested in, or am confident enough to head to the club and attract someone through my sheer presence etc etc.

But soon I realized I’m still not where I want to get, mentally speaking. I’m still deeply influenced by the exact same problematic worldview encouraged by porn and the vast majority of modern entertainment.
All I do is believing in getting what I couldn’t before, ignoring that the want itself is the real problem; the belief system that nourished those wants the thing I truly want to escape and leave behind.

Because why would I want that? What would something like going to the club and maybe having sex with a random person give me other than the same thing PMO gives me, quick satisfaction and the feeling that I throw my life away, apart from doing that with another person (and sure, that may be different from Pmo, but not necessarily better) that doesn’t know me, doesn’t love or want me for what I am but for the sexual pleasure I deliver or what I represent that very moment?

And I don’t want to demonize those things, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes that’s all you want for a moment, and if the other person wants that too there’s nothing wrong with some fun in general, if it doesn’t become the only thing you do or work towards. Same with watching a movie, going to the theater, smoking a cigarette or listening to some music.
But if your priorities in life are only targeting those things, or one of those things, then it just has to lead to unhealthy behavior.
And although some people may do it, it’s still not the right thing for me to do, same as I don’t smoke or don’t go to the theater very often lately.

So that’s exactly what’s going on with me right now, and I believe it’s something not only I experience when going through this. You will come to the point where you notice some changes and feel like a new person, but still think and behave in old patterns influenced by the life you wanna leave behind.
Just hang in there for a bit longer. It’s worth it. And otherwise the danger of eventually relapsing will be so much worse!
Center your thoughts and actions not around getting those things you were told to desire, but on the one thing Pmo prevented you from doing: getting to know yourself independent from others, and find out what it is you want right now, not what others tell you to want.

Stay strong, have nice holidays (if you celebrate Christmas) and let’s start the new year with a new view on ourselves! Thanks for reading

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Thoughts on day 8

I was so close to looking at Porn, and I didn’t. Here is why:
I was lying in bed well past midnight, trying to sleep, actually being quite tired, when I suddenly felt the urge. I tried to find out why. While I thought about it it actually got worse, I asked myself “why do you want this all of a sudden, you know it’s bad” and my subconscious replied “i don’t know exactly, I feel like it somehow” and I asked “how?” and it said “just…bad, somehow unsatisfied and shaky” and I tried to find out where this feeling came from, explored it and being honest to myself about it.
Guys, this may sound funny, but I was actually thirsty. I didn’t think about it because I was trying to sleep and too tired and lazy to get a glass of water. This was completely unconscious, the mere feeling of not wanting to get out of bed kept me from being honest about it and form the thought of getting a glass of water.
This is ridiculous, but all the same eye opening and true. I feel this weird “I’m not well” - urge a lot, and I think, like this time, it’s always connected to some inner unrest that I am not aware about yet.
So I promise myself this, here and now: every time from now on I will find out what it is I need, what it truly is, be honest about it and overcome those hindrances like laziness and others to actually change something.

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Thoughts on day 15

Still on it, and have to admit, am really proud of myself. Things start to change on a deeper level, and I’m excited for what’s to come.

There are still times when I am down, sad or gloomy over something I can’t solve yet. The difference is that I don’t think immediately about Porn as the solution for that. I think that’s because I finally connected for real, and I’m finally learning to appreciate and nourish those connections in a healthy way.
This applies to a connection to myself (taking walks every now and then, which for me is similar to how some of you meditate I think) and noticing small details about my own personality, and how to take them into consideration when making decisions, may they be small or important. But it also applies to connections with other people. Friends feel like friends, and I can finally stay true to myself and keep some healthy distance without pushing them away. Most of my close friends know about my addiction and it was fricking hard to talk to them. But it got easier and not a single one of them acted weird while I explained or afterwards. It just helped them understand me, know me, and that makes a real relationship possible. That was a game changer for sure.
I told my parents a while ago. I trembled and I cried, and they did too (okay, my mom did, but they both did something amazing which I didn’t thought they were capable of: they didn’t judge me but offered their support). It was worth it. I finally can say that people know me, the real me, and that my friends is how you make it possible for other people to interact with you, because how should they if they simply can’t?

