A lost boy's journey through dark woods towards real manhood and integrity

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by titan_transcendence, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    Day 2. I had a huge hangover during Sunday and it make me relapse. It was the typical slippery slope thinking that caused it. First I felt urges, then thought, that why not take a look, I do not even need to touch myself.. you all knew this story. It ended not just one, but even two PMO. Because theres always an argument to do the further damage, when you have taken the first wrong step.
    I should have known better but whats done is done. I must begin to build my life energy from the scraps again. Now its second day, I was clean yesterday. Felt all too familiar melancholy upon me. All I could think yesterday, was how this all is so big waste for my life, devastation of my potential. How the drug have really robbed me so much good that I could have felt and obtained during my life, but what has never happened because giving in to artificial temptations.. Its no use to beat myself up, I know that also. I had quite good day despite the relapse. But it could have been even more awesome day without it. I will try to learn this lesson at last.
    Thanks for cheering me up, guys! I will try again, hoping to be wiser and hold the awareness with me all the time.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  2. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking a lot about my situation in this, and life in general. The relapses should be taken very seriously, because of them you still are stuck in the starting line and if they happen repeatedly, you will never learn to know about the benefits of long time abstaining. Even if you randomly could catch little more days, you are bound to forget the good feelings very quickly, when stuck back to old ways.

    Maybe first time I have understood how stuck I have been, and still are in my life. I have bemourned in here lack of relationships, work and meaning in general. But what I have really been doing about to improve those things? Next to nothing. Im stuck in my old patterns of habits, which are very isolated still.

    Thing is, I have never learned to be the master of my own life. I have not had any dreams. In my younger years, I had genuine fear towards people which lead to very isolated life back then. The world out there was the threat for me. I never learned to dream. I just did those things that I was required to do. But my own heart was never into any of it. The porn took the huge toll of my life, making my weak, insecure and avoiding. I was very shy, did not spoke with girls until my twenties. I missed the social part of school years totally. Because I did not felt to be part of this world, I had no goals or ambitions. I just wanted to be left alone.

    Then in my late twenties I started drinking a lot, and with the help of that acquired some amount of sociability. I was still stuck with sexual things (as its case even for today). I had no goals, and dropped out of university because of social anxiety. Then I met my ex and managed to get my first relationship ever. It lasted 15 years and it was mostly just friendship and worse. I was her servant, and dependable of her, as she started to have issues, the roles changed and I ended up doing most things for her. So, not much life on own during those years. I dropped most of my hobbies, lost my creativity just to be with her. During the years, I did lot of soul-searching, first with my shyness, later with my depression. I was three years in therapy and for many more years in peer support groups for my issues. But it took years to achieve some kind of understanding about those things. I was still stuck with codependent relationship.
    Luckily, she ended the relationship at last. I would not had managed to do that, ever. But it was one of the best things to happen in my life. Again it was her, not me who took the responsibility and changed my life.

    After the break up, the whole world seemed open to me with huge possibilities. To really actualize my potential. I had a short fling, during when that woman started to boss me and there where other issues too. First time in my life, I did my own decision and ended the budding relationship. It was very important thing for me to do. That I could understand that Im not helpless victim in my life, but could very well captain my own ship. The responsibility was me to take. I could make my own direction in life. During the last year, I have also managed to find some good people and feel very first time of my life being a part of a group. It had made a huge difference of my withdrawn character.
    But what happened? I had not learned to dream. So there still is not real understanding what I really would want. There still is insecurity of my abilities, which makes me avoid the job market. Theres a lot of accumulated burden of the lost years which make me feel very easily depressed.
    Im still stuck. I understand now, that if I do not make any changes, I will likely be stuck still and not much will change for better. Also, the addiction will entice me as long as Im still directionless drifter with no hopes or dreams in life.
    But to think positively, I understand now that its ME who should make the changes, not just waiting something to happen. People with purpose and determination can achieve almost anything.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Parts of your story are similar to mine. The insecurity, anxiety, lacking ambition, the missing out on social life at school etc.

    Hangovers have always been problematic for me too. I'm trying something different nowadays - I'm not allowing myself to get into that state in the first place. Sure, I still drink but very rarely to the point that I'll be hungover the next day because I know where that leads. Could you commit to doing the same? i.e. limiting the amount you drink? We have to take this seriously.
  4. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    This seems to be the hardest thing. Although we know that it's the wrong thing to do, it somehow doesn't click and we shut off any rational thoughts. If only I'd taken a step back I could've avoided many relapses.

    I too can relate to much of the story. It's taken a long time to learn what it is that I want to do, and even now I'm not 100% sure that it's the answer.
  5. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Exactly :). We can choose who we want to be, regardless of what we think we were. I hope you start daring to dream now. Thanks for sharing!
    titan_transcendence likes this.
  6. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    3rd Day. Staying strong, currently.. Felt yesterday slightly depressed even with meds. I am sure its the after-effect of the 2 pmo on Sunday. Also, using alcohol makes my mood drop a bit afterwards.
    I added a tracker app to my phone today, it feels nice keep track of the clean days in that way too.

    Forlorn: I actually did not meant to be heavily drunk at Saturday evening. I sipped just few beers with my friend and decided to take one last round at local bar. I met my metalgirl buddy in there with many of her buddies. One of those guys started to buy hugely amount of shots and beers to everyone. Maybe it was stupid but it was difficult to decline free drinks. But lesson learnt. I should remind myself at situations like this that the heavy drinking never does any good for me.

    Eternity: Deep inside us we already know. But theres layers of mire and offal that has accumulated over the years because of the addiction and wasted opportunities and fears that hides the truth from us. We must keep digging ourselves out of that grave, to finally reach surface to discover we have wings to fly.

    Gilgamesh: Im sure my dreams are about creativity. I should focus my energies to all things that could strengthen that part of myself. But somehow it seems I try to avoid that part as much as possible. I do not know why there is so much subconscious self-sabotage in me.
  7. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    4rd Day. I fear I can feel my depression crawling back at me. Maybe its because of the relapse 3 days ago. Maybe its because, in spite of having few friends, still feel lonely. Perhaps, even that the time pass me by, Im still without any intimacy with woman, romantically or sexually (it has been over the year since my last fling). One reason is that I can see how my parents are aging and have started to realize, there is not so much time left with them.
    Another reason to feel depressed is that Im still stuck and without any plans, without anything to wait for.
    I can understand perfectly well, how I have chosen the self-soothing and drugging myself with P in the situations like these. My life has been in the stand-still for years.
    Is there really any hope left for me? Or should I just forget about it all, and find happiness just in my day-to-day existence, without anything added to my life as it is now. Things could definitely be way worse. Im healthy still, I have few good friends, Im at peace with my parents, I have no money-problems (even that I have not any to spend either), I have a lovely cat as a company. I could aspire to be more creative, if not for else than my own entertainment, and feel some contentment from that.

    Maybe its just dark clouds of the moment, and I should not think about too much right now. I will go to gym and try to take the day as it comes.

    edit. I understand now, how bad is it to act out sexually on my own. Last week I felt pretty well, being near 10th day without any sexual stimuli. I even found comfort about thinking to go totally MTGOW. Single slip to P and M caused me to feel bereft of woman again, and has sunk my feelings back towards the depression. Because, even that P truly delivers for one short moment, no one was really there and after the session is over, you feel more empty and lonely than before you started..
    Only full abstinence can work for me.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  8. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    Even that I have tried many things today, took little nap at the morning, went to gym, met my ex and we took little walk together, then visited library and ate lonely ice cream in the outside cafe on my own - still the depression has heightened during the day.
    It has been very sunny day, lots of happy people outside. Thats just the weather when I start to feel down. Its as looking real life through glass, seeing it but not partaking in it. That fills me with sadness. But how do I know, if those other people are really happy or not? Maybe its just an illusion.
    I write this, because these feelings are one of common factors for my coming relapse. Now I try to push through them. I can be happy on my own. I do not need any other people for that. I must try to find my own peace within myself. Let the outside world mind its own business.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  9. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    This sounds like a hint to meditate. You are a warrior.
  10. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    6th Day. Another day accomplished. Now I feel that the bad effect of Sunday's PMO session is wearing out. It took 4 days to feel normal again. Normally, it would take 3 days after PMO, but because I relapsed twice at the same day, it took one day more. High price to pay for pretty short entertainment.
    It was quite social day, and I managed it completely clean. I have sipped few beers during the evening, though. I must prepare for the mild hangover tomorrow. But Im pretty sure I can manage it this time. There's more awareness in me than before and real understanding the devastating nature of PMO. Formerly I tended to belittle its effects, thinking that Im entitled to my satisfaction because otherwise there would be nothing and I should totally forsake my sexual life. Now I understand better. If I act out, there likely will never be a change for a real intimacy. The stakes are pretty high in there. Do I really want to stay like this, or do I want to reach for real life? The question, which answer is obvious, but still.. the addiction in me strives for self-destruction. Which urge will I follow?
    Gil79 likes this.
  11. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    7th Day. I admit being struggling today. Its very hot weather and I have been loitering by myself in my apartment. I did some touching/testing during the morning. Now the P imagery have tantalized me for some time. But I do not want to choose that all too familiar path which will only lead me to misery.

    There's constant struggle also in my head, whether it would be ok for me to spend just time alone, or should I again call some friends, or even go to bar on my own, to try to get to know some women in there? I know it would be more "easy" to just waste another day loitering, but that will lead to temptations of P. I made some advances towards women like a year ago. I lost my self-confidence to even try to approach them since then. I feel like Im heading in the lonely path. But would that be not that bad? I have some friends to take beer with or go to concerts etc. Some part of me is still telling me that Im avoiding to challenge myself. Because of that, I feel slightly bad about myself, that Im not worthy as a man. Maybe I should add some extra days to get more confidence, but it could again be "safer" for me to relapse and start a new.. So Im paddling in the water going nowhere, it seems.
  12. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    I have waged a huge battle inside my mind today. The one side says, that Im already lost, that it do not matter if I relapse or not. One side, lets call it life's side try to say me that relapsing is a form of self-harm which will make more depressed and without any spark of life. That even lone life without P is better than being the lonely, depressed addict.
    I also understood today, how I started to use huge amounts of alcohol since last autumn. Its all connected to my giving up attitude. Like year ago, I felt that I could never find another girlfriend. Before that, the alcohol use was meant to give me little confidence in bars to go to talk to women. But when it seemed so hopeless, the drinking became my main pursuit every time when going out and in home too, with my new drinking buddies. I stopped even approaching women anywhere. Now it seems I have kind of drinking problem. It manifests even today. When its hot weather and I know there a lot of folks around in bars, I do not have anymore intent to go out. Instead, I have a huge urge to get wasted. So, I must battle against this urge also today. I understand that using P, or getting wasted are means to escape life.
    Somehow I have this tendency for slow self-destruction. It stems for my low self-confidence and inability to love myself as I am. I know that deep inside I can not stop hating myself. I do not know how to change that.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  13. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Great posts Titan. I am happy that you post and reflect. It shows you care about yourself. Keep going :)
    titan_transcendence likes this.
  14. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    I relapsed this morning. I could see it coming even yesterday. I felt immensely bad about myself just staying home, when there was a feeling that I should go out. Many times when I choose the passivity against what I really wanted to do, it will lead to negativity and in the end, to P use to escape.
    Its always the same familiar cycle- first some touching, then some more, then pictures, then edging until the end. Constant lies that I could stop whenever I wanted to. The control was already lost when the first phase of relapse begun.
    I am still happy to gather 6 days this time. 5 of those days totally clean. My former streak was 9 days. Its sad that I again wasted my energy just when being the corner of attaining some surplus of it, around 10 days.
    But I guess, theres nothing but start again. I will not do another PMO today, so that I will recover this relapse more quickly. I try to make this day still a good day.

    edit. Relapsed 2nd time. Felt quite bad, but after the cycling the mood returned to little better. My friend is coming to visit me this morning. I start new streak at the coming morning.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  15. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    Day 1

    Its obvious that I need more planning ahead. Whole Saturday was for me only loitering, which by increments lead to Sunday's relapse. I need to think something for every day, some distraction, some nice thing to do which would make me feel good. It does not need to be anything so special. Even at Saturday, I thought, that maybe I should invite couple of buddies to come to coffee and see my cat. That visit could have been all that I needed to not to sink to inside of my head, where the fantasizing starts when being too long on my own. I felt lonely at Saturday, but did not reach out. It was that mistake, which brought me down. Its many times loneliness, which will lead to P use, to "feel at least something". Its not actual sexual desire. Its the feeling that life pass me by, and I am not living it. It fills me with sadness, then with depressed thoughts, then the fantasizing rises in my head and "why to care" attitude along it. Then the escapist behavior starts.
    Today, Im not worried, because theres a lot to do. Its mostly at weekends when I should think something. It do not need to be heavy drinking every time, though. By drinking, the problem occurs in hangover phase. Very likely to have a relapse then.
    Heck, in Saturday, it would have been enough just to call my mom, if nothing else. It would have eased the feeling of loneliness and prevented the relapse from happening. I try to wiser next time. :oops:
  16. Mopal

    Mopal New Member

    Sorry to hear about your relapse - keep on fighting though!

    I've read through your last couple of entries and it seems clear to me, that your problem is loneliness. Porn is "just" an escape, a dopamine rush and a distraction. Problem is that PMO eats away our confidence, our passions, ambitions and our interest in real people.
    I think you are right, you should make a list of things to do when loneliness overwhelms you. I'm working on my own list, perhaps we can help each other out here?
    So far I've come up with this:
    • Meditate (I recommend this to everyone, sorry, but this is powerful). If you are unsure as to how, I can recommend the app Headspace - there is a free version. Or go all in and book a TM course!
    • Join a local club - anything will do really. Or start a local club. Take a look at https://www.meetup.com/ - this is sooo brilliant! I've joined the local Wordpress group and enrolled in the toast masters group (still haven't met them yet - speaking in public fill me with angst...)
    • Help others. An old neighbour who needs help in the garden or shopping?
    • Do someting extraordinarily meticulously. Sounds boring I know, but it will leave you proud and boost your confidence. Today I'm cleaning my kitchen :) I know, I sound like a jerk, but I might spent two hours cleaning it!
    • Read a book. I can recommend Herman Hesse's book Demian. Join a local book club, meet and read...
    • Cold showers, push ups and squats - no reason needed!
    I've read the book Breaking Addiction by Lance Dodes and I can reccomend that too. Understanding the reason behind the addiction is the way to break it and LD gives really good advice I think.
  17. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    You could make it a priority during the week to organize activities for both Saturday and Sunday. Some possibilities would be day trip to park/coast (with or without a friend), catch up for drinks, visit family, gym, pool, anything physical that gets you out the house basically. Getting out on weekends could become your new "normal".
    titan_transcendence likes this.
  18. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Sorry to sound like I'm being harsh but that is not a good streak. You need to hold yourself to a higher standard.

    Here's a really good insight about commitment from the Recovery Nation workshop:

    The single greatest predictor of success — be it in business, relationships, or in addiction recovery — is found in the sincerity of the commitment to succeed. Carve this in stone, tack it to your forehead, staple it to a chicken — should you fail to permanently recover from your addiction, it will be due to your inability to fully commit to recovery. That's not to say that you are without sincere guilt or sorrow, or that a part of you doesn't want to change. That's natural, and one of the first obstacles to overcome. But the fact remains that you will never recover from addiction — ever — without the desire to eliminate it permanently from your life.

    See what the author has to say about assessing your motivation to change. It's quite intensive but it is an amazing resource so I would recommend you read it.

  19. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    So, you didn't (after reading your edit) and started the next day. That's amazing. You are amazing.

    "Try to make this still a good day," is something I have been working so hard on doing. When I PMO, it destroys me for the day. The shame of it. If I wasn't looking at P for so long, I would have got x,y, and z done. I would have made new friends or not been so lonely. All of my problems are not a result of PMO. They're issues because I'm an imperfect human. Yes, I fucked up the other day, but what am I doing right now? This is what I'm trying to work on. It's really hard.

    I'm not lecturing, just sharing that I can relate. This last month has been so hard for me because regardless of how much I might tell myself to focus on now and what I can do instead of past fuck ups or future fears, I still hear those thoughts. I have to counter the negative stuff. If you trim a plant before you water it every time, growth might not be all that visible. It can seem overwhelming, but do your best to handle what you need to after reading this message or whatever is below, this message. Take care of the little moments. Please be kind to yourself @titan_transcendence. I'm thinking of you.
    titan_transcendence likes this.
  20. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    4th Day since last PMO

    Been 3 days clean now. It has been easy, because have been busy and quite social. Now the weekend looms before me and I have to take extra measures to push through it unscathed.

    This is very good advice, and I will plan my own list for sure!

    A New Man: this sounds like a good plan! I try to make schedule for the coming weekend and make it as habit to do so.

    Forlorn: You are right. Its not a good streak to have only few days and then relapse, because then one is stuck in the never-ending cycle of slight recovery-relapse. We must push harder to achieve distance to addiction and make the clean life the normality for us, without even thinking acting out every time something will put us down. I will read that link you shared with me, thanks for that!

    MissingSelfCompassion: Being kind to myself. That seems the hardest thing to do. Yet its something that needs to be learnt, important beyond measure. The negative thoughts are part of like second nature for some of us. We must learn not to mind about them. Let them blabber all they want, but not heed them. By focusing on now, and doing right things. Relapsing will not make us as a bad person. It just saps our energy and then our mood will plunge and those negative thoughts will gather strength. Therefore its important to avoid the tantalizing escape that addiction tries to entice us into..its a trap which will make only feel us worse than before.

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