Aftermath Of Cruise

Enduring consequences of hedonistic life and how to overcome them.


6/2/20238 min read

a wall with peeling paint and a window
a wall with peeling paint and a window

After returning from the cruise, I found myself facing intense urges, particularly on the second and third day.

It felt as if my defenses were crumbling, and my mind kept suggesting that it was okay to give in to those urges and indulge in PMO (pornography, masturbation, orgasm).

The thoughts of "You've already made it to 46 days, you've done a great job" or the notion that streaks don't matter and it's the days you're not engaging in the behavior that count served as convenient excuses to relapse and start the process all over again.

I even started to rationalize that it wouldn't be so bad if out of 365 days, I only had 100 days of indulging in this behavior. It’s the days, right?

Moreover, I was also recovering from several things after the cruise. I experienced symptoms of heat exhaustion, and my feet felt wobbly, which I couldn't determine whether it was from seasickness on the cruise or the heat exhaustion itself.

These physical discomforts persisted even four days after I landed back home. Along with the physical symptoms, my head felt perpetually cloudy, and I struggled with maintaining focus.

I found myself constantly distracted by things like YouTube videos and news articles. It took me three days to finish a previous article on cruise reflection, whereas it would normally take less time since I had more availability with Lele at home playing with Rui, giving me more time to write.

I wondered why this happened, and I have a sense of what may have contributed to it.

Utter Indulgence

During the cruise, I was essentially living a hedonistic lifestyle. Life on a cruise prioritizes immediate pleasure and gratification over long-term goals and responsibilities.

Exercising was difficult to maintain. The ship's gym was small, smelly, and overcrowded. Men were crammed next to each other, tightly holding onto their equipment. Running laps on the ship's track was also discouraged due to the smog in the air.

The feeling of self-entitlement due to having already paid for everything further amplified this mindset. It becomes easy to let go of self-discipline in such an environment, with constant temptations and a holiday mood.

Waking up early to use the gym was challenging due to the food coma and late nights, which kept me in a drowsy state until 8 in the morning.

I ate without any regard, disregarding my intermittent fasting routine and consuming 4-5 meals a day, not to mention endless desserts. Since I had paid for it all, I couldn't afford to miss out on anything. I kept telling myself that I wouldn't have this kind of food back home, so even when I wasn't hungry, I still ate.

I would cut back on carbs but still indulge, and there was always room for desserts. The servers constantly encouraged ordering more, drinking more, and having more desserts. Food was available 24/7, cooked and readily displayed.

This might also be the contributor to my constant dizziness and lack of focus as my body experiences sugar withdrawal symptoms.

Nonstop Dopamine Rush

The performers on the cruise were often dressed in skimpy costumes, and the dance performances were provocative. These triggers left lasting impressions and made it harder to resist impulses.

I recall how on the cruise, there was never a real sense of rest. It always felt like I was searching for the next source of entertainment, the next dopamine rush.

Whether it was about what to eat next, which show was on, or when the next event would take place, even in the room, we entertained ourselves with TV, which is totally uncalled for. As when we are at home. I don’t even watch TV at all.

It was an ongoing cycle of seeking dopamine rushes.

While there was no PMO, it felt like a different form of pornography. Food, non-stop entertainment, novel experiences like air diving and magic shows, high-intensity performances—all contributed to an endless dopamine rush.

Even when I returned home, I couldn't seem to stop myself from surfing YouTube, reading books, or browsing articles, all in an attempt to avoid doing mundane work like writing a new article. It feels incredibly challenging to sit down and focus on the task at hand.

Although I managed to do a bit of running yesterday and finished my previous article, the lingering effects of the cruise experience still persist. I often find myself feeling a sense of meaninglessness when it comes to anything productive. I struggle with staying focused on work for extended periods and find myself constantly yearning for distractions.

Managing the Aftermath

a couple of peppers sitting on top of each other
a couple of peppers sitting on top of each other

To address these challenges and regain a sense of control, it's important to recognize the impact of the hedonistic lifestyle during the cruise and its influence on my behaviors and mindset.

Here are some steps I took to improve my situation, and I hope they will help you as well:

1. Understand the nature of hedonism:

Acknowledge that the cruise experience prioritized immediate pleasure and gratification over long-term goals and responsibilities.

Recognize that this mindset can be challenging to overcome, but it's essential to regain focus and discipline. By understanding the underlying factors contributing to your behavior, you can take steps to overcome them.

2. Set realistic expectations:

Remind yourself that the cruise was a temporary deviation from your regular routine. Understand that it's normal to experience some setbacks after indulging in such a lifestyle.

Be patient with yourself and avoid being too hard on yourself for the slip-ups. Instead, focus on learning from the experience and moving forward.

