A New Beginning

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by -Luke-, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    That is a great quote. I think, this is why it's so valuable to monitor your progress. A friend of mine tracks her hours she invests in learning for university because she always feels like she is not doing enough but the numbers state otherwise. Another example is recording your training sessions when you lift or do any other sport that is measurable. When I was lifting, I would always record my performance of all my sets everytime I went to the gym. Because progress is almost always slow and often times only really visable in hindsight, it was a great tool for me to stay motivated. I saw myself in the mirror every day, so I couldn't see the growth of my stregth and muscles but my lifting diary told me that I got stronger by 10kg in timeframe XYZ. It was awesome to see that and always kept me coming back to the irons. And the irons always tell you the truth but that is another story :D

    I guess, you could transfer this to almost anything you do. If you want improve your shyness for example, say hello to a stranger 3 times per week. Then daily. Then have a smalltalk daily with a stranger, and so on and so forth. It will have an effect on you sooner or later. From my own perspective, just experiencing the self-efficacy on its own is a good feeling. And you can always build from your newly conquered territories.

    Have a nice weekend!
     
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  2. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Pete McVries
    Yep, progress is hard to identify if it's steady but slow. That's why people get discouraged and stop doing positive habits before they can see how much they've changed.

    I also keep a training diary. I did that for years after I read Mark Rippetoe. Unfortunately my old training logs are all gone, because I kept them in Excel-Sheets and they got lost over the years. Now I have an analogue one. It not only helps with tracking progress but also with analyizing if you hit a plateau or something.

    That's also why I use a habit tracker app in my phone (by the way: one day to go and I'll have the second perfect week in a row). To be fair, it doesn't display the quality, but it's a good reminder that I'm heading in the right direction.

    And in the end, like I said before (could almost be my new mantra): Trust the process!
     
  3. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    This morning I had a moment where I was able to try it in real life with a real urge. Yesterday I meditated and during the meditation my nose began to itch. I felt the immediate urge to just scratch it away. Then I remembered that passage in the book and I didn't act on the urge. I noticed it and I focussed on the sensation, without judging it. The itching subsided within two minutes or so without me reacting to it. I began focussing on my breath again.

    This morning I was reading some stuff on YBR when, apparently out of nowhere, a name came into my head. It was the name of a girl whose pictures I would often use to PMO, even quite recently during my series of relapses three weeks ago. I immediately had the urge to type her name into google. But before I could act in that urge I remembered the meditation session the day before. So I did the same thing. I noticed the urge and noticed the feelings and the rush. Within not more than a minute the urge subsided. I think for the first time I really realized what people mean when they talk about "urge surfing". I came accross that term years ago and many times ever since. But I never really understood what it meant. I noticed today that I don't have to fight the urge, I don't have to classify it as something nasty and something to be avoided. I can just wait it out and it will subside. The difficult thing is catching the moment when it arises and not only when it's too late.
     
  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    The flu is almost gone now. Maybe at the end of the week I'll resume my normal exercise routine. The night before last I slept way better than usual, almost perfect. Last night I experienced insomnia again and slept for only three hours at the end of the night. Funny how two extremes can happen in such a short amount of time sometimes. While I expected work to be really stressful until the end of the year it was surprisingly smooth so far.

    Tomorrow I'll be three weeks clean again. Usually I don't mention something like that but three weeks ago even five days of sobriety seemed very far away. I'm glad I'm back on the horse. A bad place can always be a starting point for something good.
     
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  5. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Great job getting back to thee weeks clean! Glad to hear you are back to some nice stability. Getting back to three weeks after a series of relapses, while having the flu, is a good achievement and something worth proclaiming on here ! ;)
     
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  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Today was tough. Had a deep sleep last night with only one minor interruption, but after waking up I didn't feel refreshed at all. Had some mild headaches and mild but annoying pressure behind the eyes (I guess sitting in front of a screen for 8+ hours a day isn't helping much). I got really annoyed then because a few weeks ago I stumbled into something at work that some other people in my department where supposed to do, but somehow I ended up doing it. Today I got a call from someone who wanted an addition and had some questions about it. I ended up getting really annoyed by the people whose work I was doing and felt sorry for myself. In order to "cope" with my anger I procrastinated and browsed the internet. The problem is that I always try to avoid any conflict and instead are indulding in self-pity for a while. Need to work an that. Being mindful helps but too often I fall back into old patterns. Some things I just can't control and if that's the case it's not helpful to dwell on it.