The best thing is that a friend of mine who has similar problems and is sleeping and fapping around since the day I met him two years ago has told me that he stopped that shit as well, going strong on his 9th day and asking me how I was doing and if we could support each other.
That was amazing.
Guys, I can only advice every one of you to try this. Right now I can’t imagine how it should turn out in a bad way, or in a worse way than the situation you were in before.
Connect.
Support and get supported.
And spread the word. I can’t wait for the day people on NoFap, NoPorn and the fight on modern entertainment the way it is right now finally reaches the mainstream. Just imagine it. People talking at a party and without any hesitation saying :
Yes, I’m gay. Yes, I’m a vegetarian. Yes, I’m on NoFap.

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That’s my motivation for nofap, remembering what PMO stopped me from doing.
And as well as you, I got some months of no PMO because I was dating a girl and blabla, but those were some really great months and I felt like I was able to do anything that I wanted (since I’m not such a very strong person, in terms of taking a big turn in my life, you know, getting out of your comfort zone and making a big change).
So I started three days from now, and even though I feel urges and stuff, I can control them.
Furthermore, in two weeks approx., I will finally get to the gym (a few years back that was something crazy for me) to improve my physique, because I decided to join the Air Force in my 18th birthday. Also from this, I’m going to get a bike soon, and I will be able to do all this “physical improvement” because I have plenty of time available, since I’m on vacations from school.
Stay strong and perseverant my friend!
Regards from Chile.
575896 - share your code as well so I can add you!

Thank you. Added you, my code is 67219d. Let’s motivate each other!
Wish you all the best with your plans. Sounds like even if change didn’t come to you easy in the past, you’re ready to change that very fact step by step now. Don’t falter even if you stumble! We are here for you!

Thoughts on day 21

I think this is day 21. Maybe it’s 22, maybe it’s 20. I lost my phone two nights ago and can’t tell for sure.

I’m still doing fine, in a broader sense. I’m having a lot more contact to my close friends, start being able to spend some time alone without falling into the old spiral of negative emotions, and I’m almost done moving into my new flat (which helps a lot defining this as a new beginning).
But if you look at the picture from up close, there are a few parts that don’t make a whole lot of sense or just aren’t good to look at.

First thing that’s on my mind these days is the end of my (to the day) five year long lasting relationship. Out of privacy-concerns and respect for my ex-girlfriend, I won’t go into detail. It ended slowly over a longer period of time, like one big sinking ship that can’t just drop to the ground in an instance. But the passengers finally left, spectating the last pieces disappearing from the shore. Still, they are safe, I am safe, and in the end it was the best thing that could have happened at this point.
It’s still not easy, and it still makes me sad. Thanks for the people checking in on me, I’m hanging in there!

I also had sex with a girl other than my ex for the first time. It happened, and I don’t look at it as a relapse, since I’m certain most parts weren’t influenced or ruined by a porn-clouded mind formed by my habits. Of course, it has played some part most certainly, but it was fairly small. At best, it was me stumbling.
As mentioned in another post, I don’t do this to stay away from any sexual action or influence. I just want to stop the deep, unhealthy influence the industry, porn and modern entertainment in general, had and still has on my mind. You can’t get rid of influence in general, but you can try to control it as good as possible. I want to learn to control it and find a Me that I’m content with.

Another thing I need to mention is the lack of need or craving I feel right now. I haven’t even thought about looking at porn or consuming any form of this kind of entertainment for days. I’m completely engulfed in the situation I am in right now, the things going on in my life. Makes me happy to notice that.

I hope I can make it through the next few days, through this time of healing from my past relationship, but I’m optimistic right now.
This is a huge thing for me, but I can manage to deal with all the emotions rushing through me right now, and this alone gives me hope and strength to continue pursuing my goal.
And I believe and know that my current streak is part of this. After years of stagnancy, finally things start to change for the better!