3. Re-establish healthy habits:

Gradually reintroduce the healthy habits you had before the cruise. Start with small steps, such as getting back into your intermittent fasting routine or finding alternative ways to indulge in pleasurable activities that don't interfere with your long-term goals.

For me, it is exercising daily - eat healthily + IF - sleep well - meditate. I kickstarted by fasting one full day on the day we were back in Singapore.

4. Create a structured schedule:

Develop a daily schedule that includes dedicated time for work, exercise, relaxation, and self-care. By structuring your day, you can establish a sense of routine and purpose, making it easier to resist distractions and stay focused.

Start your day with a morning routine that sets a positive tone for the rest of the day, such as meditation, exercise, and spending time outdoors.

I started my morning routine which is meditating for 10 minutes the moment I wake up, exercise immediately for at least 30 minutes and go outdoors to absorb sunlight. Sunlight exposure helps regulate our circadian rhythm, boosts vitamin D levels, and promotes a sense of vitality.

5. Practice mindful awareness:

Cultivate mindfulness to become more aware of your thoughts, urges, and triggers. When you notice the desire to indulge in distractions or unhealthy behaviors, pause and reflect on your long-term goals and the consequences of giving in to those impulses.

This awareness can help you make more intentional choices and avoid falling into old patterns.

I have found great value in expressing my thoughts and emotions through journaling.

Especially during this period of perils, I make it a point to document my feelings and experiences more regularly as it helps me regulate my thoughts and understand my motives.

I have discovered that voice recording is an effective method for capturing my innermost thoughts, and it eliminates the need for constant correction and editing. By voicing my thoughts through recording, I embrace the freedom of self-expression.

I can speak openly and honestly, without inhibitions, which often leads to profound insights and a greater understanding of my own experiences.

Listening back to these recordings also serves as a valuable tool for reflection and self-analysis, enabling me to gain new perspectives and uncover patterns or recurring themes in my thinking.

6. Seek support:

man wearing blue denim button-up shirt facing on human
man wearing blue denim button-up shirt facing on human

Consider reaching out to a support network, whether it's friends, family, or an online community, who can provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability.

Sharing your struggles and progress with others can help you stay motivated and committed to your goals. Additionally, consider seeking professional help if you feel it would be beneficial to have the guidance of a therapist or counselor.

Opening up and sharing my struggles and temptations with my wife has been a profound and supportive experience.

We found ourselves in a unique situation where we both grapple with different forms of addiction—me with pornography and my wife with food. It's quite a combination, and it made us realize that addiction is a prevalent issue in the modern world.

Having open and honest conversations about our challenges has allowed us to create a safe and understanding space for each other. We listened attentively to one another, offering empathy and support without judgment. By sharing our woes and urges, we gained a deeper understanding of our own feelings and motivations.

Through these discussions, my wife and I explored the underlying reasons behind our addictive behaviors. We delved into the emotional triggers and patterns that contribute to our respective struggles. This reflection helped us develop a greater sense of self-awareness and allowed us to identify healthier coping mechanisms.

In these conversations, my wife played a crucial role as a compassionate listener and a source of insight. She provided me with a fresh perspective on my thoughts and feelings, helping me gain clarity and offering alternative viewpoints.

Her support and encouragement have been invaluable in my journey towards overcoming addiction.

I believe that seeking support from loved ones or trusted individuals is vital when dealing with addiction. It fosters connection, understanding, and accountability.

Engaging in open conversations allows us to break free from the isolation often associated with addiction and creates opportunities for growth and healing.

Remember, progress is not linear, and it's normal to encounter ups and downs along the way. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your successes, and learn from your setbacks.

With time, effort, and a commitment to personal growth, you can overcome the lingering effects of the cruise experience and reclaim control over your focus, discipline, and overall well-being.


While cruises can be enjoyable, especially for those leading stressful lives seeking pampering, it is important not to overlook the environmental damage they cause to the sea and air.

Personally, I have realized that I am unlikely to go on a cruise again due to its hedonistic nature and its significant environmental impact.

Although it may seem pleasurable in the moment, I have experienced lingering aftereffects for days, similar to how I avoid buffets by choice due to the discomfort they cause me afterward.

Cruises have had the most negative impact on me. Therefore, for both personal and environmental reasons, I bid farewell to cruises.

This experience serves as a valuable reminder to me to maintain several of my daily helpful habits even while on vacation.

Breaking a routine requires much more effort to regain, and by keeping up with certain habits, I can ensure a smoother transition back to my regular routine after a break.

By making mindful choices, considering the consequences of our actions, and staying true to our values, we can contribute to a more sustainable and balanced world.

It's essential to prioritize our well-being while also being mindful of the impact our choices have on the environment and future generations.