    Glad it's weekend now. Haven't anything planned, so it could be a good opportunity to improve my pool billiard skills and watch a movie in the cinema.
     
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  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    These are very familiar feelings for me. And being assertive, especially in the work place, isn't an easy skill to muster so knowing this can help us be a little less angry at ourselves when we aren't as assertive as we wish we could be. For many people, this takes quite some time to develop, and it's very much linked to self esteem. If we work on our self esteem, it slowly goes up. But we need patience.

    I think staying mindful of this pattern is good and kind of mixing acceptance with working on this. In the sense that we recognize this is something to adresse but also accept we can't become perfect in this department over night. This way, when we do have "missteps" in assertiveness, we aren't as hard on ourselves.
     
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  8. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    The last few days have been ok. But last night I didn't get a minute of real deep sleep. I was in doze mode for 4 or 5 hours but had no real sleep, even though I felt quite relaxed. Therefore I felt like shit today and thought I could have a calm day at work. It became a very stressful day though. What I realized a moment ago, when I got home and was able to wind down a bit, is that 75% of the time the stress was only in my head. A colleague calls me and has a problem with an excel tool I wrote and I make up a story in my mind about how this is going to last forever while I should do my own work (it didn't). I see some unexpected deviations in a test and feel stressed because I don't recognize the cause in a few seconds.

    When I have a difficult day after a bad night I shouldn't make it even harder by blowing things out of proportion and adding extra (perceived) stress. I hope my mediation practice helps me to be more mindful in recognizing situations like this while they are happening and not hours later. I think I'll get better with more practice. Trust the process.

    For the last three weeks or so I also didn't continue with my yoga practice. It helps a lot after a hard day and it's a form of self-care.
     
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  9. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Lately I’ve noticed some negative tendencies with my mindset. Instead of a proactive recovery mindset I fell back into a passive abstaining mindset at times. It was hard to get out of bed in the morning, sleep wasn’t good and I’m in a state of low energy most of the day. I do my positive everyday habits consistently but it felt more like an obligation than an act of self-care recently. I didn’t meditate because it helps but because I didn’t want to ruin my streak in the habit app. I didn’t ask myself the question “How can I make something good out of this day” but rather “How can I push through the day without making something bad happen”. I delay my goals until tomorrow.

    It’s not as bad as it sounds but it is a tendency I noticed and I want to do something about it before I’m back at a low point. Just a quick reminder for myself.

    Porn urges are non-existent. I don’t really mind them anymore, just found it curious that there’s nothing at all.

    I hope you guys have a great weekend and I hope you enjoyed thanksgiving (if you live in a country where it is celebrated).
     
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  10. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    On the one hand I would not worry about this too much. A proces like this will always have periods where you make better progress than others. Also because you can't always give it your best. Sometimes these less proactive periods occur simply because we need a little bit of rest. On the other hand at a certain point you ofcourse do want to get going again. I know the feeling of meditating just because you want to keep your streak going. During periods like these my meditations stick to a minimum and often I'm not really aware at all. When that's the only reason you meditate it probably won't do you a whole lot of good. I don't think it's that strange that after a while you drift away from your innitial drive to do these things, but at a certain point you have to get back to understanding why you are doing these things. I can't say I have always found this easy. Things are easy when you have your drive, but when that drive is far away from you. What works best for me is getting back to the core: write down what you want out of life and what things can help you with that. Get back in touch with that drive:) Hope this helps you!
     
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  11. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Living:
    Thank you very much for dropping by. You’re right, it’s not a linear process and changing one’s mindset isn’t done within a few days.

    I’ve accepted that I cannot change everything at once. I had trouble getting out of bed in the morning and stayed in bed longer than planned almost every morning. 6 AM is my perfect time because then I have enough time for myself before work. But for now I allow myself to stay in bed longer (until 7AM). Willpower isn’t an infinite resource and it’s unrealistic for me right now to change everything with good results. I focus on other things in my life and getting up earlier and taking up a consistent training regime again have to wait for now. I accept that I’m not perfect and I’ll deal with these things later, when my priorities change again.
     