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Thoughts on Day 0

I should have seen it coming. I probably even did, but couldn’t hold my grounds. I thought I was better than I actually was, and that turned out to be the problem.
After more or less 20 days of a PMO-free life, I relapsed.

It started with quite the bad mood after waking up in the morning, a lot of thoughts rushing my mind regarding all what happened lately (the break-up, where I stand in life, decisions I made and have to do etc). You should think I relapsed because of that, out of depression, to find shelter in the short dopamine-rush, but interesting enough, I didn’t. Actually, I stayed in bed for a while, and my mood got better and better, until I was so close to standing up and taking a cold shower.
And exactly that seemed to be my downfall.
To not stand up that very moment and leave the room.
Instead I thought something like: "hey, you are doing better than you thought. See, it’s all not that bad, so pmoing won’t be as bad either, the contrary, it will make things even better!"
I’m shocked how rational that thought seemed to be that moment.
I wanted things not be good. I wanted things to be “the best way possible.”

What happened supports an old opinion of mine, that of the golden middle. For years I tried to battle strong negative emotions with strong positive ones, and this led to a life of extreme unbalance.
My goal shifted from being happy all the time to being content, you know, the whole eastern Yin and Yang thing. My last post somehow reflects the opposite (at least to me), and I’m starting to think that this is what would’ve eventually led to a relapse either way - being sad because I’m not happy, which makes every non-happy situation a bad situation, which makes a LOT of situations bad ones, which makes the overall situation seem the worst, which destroys every possible good situation…well, you know where I’m going with this.

So, I relapsed. But life goes on. If you fall, don’t look where you’ve fallen but where you stumbled. What I will take with me from this is: be humble. Don’t expect too much. Be content with every step you take and don’t judge how big those steps are, or how fast you take them.

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Thoughts on day 2

I’m getting back on track. It’s difficult and hence the progress is slow, but steady.
I don’t beat myself up about the last relapse, not even thinking about it too much, and that helps to focus on what’s to come. It helps keeping some space in my mind for the truly important things that lie ahead.

Small steps forward is what I take right now, and they include tackling tasks one at a time, and giving myself the time and rest to review past actions, be it of the last weeks or the last hours, without getting lost in such thoughts too much.
It’s only my personal belief, but only watching myself from “above” or “outside” really disconnects me from myself and my surroundings. It also is something that’s quite likely to happen if you work on yourself as much as we do, as I do right now. Reflecting about oneself is of value sometimes, but it also bears the danger of abstracting life, oversimplifiying it. As if life was a book, and you are reading an abstract, with the most important points of the story summarized. If you construct a story, a plot, then you first work out a draft and fill in the blank spaces.
Life, however, does not work that way, and that is something at least I sometimes seem to forget. I evaluate my situation, I locate myself at one point on a scale of probably around 70 to 80 years, and try to figure out what’s to come. But this is actually sacrificing content and substance for structure’s sake, a structure that’s not there but that is manmade itself, formed by what works for anything we build, be it a novel, a movie, a piece of art or music, a skyscraper or the organisation of a company.
Well, this got out of hand. What I’m trying to say is: the way I try to operate right now is to look at what is right now, how i feel right now, what I want right now, how I can achieve that or change the way I feel if needed and what I have to do in this very next moment to make one step into that direction. And after a few steps, I reevaluate and, if needed, shift the direction I’m heading to a little bit without making too big leaps.
Like a river, flowing around rocks, sometimes going east, sometimes going west, but always going down the road in some way.
I’m excited what’s to happen if I can keep this up. The image itself holds some peace in it I really need right now.

P.S. This entry may have ended up a bit philosophical, but hey, you already may have noticed that my diary is not the typical thing, maybe. Just recording my thoughts along the way, highly subjective, but maybe some find it interesting in some way, I guess :smiley:

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Hey! I don’t know what you do for a living, but obviously you’re someone who knows how to write!
Have you found your phone back? Your counter still says 27 days haha.

