Sam's fight with Mr. Hyde (37 M)

I guess I’m back to being Dr. Jekyll now. Plotting ways to try to outwit my future self. Mild mannered, pious, respectable Sam now - in an hour I might be revelling in self-indulgence, looking at weird fetish images and videos, masturbating.

At least it’s not heavy p**n, yet. In fact, I tell myself (at the time) that it’s not a big deal because the fetishes I have cultivated don’t even involve people. Just objects. Which makes it, maybe, all the weirder. Grotesque.

The change in personality scares me.

I guess I will read some H.P. Lovecraft for a while. Commiserate with people in other weird and grotesque situations. Maybe I will be able to sleep later.

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We tend to fall into the trap of asking ourselves whether the p–n we watch is wrong because it’s only softcore, it’s non-nude, it’s so-called ethical p–n or it’s cartoons etc. The real question to ask is whether it is safe for us, whether it is making our lives better, whether we experience greater happiness and fulfilment from doing it. Fetishes only lead us to more dysfunction and rewire our brains to desire them instead of genuine intimacy.

You can win this battle against Mr Hyde. Remember that he still needs you to act to bring him out; you’re in control.

Keep going Sam, new start.

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Day 1. Thought I should make a note here, since I noticed the first thought arising that could lead to the cycle starting again. It feels almost harmless, this thought. But it could be a pathway back to the lair of the enemy. I need to be vigilant.

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Don’t give in! (I know, you’re probably thinking, “Thanks, Captain Obvious! I kinda already know that!”) But it’s the little things that really trip us up. Sadly, I know that from my personal experience. Little thoughts here and there, not even looking at something, will eventually lead to relapse.

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Day 5. I took the Internet box thing (Router? Modem?) out of my apartment and put it in storage a few days ago. I have felt so much better! Not just because of the PMO issue, although not having access to that is pretty nice by itself. I feel like I have been more “alive” the last couple of days. More aware of my surroundings, more able to enjoy things. I used to love to read, back before I had my own Internet devices. Now I’m getting back to that. I’m even starting to enjoy studying kind of like I used to. It might just be my own addictive personality, but I feel like home Internet isn’t really worth it. The dopamine addiction, possibly, makes it counterproductive as either a tool for productivity or as means of entertainment. At least for me.

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Felt that I needed to bring the Internet back temporarily. Worried about urges, but at the moment I feel rather tired and uninterested in much of anything.

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Well, not surprisingly I relapsed soon after bringing back the Internet. I’m not in my apartment now but I’m thinking of taking the thing back to storage when I get back. The trouble is that I have a friend overseas that wants to talk all the time, and we can really only communicate over the Internet. I might just have to tell her that I need to focus on my study and that the Internet is too distracting. That’s true anyway - it might become necessary to unplug for a while to finish the PhD strong.

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Day 14

This evening will be two weeks. Feeling some mild urges today. I have heard that somewhere around week 3 you can get some pretty strong urges, but after that it gets easier. Or maybe it’s week 4. Hmm.

I have kept the Internet in my apartment for now. I don’t know if it helps or hurts to take it out or put it on a timer - it might make the urges feel more urgent when I only have access to the Internet every now and then.

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Well, failed again at day 16. Tough day all around. Did some stupid risky Internet surfing this evening, led to strong urges, and I failed. I suppose 16 days is better than where I had been. The trouble is, now I have these gloomier feelings… might be a few nights of Lovecraft and Poe before I feel like I can really enjoy cheerful things again.

I shouldn’t let it get me down. But I suppose that being hopeful doesn’t mean that I won’t have emotions to deal with.

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Hang in there, man! I’m glad you made it to at least 16 days, because that’s 16 days that the enemy didn’t get from you! Don’t worry about that you’re not feeling happy quick enough. It takes time to work through these things. I’m praying for you! :pray:

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Learn from this bro and start again .:100: All the best!

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Thanks guys!

Anyway, day 1 completed. I’m now back to “Prisoner” status. Although there was some edging and “pseudo-■■■■” this evening.

Coffee this morning, which seems to help with the dopamine withdrawal, or whatever it is that I get on Day 1. Rough day again though - things are a little worrisome and frustrating in the lab, and I have a rather stressful and also frustrating situation going on with a friend.

Day 4 completed, on day 5 now. I failed again two days after the last post, I think. That seems to be a pattern - relapse, feeling bad the next day, then a strong urges two days later. Didn’t look at much during the last failure, but still not ideal. I feel troubled tonight about my lack of self control, and how uncertain the future is. I don’t want to fail…now. But tomorrow? Who knows how I will feel tomorrow.

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Up a little late, but in about a half hour I will be in week 2 so it feels a little bit like a celebration. I seem to be feeling a lot better this evening. It seems like I have a lot of depression the first week after a relapse. This starts to go away after about 7 days, although I can get some anxiety I’m week 2. By the end of week 2 I feel pretty normal, but that is often where I fail, maybe because I do feel so much better.

That seems to be the pattern anyway. I don’t know how much of that is my imagination though.

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Oh, I was wrong. Week 1 completed!!

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I can relate to that. It’s almost like my emotions really go out of whack. I don’t know if this is the same with you, but I know that I find myself becoming really angry at stupid stuff, or really upset and depressed at stuff that usually wouldn’t bother me, or anyone else. The anger issues kind of lessen after that first week for me, but even up 'til now, the anxiety can really get to me sometimes. But I’d still rather be dealing with the anxiety in a natural way, than to be numbing it with masturbation. You’re in my prayers, Brother!