  12. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Day 37 today, not much to report. I focus on on work a lot because I have a lot to do. The last two weeks have been quite successful in that regard. In my leisure time I read a lot and that's it most of the time, I'm not very motivated. But not necessarily in a bad way, I don't stress about it. I haven't exercised the last four weeks, partly because of illness, partly because I don't want to exercise. I don't put myself under pressure though. Reading a lot is fine, too. Especially now that it's dark and cold and rainy outside. There is a natural rhythm to life and in the wintertime it seems to slow down.

    Last wednesday our department had a christmas party and I didn't sense my social anxiety almost the whole evening (without any alcohol). Quite the contrary, I was making a lot of jokes and people had a good time. On other days I feel my social anxiety a lot, but when I'm at work I can't isolate myself completely and that's a good thing.

    Regarding the addiction there's not much to report. I had a little (or big?) mindset shift when it comes to triggers and urges. I don't see this as a fight or a willpower challenge anymore. If I get an urge that's fine. I don't fight it, instead I observe it and after a few minutes (sometimes just a few seconds) the urge is gone. Whatever is there can be there. I also try to apply this mindfulness approach to other aspects of my life, like negative emotions. But that's a long way to go until I really get that right. It's a life-long practice and there is no quick fix.
     
  13. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I really liked the mindset in your last post. It seems you are broadcasting live from stoic & warrior land. Do, yet don't expect too much. Is there a better way to go about one's existence ?

    Especially in that first paragraph, it seems to me like you are your own man.

    Maybe I should go on a regimen of only work(=make money), sleep(=dream) and READ.

    Though not working out will eventually catch up to us. Yet ... I also like what you say about life's natural rhythms ...
     
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  14. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27
    Thanks man. I feel more in line with myself lately, less self-criticism. I try to work on my weaknesses, but at the same time I have to accept the weaknesses as a part of me (temporary). Perfectionism isn't good for me. I think it helps to compare yourself with the person you where before instead of the person you want to be in a perfect world. If you compare yourself with the latter you can only be disappointed (with that I do not mean you shouldn't move towards the person you want to be).

    Yesterday I had a weak day though. I looked up some pictures. Some people would call that "peeking" but I learned a long time ago that when I say "peaking" I only rationalize that behavior to myself. It was a conscious decision and it was for too long. So I call it a relapse. I tried the "urge surfing" again and was successful for some time, but after a while I looked something up and after I made that decision the urge surfing didn't help anymore. I was too far gone. Since I don't focus on the number of days anymore (even though I'm aware of it) I'm not disappointed. But I can learn something from it. The urge surfing worked so good so far that I became overconfident and I put myself into riskier situations because of that. I have to remember that when I feel the overconfidence again. "I'm strong enough, so I can take something like that" is seldom a helpful thought when it comes to addiction.
     
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  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Fucked up completely yesterday. Thought I was on a good way the last few weeks, and that's probably true, but I overestimated my ability to delay gratification. I have some success and feel I'm on the right way, get overconfident subsequently and fall back into bad habits. I need to see the temporary success as proof that what I'm doing is working and I need to carry on that way. Not as proof that I'm already out of this.

    I still think the mindset change I was talking about last weekend is the right path for me. Not seeing it as a fight and seeing urges as the enemy but instead choosing a mindfulness approach. A relapse isn't counterevidence. But something is missing. Why do I get overconfident and start breaking my rules after some time?

    At least I got my atrophied gluteus maximus off the couch today and got back into training after a long hiatus. Felt really stiff and rusty, I guess I'm not 18 anymore. I plan to incorperate it into my life again. Shorter sessions, less volume, higher intensity.
     
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I think you are good at abstinence and also replacing the porn urges with healthier things and slowly building up the life you want. So I don’t mean to say you are only abstaining and counting days. I also think you are better then me at staying sober, in a calm manner, longer periods. So I hope I don’t come out patronizing. For all I know I’m jinxing myself here and tomorrow or the day after I’ll post my relapse once more and cry/whine on my journal.
    But .... I rarely see you write about rewiring. And not just having sex with a woman, but reconnecting with them. Rewiring in the emotional sense as well. Regaining sexual confidence (not just in bed) towards women. I’m projecting my own problems/goals here, as this is key for me, but I wonder if you are not looking at it enough ? (Unless you are but just not writing about it on here).

    I think with these sexual urges (including porn) – it’s much easier to say no to them long term – if we rewire and start seeing (slow) improvement. We can be monks only for so long. It's not that the urges disappear it's that we maintain that fire to say no to them. That conviction that it is the right call. And to keep that conviction we have to fix what's not working, what really is not working. (And for me, for example, my relationship to the opposite sex is one of those things : why would a guy who is in his early 30's decent enough looking, not dumb, not have sex, why ? There is a problem here. And I need to fix this.).

    They way I see you is that you are kind of a “nice guy”, just like me. We play by the rules and have always sort of done what society has told us to do. To be good boys and we will win first prize. And look at us now. We aren’t satisfied. And maybe it’s normal that we’re not satisfied. Maybe we haven’t learned to get what we need. Maybe we have played by the rules a bit too much. Maybe we can learn we don’t have to follow all the rules, and that won’t make us assholes.

    I’ve started reading the Book of Pook (you can find it for free online). And I have so much to learn in regards to women. I am so naïve about them. It’s not that I should bash myself. I have to look at myself objectively and see this is a problem and that I can do something about this.

    Again, if you think I’m off, then I’m just projecting my problems onto you, but it’s cause I relate you since we are the same age, single guys, struggling with porn addiction.

    All this being said I think you're doing good and you are on the good path and you have to keep going. I think there was some really good aspects in your mentality in the last weeks. And I think it's good you're getting back into the exercise !

    It's The Long Walk man. We gotta keep walking and supporting each other.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
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  17. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey @Thelongwayhome27
    Thank you very much for taking the time and for the your ongoing support. Don't worry about being patronizing. You are not. You hit the nail in the head with your post.

    I'll try to respond tomorrow as I don't have the time right now. Until then: Thanks again and take care.
     
  18. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27

    It’s true, I’m pretty solid at abstaining. I was porn free for more than a year once, over 90 days once, over 70 days three or four times, over 30 days countless times (five times this year alone). Nevertheless I fall back into the old habits every time. Because abstinence is not recovery, abstinence is just one part. Mathematicians call that “necessary but not sufficient”.


    And yes, I don’t talk about rewiring. That’s something I’ve delayed for years, waiting for the perfect day, the perfect time. Yet that perfect day never came and it won’t come. Life doesn’t work like that. This year I tried some online dating but it left me a bit disillusioned.

    You wrote “Regaining sexual confidence (not just in bed) towards women”. But you can cross out the Re in Regaining, because I cannot regain something I never had. My anxiety and lack of confidence towards women goes back a long way. It didn’t start when I became aware of my problem with porn, it started way earlier in my childhood. Even in early childhood (way before I was interested in girls) I was a shy and introverted kid and I don’t view that as a big problem. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being introverted.

    When girls started to become interesting to me in a sexual way (as potential partners) I also developed some nasty acne that accompanied me for almost two decades. Not only on my face but even stronger on my back. From when I was 12 or 13 until my mid-twenties I never went to a public swimming pool because I was too ashamed. Anyway, my confidence was basically non-existent around that time. When I tried something I got rejected and I developed a strong fear of rejection that exists until today. A few girls made fun of me and my appearance. I don’t think I need to mention that didn’t help. I think that's why my porn use became obsessive. It was my only chance to "see a naked woman" and I didn't experience rejection while watching porn. I never had to worry about rejection. The women on that screen were always available.

    When I was 18 I somehow got a girlfriend. Not just a casual girl but a quite attractive girl. At first, when I got to know her better, I thought she was way out of my league and I would never have girlfriend like that. But the signals she gave where so strong, even I couldn’t deny it any more. Even when the signals where undeniable I waited a few more weeks until I made my step. She was my girlfriend for almost four years. In retrospect I have no idea how we managed to stay together for such a long time. Both of us were quite immature and didn’t know what we wanted out of life. I had some separation anxiety and was jealous a lot. Even in the relationship I often thought she was out of my league and could find someone better. Sex life wasn’t very satisfying as well. I had some erection problems now and then. She way very tight down below and I’m larger than average below the belt (I don’t mention this to boast, I never had any benefit because of it). As a result she felt pain during sex often and many times it didn’t work at all. I never really developed sexual confidence (in bed).

    I’m single for more than ten years now. I almost feel like a virgin again. It’s not that I never had the opportunity. In hindsight I know there were a few women that were interested. But I never made the step. My confidence is still shattered. I definitely think there are some character traits and other things in me that women find attractive, at least some women. And I’m not a hermit. I talk to women regularly but when the time comes to open myself I withdraw. Plus I just like to be alone from time to time.