Hey man, thank you so much. I’m a waiter currently haha.
And no, I didn’t. It was stolen actually, which means I had to get a new phone. Will arrive next week, and I’ll reinstall the app and reset the counter as soon as I can :slight_smile:

Germans have always impressed me with their ability to speak several languages fluently!
Anyway, good luck for the days to come!

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Thanks for these thoughts
I completely agree with you. I’m currently changing my mindset about this whole journey and wanted to write a post on my own. But you were faster :smile: (I think I will add one to my diary at the end of this week too :slight_smile: )
Got stuck in the belief that if I change this one thing now than this will lead to a perfect life in X-years. Leads to wrong expectations and too much pressure on executing one particular change. Your post helped to further to improve my current changes.
Can’t wait for your next entry

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Thank you so much! This diary is foremost just a help to sort my thoughts in some way, but it’s always great to see sharing it helps others in some way as well!
And great to hear about your change in attitude that you seem to be quite content with! I’ll check your diary as well!

Thoughts On Day 0

I came home pretty late and all it would had to take was to go to bed. I didn’t. Instead, I sat down on my laptop. Not because I wanted to check my mail, not because I had some urgent business to get done, no, I just felt the need for positive input. Because before I was home, I met my ex-girlfriend (trying the staying-friends-thing) and that left some confusion inside me.
It seems I couldn’t handle this confusion. I could not just lie down and sleep, or try to sleep. I was pretty tired as well, it wouldn’t have been a problem. So watching a video on YouTube led to histerically checking every website I’m logged into led to porn.
Another companion updated me on my current streak just minutes before, so I willingly ended it after 6 days.
I hope to pick myself up again soon, and make the next one last longer again.

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Thoughts On Day 0

Yeah, I know. It doesn’t look to good right now.
I somehow feel pretentous for writing down all those thoughts, for actually thinking I would have found the way to go. A way to become the person I always see myself being one day. And it is funny enough that what I am striving towards was actually what made me stumble again.
Change.
Some things are changing right now, and other things are not. It seems the latter can’t keep up with the first.
The most obvious is that I am single again, which is a simple thing to say, but rather complex if it means leaving behind a five year long lasting relationship. A toxic relationship in many ways, which makes its end something I don’t regret (yet?), but a very close one nonetheless. Most of my decisions in the last years were influenced by this relationship, by my feelings for this woman, and even if it is officially over, emotionally I have yet to get through the whole thing.
It made me into who I am today, and I have yet to discover who I can be without it.
I still have to adapt to the way things are now.
And I still have to find a way to deal with all the emotions I start to notice when staying clean for a longer period of time. I admit it, I’m afraid of them. A lot.
At times I notice a feeling which makes me uneasy and I don’t know why. That alone makes me somehow feel disconnected from myself, because I seem to never have learned why I feel those emotions and how to deal with them. I’m afraid some of them aren’t even bad ones. Just imagine being excited, in a good way, like when you are looking forward to a concert of your favourite band, or meeting someone you really like. Right now, I misinterpret those feelings.
I want to learn how to embrace them. How to give up control to some extent and let my feelings influence my behaviour.
I hope noticing this will help me in the next days. And it all doesn’t look as bad as it might sound in this rather contemplative entry. I started doing sports six times a week and haven’t missed a single day yet, for example.
So let’s see if I can get up and confront those changes. Embrace them!

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Just to make sure that i understand you well. Did you relapse too feel less sad?

Somehow, yes. But not “sad” in particular, just…uneasy. Weird. That’s the best description I can come up with :sweat_smile:
I just had this feeling that made me uneasy, and the way I dealt with it, to make it go away maybe, or to just react to it, was to relapse…it was not something I did on purpose, it was more like my instincts told me: that’s how you feel, so this is what you should do now

that describes it perfectly.
it’s the way to handle bad emotions.

i guess it’s often the same reason when people smoke. they are stressed -> they smoke to calm down. i feel uneasy -> i watch a porn to feel good again

Isn’t masturbation to escape emotions the worst way to masturbate? :sweat_smile: