The small relapses before the big one

25 July 2021


It's hard not to notice the big relapse. It's hard to notice the small ones that lead to the big one. Let's use semen retention for example.

So one day, for some reason, you just, boom, relapse from a long streak. It's hard to even imagine how could an urge like this have been under your control. You just became a different human for the time being. You couldn't think about anything else or didn't care, usually both. It seemed at the time that if you have to battle the urge it would have taken the better part of the day and you could definitely not afford it. "It's just today". But when the next few days come, you're beginning to notice that you've got that little hole in your armor. "Damn it felt Godly good" "I mean I broke the long streak anyway.." "Ugh it's here again, I really don't want to waste time trying to battle it. I want to get back to X" And boom again. And then again and again until you're once again you've got no control over yourself.

"What on earth happened? I was doing so well" - yeah and then this happened. But no. It wasn't just this one relapse that lead to the other ones. Usually, if you reflect back, you'll notice other small relapses of judgment and compromise in discipline that you could have controlled way more easily than the big urge. E.g. checking social media a little less often. Skipping uncomfortable (work) requirements. Not keeping your apartment in order. There are tons of other small, easily controlled decisions that we usually compromise, that add up to the big compromise.

I'm not saying that maintaining the little "disciplines" will ensure the big challenges don't come. But you can look at them like the warm-up before every workout. Just like the fit gymnasts still take time to the old and boring drills, not just the double backflips and other cool stuff. Just like the strong guy doesn't go directly into lifting his heaviest and also does mobility with very light-weight. Just like the sprinter who doesn't always run at his max so he can improve his technique and so on. Look at the small disciplines like the preparation for when the big challenge comes.

The small disciplines don't have to be exactly the ones I mentioned above. Maybe you really couldn't care less about how orderly your apartment is. Or it's something else you don't care about. But there are always these little things that when we neglect crack small holes in our armor right before the bigger challenges.

And when we don't stick to the little disciplines, that's what I call the "small relapses before the big one". If we look back at our long/er streaks, we would often find that during these times we've also been very engaged and diligent.

I'm once again a little disappointed(the usual) with what I could write on this topic, but I'll leave it at this for now.