40 years of addiction are over

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Paulier, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. tymbles

    tymbles Guest

    Sucks dude, but the important thing is that you get right back on the horse, as you seem to be. It's all too easy to get down on yourself and depressed because you relapsed, and from there you'll just spiral. Because of this I allowed one relapse to break me for three weeks.

    Can't overstate how good this advice is. Seriously, it's easy to keep your hands off, but hard to take them off.
     
  2. spinergy

    spinergy New Member

    You've confirmed what you knew before--that this is an insidious, powerful, degrading addiction that has no redeeming value to men like us. It also sounds like you're channeling your self-disgust into renewed resolve. Good.

    I'm sure you realize that although a relapse is counterproductive, it does not negate all of the progress you've made to date.

    What's important now is to guard against the "chaser" effect, make up lost ground, and continue the excellent progress you were making until the relapse.

    One good thing about being older men is that, having been through ups and downs, we have some perspective. The occasional stumble, or wrong turn, will not keep us from our goal if we carry on.

    "Be calm and carry on."
     
  3. You don't need to punish yourself, since you did a very good job prior to the relapse. Give you 110% the next time.
     
  4. MetaMorph

    MetaMorph New Member

    Hey man, sorry to hear about your slip.

    This concerns me, as I have had no urges since my reboot, but this confirms my fear that the battle will come... not if, but when.

    Good luck today friend. :)
     
  5. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Well, fuck shit bollocks x 1000. It feels like I've been through Pon Farr (the Vulcan puberty madness - I had to look it up - I'm not that much of a geek/Trekkie) over the last three days. People talk on this forum about the 'chaser' effect and I thought yeah, sounds like something to look out for. Man, did I underestimate the power. I could hardly think for the sexual fever that enveloped me after I relapsed and I began to think obsessively about going to a hooker. I looked at websites for hours and selected a couple of women who I liked the look of, all the time thinking that I wouldn't really do it (would I?). Yesterday I caved and went to one. It was predictably quick. I entered her room full of lust and exited 10 minutes later having cum quickly and then being overcome with feelings of shame (for myself) and pity (for her). She was pretty and kind.

    Today I can't believe I did it. However, I've had everything I knew about porn and selfish sex confirmed: it doesn't satisfy and it makes me feel like shit. I've had a return of the old feelings of anxiety and depression today. I used to think these feelings were my birthright, but I now know what causes them.

    So, I wouldn't say I'm back to square one because I feel very different. It feels like I've got to throw out everything I thought I knew about sex and start again. This seems to be a better place to start from.
     
  6. tymbles

    tymbles Guest

    I'm sorry to hear that. But like you say, you're not back to stage one. The way you feel about your actions has changed because you have changed. Now all that remains is to get back on the right path. The chaser effect is horribly sneaky and dangerous. I doubted it was even real at first. Well, I learnt I was wrong the hard way!
     
  7. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Thankfully the last two days have been much better. I think in some ways it was necessary for me to have relapsed in such a dramatic (for me) way. I now feel that I can make the radical change that I need to. Since the beginning of this at some level I was thinking that I was resisting something that I really wanted to do (i.e. have anonymous, selfish porno sex with a beautiful, willing young woman). My use of porn is a way of trying to satiate this desire. What I (re)discovered was that the reality of this scenario is completely different from the fantasy. And that fantasy will always remain fantasy. And that this is fundamentally a dopamine loop which never ends until I end it.

    I'm feeling calm and less depressed today. Hopefully it won't be too long before I regain some of the ground I've lost. I also think I need to start training my mind to think about sex/women in a wholly different way. How to do this? First by continuing to watch what I habitually do and think (in minute detail) in relation to sex/women. Then, when I think I've fully understood these habits I can start to change them.
     
  8. gettingthere

    gettingthere New Member

    Hiya Paulier,
    I'm new to this and I'm 52 yrs old on day 36. I'm just going to paste a couple things I wrote for now. When I get to know you I'm sure my communications will be more personal and meaningful.

    My challenge at this point is less w/ the physical than the emotions, previously deadened w/ porn, that have come crashing back. I beat myself up over anything, especially all the opportunities for real happiness I've squandered. Regret, sadness, shame, anger...all crashing back and no easy tranquilizer at my finger tips. Sorry to rain on your parade.

    I intend on using this as a tool, among others, in getting free of porn addiction.
    My low point where I knew I needed to change came after 35 years (I'm 52), and luckily, before I became crippled for ever. For that I am thankful. The long spiral of my addiction stimuli is classic textbook for men my age. I'll recount later if I feel like it.
    I hope my experience helps others get through this difficult process. Primarily, though, I'm here to heal myself through the catharsis of acknowledging my downward path and shame.
    Turn around is fair play. So I decided to enlist the internet, which had been my enemy, as an ally. This is a great tool and the healing material is just as easy to access as porn. (And I don't have to spend half of my day removing viruses from my computer.)
    I started out educating myself about porn addiction. This included the social, psychological, biological, chemical, and spiritual factors. Attaining this knowledge was an important element for me.
    Next I started visiting sites that explained the healing process because I knew I needed hope after so much despair had become ingrained in me. Others going through the same ordeal successfully, and pros like you, have let me know that inner health is possible.
    I made some concrete changes in my life. To relieve some loneliness I bought a dog, became active in my synagogue, joined a town committee, went on a legitimate dating site and joined a gym. Now I have a lover and I'm even getting in shape. (These didn't stop my wanking to porn.)
    Inadvertently I discovered another tool--the emotions of disgust and compassion. Exploring the world of porn itself was an eye opening process. The "starlets" are usually desperate, dumb, children when they are convinced they can make some easy money then get out. The actresses and directors reveal hideous common practices including intimidation, rape, violence, disease, drugs, and scars that estrange them from future normal relationships and their families. On the other side the advocates of porn cite freedom of speech and the use of porn as a "marital aid". Both rationales I found false and disengenuous. Further many of the "starlets" aren't even nice people, never mind someone you'd like to wake up with.
    I have adopted spiritual practices of prayer and meditation. I'm not a preacher and the concepts of sin and repentance didn't help me. But spiritual practice is critical for me and, again, the tools to gain these skills are free and available on the internet.
    Finally, I found this site and it helps provide new tools, especially support. Anonymity too can be a friend. The site helps me prepare for what is coming next in this difficult process and I don't feel so lonely or ashamed because others are doing it too.


    gettingthere
     
  9. spinergy

    spinergy New Member

    Sorry to hear about your setbacks. However, you seem to be doing a great job of learning from and making constructive use of the experience.

    Losing a battle sometimes shows us what we have to do to win the war.

    You will win, Paulier.
     
  10. MetaMorph

    MetaMorph New Member

    Good point. I think I can see -- somewhat -- how years of viewing porn has skewed my thoughts of women and sex. I'll be pondering your idea to see how it can help me in my recovery. Thanks for sharing it.

    Sorry to hear of your struggles. Keep working toward that good goal Paulier, I hope today you are strong.
     
  11. Trev

    Trev New Member

    Hi Paulier,

    After reading your posts I wanted to send a message of support for your latest reboot.

    I have found meditation to be very useful in observing my habits and also in giving me some space from my usual self. You mentioned that you have adopted the practices of prayer and meditation - that's a great idea. I also do things like trying to be more mindful when I am out and about, and also sometimes following my breathing.

    I'm a little younger than yourself at 39 but have also spent all my adult life under the spell of addiction - until now. Don't look back on the regret, shame, lost opportunities. That happened and it's done. It's what we do right now, at this very moment that counts. I know that this has been said many times before, but it's really true. Today counts, yesterday has gone. We can all change and have a way better life that what we lived before. regardless of our age.

    You mentioned that you have learnt compassion. I can strongly identify with that, It was only because of going through my own addiction that I started to develop compassion for people with other addictions whether it's porn. alcohol, drugs etc. I also did the same when I got into debt - I had no feelings at all for people in financial difficulties as I never thought about it until I was in a similar situation myself. I don't know if that helps, but it has helped me to focus on the now and the future instead of looking back too much and regretting.

    Keep going!
     
  12. gettingthere

    gettingthere New Member

    Trev: Thanks you are a wise man!
    Paul: You have my support here. As far as the relapse, from what I've read there is a insidious consequence caused by the shame/frustration you feel. Those emotions themselves can cause a rise in dopamine. Ironic but true (unfortunately), for those of us (all?) who have tried to recover after relapses.
    This shit just seems to get deeper and deeper but we will get there together.

    Gettingthere
     
  13. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Thanks Spinergy, Metamorph, Trev, gettingthere - your support means a lot. This is a great forum.

    Today I still have the same 'head' on - more stable, more aware, less anxious/depressed.

    I wouldn't advocate it, and I truly wish it hadn't happened, but I've learnt a lot from my relapse. Something feels different. I wrote somewhere on this forum that true change is like a snake sloughing its skin: leaving something behind that's no longer useful or relevant (whether PMO was ever those things I'm not so sure). I think that the understanding I've gained over the last few days is helping me to begin changing in this fundamental way. I've no doubt there will be battles ahead, but they'll be different - maybe I'll fight them in a different way.

    Reminds me of the story of the Buddha on the night before his enlightenment when Mara sent all his forces to distract the Buddha from his focus. He sent his three beautiful daughters to arouse lust in the Buddha, but Buddha just said "I know you, Mara" and the women vanished.

    I wouldn't say I'm anywhere near this level, but I think I understand a bit what this story means: that knowing, seeing clearly what is the nature of lust - its causes and consequences - gives great (if not complete) power over it.

    I'm with Trev on the meditative/contemplative approach here - being with feelings/thoughts mindfully and practising meditation every day. I think this will give me the presence of mind to stay more with my experience rather than rush to escape any discomfort.

    Keep on keeping on everyone!
     
  14. gettingthere

    gettingthere New Member

    Hiya Paulier,
    I'm glad you're pulling yourself up by the bootstraps.
    It reminds me of an old quote of yours. It was about the joy in the world being caused by thinking only of ourselves and converse...
    I want to personally thank you for trying to relieve some suffering in us (your audience here). Hopefully your generosity will help you in your recovery.
    Gettingthere
     
  15. Paulier

    Your journal is really informative and has really helped answer quite a few questions and doubts i had myself about rebooting, relapsing and getting on thereafter.

    Thanks man, and keep it going.
     
  16. spinergy

    spinergy New Member

    You know what you need to do.

    And you will do it.

    Stay strong, brother.
     
  17. gettingthere

    gettingthere New Member

    Hiya Paulier,
    I hope you had a good weekend.
    Seeing you like stories...(Buddha's daughters) and I do too...
    The Passover story of passing from slavery to freedom by crossing the Red Sea and wandering 40 years in the desert (I'm at 41 days), is a really good metaphor for me.
    We've been slaves to porn and we're walking through a scary desert towards a promised land that we really don't know exists.
    Does that promised land exist?
    I guess it is a matter of faith at this point for me. I'm going with my gut, and other people's accounts, that there really is such a land.
    Getting there will be hard. Enemies will surprise attack us (Amalek).
    We might relapse (worship a "golden calf", the false Gd of porn), but we will melt that golden calf of porn, burn it into ashes and feed the ashes to the brutal bastards that push some girls into performing the garbage. (This tirade felt really good.)
    Keep cool,
    Gettingthere
     
  18. Paulier

    Paulier New Member

    Thanks Guys - all input is appreciated.

    Something amusing happened yesterday - can't really share it anywhere else, so here'll have to do! I told my therapist about my relapse and visit to a prostitute. She was (as always) really helpful - not at all judging, but listening, affirming and insightful. At the end of the session, which was dominated by talking about sex, I said 'OK, thanks. See you next Tuesday'.

    I tell you, Freud would have had a fucking field day with me.

    Maybe you had to be there....
     
  19. gettingthere

    gettingthere New Member

    Hiya Paulier,
    I guess you could pay your therapist for half day therapy and half day sex talk.lol Or maybe it's the same thing. Now I've confused myself. lol
    Come to think of it according to Freud all of my problems would go away if I fuck my mother and kill my father. Nah! Then I'd be in prison for life with no chance of parole. At least my chances of reboot improve every day. (Day 43 no PMO).
    Be well and be safe,
    Gettingthere
     
  20. Trev

    Trev New Member

    That's one of the powerful things about addiction - when we finally realise what's going on we can see and know that it's stupid and pointless, and yet there is still this powerful urge to act out. This urge does diminish over time - so hang in there.

    I also had the problem with booze in a previous reboot, it would either lead to me coming home late and checking out porn on the computer, or I'd be hungover the next day and want to boost my spirits with a fix of PMO. I stopped drinking during my current reboot, as I didn't want to take any chances. This is something you may want to consider yourself if abstaining is going to lessen your chances of lapsing. I am still going out and meeting friends, so it hasn't had any effect on me socially, and I have now adjusted to soft drinks instead of beer. Funnily enough, I wasn't really committed to stopping drinking until I made an off the cuff bet with a friend of mine to not drink for the rest of April. I've got $300 riding on this bet (my friend doesn't have to pay anything, but I have to pay him if I fail) and so I have a pretty system of accountability.

    Keep going man!
     

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