Because I should, not because I can


#1

I have been mildly managing this addiction to the internet for the past year. I’ve had more and more productive days, but May has been a HORRIBLE month. I’m late to work already today and I just watched porn which pretty much means I have hit rock bottom in my cycle. I need to shut this cycle down. I’ve been at this for almost seven years now. My goal is to get through the rest of today clean and then have a clean morning tomorrow.

How am I going to get through the rest of today?

  1. Use the forest app on my phone all day. I don’t need my phone at work today so it is going to be off or on that app all day.
  2. Check in with myself every hour to see how things are going.
  3. Make a plan once I get into work. Do only what is on the plan.
  4. Do not make excuses. At work there is no excuse to be going on my phone.
  5. Take a breath instead of reaching for the computer.
  6. White knuckle this crap.

#2

If you’re having issues with porn it might be worth looking into K9 Web protection. It can block all sites completely and if you set it up correctly, can’t be circumvented. As for you’re phone, you can disable the browser + installing apps that have access to NSFW content (like reddit).


#3

Hi greyrock,
Thank you for the suggestion. As I will detail in this journal, the porn happens when the internet addiction has been going on for hours. I know one will go when the other is gone.

I have decided that I am going to write here every day detailing my progress. Today is my first day sober and I want to write here every day to detail my journey. I just have to get through today. Also, I think I realize that having a morning routine is my biggest indicator of success.


#4

So today I at least got out the door in the morning and was productive at work. But, I still just feel like things are going like crap. One thing that I want to try doing is always having reasons why I shouldn’t use. I want to have seven reasons that I rotate throughout the week. So today’s reason?

  1. I want to be a dad who my kids can rely on. I don’t want to bring kids into this world that have a dad that doesn’t have himself together. My parents weren’t perfect, but at least they had it together enough to get me through life. If I am losing jobs because of an internet habit then I don’t have my shit together. Plain and simple.

#5

Reason 2. I want to get my doctoral degree. I cannot do that if I am constantly on my phone.


#6

Hey lam! These are awesome reasons so far. (y) It would be a good idea to consistently remind yourself of these. I like to write sticky notes and stick them places where I can see. My bedroom wall, my bathroom mirror. It’s nice to have the ideas that I want to install as constant reminders throughout my day.


#7

I’m feeling sick, but it was no excuse for today. I sat on YouTube from 7 AM to 1 PM. But, I need to keep with my reasons.

Reason 3. I want my marriage to go well.


#8

If I can get through the morning clean then I can have a good day. It is just about the choices I make. Wake up. Meditate. Gym. Breakfast. Get out the door. No add ins to that schedule. It is about sacrifice. And if I am willing to sacrifice online time in the morning that is better than sacrificing my future kids having a good home, my future doctoral degree, and my marriage.


#9

I made it through the morning. I’m sick so I did it without exercising or meditating, but I did not go to my phone. I’m going for 1 day clean. I just need to start there.

Reason 4: I need to run the Boston Marathon. I need to rehab my leg successfully and complete one of my life’s biggest challenges.


#10

Today I also need to be thinking, planning, and scheming around recovery. I feel like I am at a point where there aren’t a ton of urges right now. I need to capitalize on that time so that I have defenses against the urges.


#11

I have this whole theory around coping skills vs hobbies that I am doing for work. I should use myself as a guinea pig for it.


#12

Also, I feel like I have lost my sense of right versus wrong.


#13

I think that this week has taught me a lot. Monday I went into work and absolutely killed it. I went from 9-5 and just blew the doors off being productive. And I was feeling sick too. I also handled a crisis situation well. Then I woke up Tuesday morning feeling like shit. Went to the doctor and found out I had walking pneumonia in its earliest stages. So what did I do? I just spent the past 48 hours on the couch with nothing but a TV and my phone in front of me. Interestingly enough, every time I tried to read I could not stop coughing, but that is a side note. Regardless, the point is that I have been on my phone on YouTube and watching porn for the past two days. And yes that does suck. But it in a weird way I am glad it happened because I had a different experience this time round. For the first time really ever I had this little bug in my ear softly whispering to me, “This is wrong. This is not right.” It just got me thinking about values. I thought back to the home I grew up in. In that home I was raised on the values that you don’t smoke because it causes cancer. I was raised to be respectful towards women. I didn’t drink because in my house you could have fun without drinking. Also, my mom always kept my dad on a strict 2 beer limit. She considered him drunk if he had 3 beers. I was raised to go to school because nothing was more important than my education. I was raised to love my sibling unconditionally. And you know what…those things all stuck with me. But, I was not raised with any values around the internet or porn. When my parents caught me watching porn when I was 12 my dad sat me down and told me that it was a normal thing for all boys to go through at my age. They took me away from the internet for a week as a punishment, but there was no values about how abhorrent porn would be. My parents let me sit downstairs for six hours at a time playing Runescape. But, there were no values in the house about reading books over using the internet. Or spending time with family over using the internet. And don’t get me wrong, I spent a lot of time with my parents watching TV, going to sports games, going out to dinner, going to the mall, etc. But, when I moved out for college all of that stuff stayed there and what followed me was the runescape, YouTube, and porn. And there was no one around to say to me no, you can’t do that for that long. That is wrong. That is incorrect. That is a bad decision.

No instead now I live with my life who I think has the misunderstanding that I have the same values as her on this front. In many arenas I do share her values. I value quality, safety, interpersonal relationships, laughter, hard work, etc. But, I don’t think I quite share her value on the internet. She said to me two nights ago due to something outside of our relationship that she thought that YouTube was, “the stupidest thing ever created.” Now, I tend to think that the Barbie doll, Bro-Country, and the KKK are a little less useful to the human race than YouTube, but her point is pretty striking. I understand that two people who have such drastically opposing views as those are not going to be able to coexist. My wife cannot have a “YouTube is the stupidest thing ever created,” view while I have spent 20 of the last 48 hours on YouTube. And I can certainly say that I don’t want her usage to go up. So here it is. I do live in a house that has values around the internet. I just don’t think we have ever talked about them. And we will talk about them once I have a voice (Yay bacterial infections!), but for now from the writing of this posting on I have two main things:

  1. As this is a community I ask those of you that follow my journal to do me a favor. If I am ever struggling please redirect me back to this journal post.
  2. My values around the internet have to change. I can try intervention after intervention. I can try to meditate, be present, go through my trauma, create a positive routine, read books, get back to lost hobbies, meet new friends, and have an incredible relationship with my family. And I do plan to do those things. But, over the past six years I have failed again and again in this pursuit and the one common denominator has been that I have never said what I am about to say. Going on my computer when I am stressed is morally wrong. It isn’t a value I believe in. Porn is not something I believe in either. It is a morally wrong thing for a man to do. It is harmful to my relationship, my sex life, and my overall health. I must not do it because it is wrong. No more can there be even 1% of my being that believes that either of these things are right.

As I continue to write this journal folks will realize that I am not a man of organized religion. But, I think that they did one thing right. They set people with values and things that actually believed in. I don’t agree with people wanting to pray away the gay or stopping people from having sex before marriage. But, the fact that these folks so strongly believed says something. I need this journey to become like a religion for me. Nosurf sounds like a fine name for a religion. So from here on out I will not be going on YouTube to randomly surf or going on to watch porn because I have been surfing for hours and my brain gets stressed and bored because it is a sin in my nosurf religion.


#14

Other things that should be in this values piece. Self-Respect. Health. It should be categorical.


#15

Last night was a strong night for me. I actually got a lot of work done and I went to sleep when I knew I had to go to sleep. I was honest to my values. It is wrong to spend long and unnecessary amounts of time on the internet because it does more harm than good. It can be replaced by so many things that are beneficial: exercise, time with friends, reading, or even just being present. There is a certain comfort that comes with beginning a day with good work and ending it knowing that what I have done is honest and true. To that end:

Reason 5: My dignity and self-respect are intertwined with my ability to stay true to my values.


#16

Quick thought. I feel like I have been told that meditation is good to quiet the mind from unnecessary thoughts. The problem for me is that my mind is always going in some capacity. But, I also think meditation could help me develop awareness which is much more important. Also, I had a scare today. I thought I was going to relapse, but I said, “This isn’t in my values.” And I got back to work!!!


#17

Reason 6: I don’t want to die earlier than I should in life because of something preventable.
Ok so I had a solid day yesterday. I feel like I am in a good spot where I could either fold today or I could make massive changes. I don’t have time today, but I need to start planning out how I am going to get through the next 30 days. I’m thinking that I good planning session is helpful for me. It should start with identifying the major problems I face, the triggers, and the solutions to those triggers. It also should be focused on incorporating values, daily routine, and healthy activities.


#18

Day 3. Reason 7: I want to help people. And if I can’t help myself how can I help people?

So this morning I actually woke up and didn’t have screaming urges to go on my phone which was nice. However, it also means that I have an opportunity in front of me to have a clear mind to do real work. First, in this moment I am setting myself a challenge. 30 days of no surfing. I’ve already got two down. Since my addiction began I have never gotten to 30 days. I feel like I can do it this time around if I put in the work. I also have been praying (which feels weird) to nosurf to keep me sober from the internet. I hope for the best. Today should be a pretty easy day. I just need to do work. This includes:

meditating
exercising
being a good productive husband
reading
Not yelling/really communicating.
If I do these things I will succeed.


#19

I felt myself drifting to a bad place so I came here instead.
Reason 1. I want to be a dad who my kids can rely on. I don’t want to bring kids into this world that have a dad that doesn’t have himself together. My parents weren’t perfect, but at least they had it together enough to get me through life. If I am losing jobs because of an internet habit then I don’t have my shit together. Plain and simple.

So this is probably my first big challenge. I am alone for six and a half hours today. I have a lot of work to do and it is stuff that can get done. I just need to stay off. I have checked in with my nosurf HP and I’m going to stay aware. The other thing I have started to do is I have started to talk to my wife about this problem. She knew about it three years ago, but I stopped talking to her about it. I am petrified when trying to talk to her about this problem because it is so embarrassing. But, I know that addicts keep their silence and healthy people speak out. I’ll leave it there for today.


#20

Hey Iam! I just read through your journal and it is very encouraging! I could relate to so many things.

“Regardless, the point is that I have been on my phone on YouTube and watching porn for the past two days. And yes that does suck. But it in a weird way I am glad it happened because I had a different experience this time round. For the first time really ever I had this little bug in my ear softly whispering to me, “This is wrong. This is not right.” It just got me thinking about values.”

I had a similar experience. Last night I had a horrible insomnia and spent few hours on YouTube after 4 days of no surf. This time it was different though. I was fully aware of what I was doing, it felt so dull this time, the videos seemed boring. I had thoughts: am I benefiting my future self? Is it making me a better person? Bottom line: It was not an enjoyable experience. I don’t regret it neither though. I think, the more we stay away from the internet, the more aware and present we become, and the more our actions aline with the good that we want for ourselves. I think it is a sign of the brain being rewired. Yes, we might have some fallbacks, but giving up an addiction is a no joke, as long as we bounce back, forgive ourselves and move on, it’s all good and part of a journey.

“Also, I had a scare today. I thought I was going to relapse, but I said, “This isn’t in my values.” And I got back to work!!!”
This is just awesome. So encouraging! Nice and simple: is it in my values? If the answer is no, do the right thing, don’t overthink it, don’t overdramatize it, move forward, period. Good stuff.

"So this morning I actually woke up and didn’t have screaming urges to go on my phone which was nice.
It is a clear evidence that the urges taper off with days when not acting upon them. Exactly what I read in the neuroscience books. Keep it up. It will only get easier with time.

“The other thing I have started to do is I have started to talk to my wife about this problem.” Another great idea as well. It does feel shameful to open up to somebody but is so helpful.

“I felt myself drifting to a bad place so I came here instead.” Well done! Why not to refocus and remind yourself of the reasons why are you up for all this?

All the best in your endeavours!