How to love myself?

I relapsed yesterday after 56 days. It was a good streak, I was going strong but then the exact sequence that led to relapse-- relationship troubles>alcohol>porn.
What I want to know from you people are in times of emotional distress, how do you csre for yourself and how do you love yourself so that there is no need to go to any external source of gratification. Please help me out.

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Some good things happened during last 2 months-
Regular sleep schedule
Light Exercises everyday
No booze except yesterday
Focused studying


What I want to know from you people are in times of emotional distress, how do you csre for yourself and how do you love yourself so that there is no need to go to any external source of gratification.

  1. Allow yourself to relax and feel what you are feeling, including the most unpleasant of fears, feeling, sensations, discomfort and pain, for as long as is required, knowing that it will not kill you, and knowing that every other tradeoff or loss (other than of life) is worth it. This both requires and (when you succeed) builds a whole lot of courage.

  2. I mean really, just lie down and relax, and fully feel the sensations in your body (including those related to sexual urges) without acting on them or making stories around them. Make use of any of the body awareness or body scan or other guided meditations that are available. Or just listen to soothing music as you relax. Know that negative thoughts are often the result of low energy levels, and you will swing around to a very different positive viewpoint (which you can’t foresee now) when your energy levels replinish.

  3. Within the ambit of honoring your integrity and your explicit commitments, be ok with anything that happens, and don’t take yourself and your responsibilities overly seriously. Be prepared to examine and make the right tradeoffs. E.g., less stressful job with less money, or a less stressful relationship.

  4. Let go of your ego and be prepared to accept ordinary pleasures, instead of just the “big ticket” ones. Go for a walk, eat food that you enjoy, talk to friends who are not perfect but are better than no company. “External sources of gratification” are fine as long as they help you engage with your world in non-destructive ways.

  5. Related to the first point, develop some courage and take a chance on yourself/life. Spend some money on exploration/learning that excites you, even at some financial/personal risk. In the end you have to be the one who backs yourself and takes a chance on yourself.

  6. Accept that there will be times that you will feel down. Prepare for these times in advance. Compile your sources of inspiration or guidance, and tap into these when you feel confused.

I hope I was able to articulate this in a helpful way. Feel free to express questions/doubts. All the best.


Can you elaborate on point no 4. And by external source i mean being emotionally controlled by that external thing/person

Check out the channel named ‘Improvement pill’ on YouTube

I meant don’t hang your happiness only on things that are seemingly unattainable at present, like the perfect job/car/girl, and then waste time analysing why you don’t have them. Instead, give yourself permission to go out (or stay in) and absorb happiness in smaller, less intense doses - like going on a stroll, going for a swim… Things that you can do regularly without much financial/operational overhead. Also, don’t burden yourself with trying too hard right now to “secure” happiness in future or make plans about how you are going to be happy way into the future. Being happy is an art that you learn little by little through practice. Sorry if this sounds preachy, just trying to share something that could be useful.

Regarding “external sources of gratification,” I understood what you’re saying, and it is sensible on your part not to rely on sources that could become emotionally controlling. Therefore, rely on sources that are relatively simple to get and don’t produce much dependence or emotional entanglement.

Take care!

Thank you, it might be preachy but I need some guidance in my life right now. :grinning:

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