    I plan to write more about my past in the future (lol) as I think it helps me understanding how I got here. After was impressed after reading forlorns journal.

    You are not projecting your problems onto me, our problems are just very similar. That’s why I appreciate your honesty and you support. Yes, it’s The Long Walk. And the good thing is: In contrast to the book we can all win in the end. In the book only one person can see the finish line and that person won’t even by satisfied. On this forum all of us are walking side by side. Nobody is left behind.
     
  19. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    If I may chime in, I think it is really helpful to structure the different phases of rebooting, rewiring & recovering. At least this is what worked for me. I have to admit though that I didn't do it like that from the beginning but after more than a month of being clean and seeing that this could yield fruit, I started to make a rough plan. And the plan was simply to reboot about 90-120 days and then find someone to rewire with. Needless to say that I was terrified of rewiring as I also was on a dry spell longer than 10 years and I only had successful sex once (and countless tries where I couldn't get an erection) so I feel you regarding the "feeling like a virgin" feeling. And even the successful sex was absolutetly shitty because I struggled for ages to get an erection that night. But I also took a look at how I felt sexually and after 3-4 months clean I had a lot of erections and I felt ready. I contacted the last girl I dated more than 3 years ago and we hit it off again. Life is funny sometimes. The first bullet I fired hit the bullseye.

    You'll often come across sentences in success stories that go like "I was at rock bottom but I managed to recover. Guys, if I can do it, you can too!". And even though it sounds stale and corny, it is absolutely true and it is important to internalize this. You have been plagued by acne in your formative years, I had countless episodes of PIED and I had been clinically depressed from 2016-2019, the next guy has developed such a crazy fetish that he is no longer turned on by his natural tastes, another one has XYZ. We all have our crosses to bear, but 99% of us also have everything it takes to have a happy love live (again) as long as we are mentally and physically able to a certain degree.

    What I also think helped me heaps is to fully commit to recovery and also really take a close look at the people who managed to recover permanently. What did they do that helped them? What are they doing differently than me? Is there anything that I can incorporate in my lifestyle as well? For example, Noah Church talked elaborately about how he brought his family & friends in the loop. It is fucking scary, I know, but it can also be extremely healthful. You wrote about talking to your mother about your porn addiction. Perhaps you should consider it again. I don't want to push you into a certain direction you are not feeling comfortable about but the impression I get is that you have a good relationship with your parents and I firmly believe that it is hard to find a stronger love than the one a mother feels towards her child. Personally, I didn't confide my parents but the first thing I did was to report to my best friend that I'm finally rebooting again and that it feels promising again. We talked countless hours about it and he opened up a lot too. Furthermore, I was supported by my therapist (a woman) who had a great attitute towards it and made me feel very comfortable. Just talking to a woman about the whole topic was very soothing. And then, I told my brother about the dangers of porn (which I had planned to do for years) and then my sister too and she broke down in tears because she shared the pain that I had endured.

    It was very scary because there is no turning back from it but everyone took kindly to it. And what's also interesting is that everybody I talked to opened up themselves in the process. Like, you access a new level of trust in the relationship. And you do not have to share explicit information like the fetishes you acquired or other details, just explaining that you are addicted to how porn makes you feel and that it caused you to develop unhealthy sexuality (ED in my case) is totally enough. Another effect is that it cements the commitment of your recovery, I think. I didn't do it because of that but it helped in that regard nevertheless.

    Just map it out for a second, imagine if your mother does not take it well, what is the worst thing that could happen? Do you think, she talks badly about you to her friends? Will she disinherit you? Or anything in the same ballpark? Without knowing you or your family personally, I think that is an almost impossible scenario. Again, I don't want to push you into a certain direction, I just want to give you some food for thought. We tend to try to find intellectual solutions to our problem but this condition we stumbled into need to be treated by direct action, I'm sure of it. Especially after so many years of suffering. I think, that's what the S(L)AA groups or 12 step programms talk about when they state that the first step of recovery is to admit that we are powerless over our addiction. Because we must be insane to have ended up where we are now or do the same 'mistake' over and over again if we really were in control of the situation. But neither you, nor me, nor the next guy is insane. Perhaps, you will feel more comfortable going to a selfhelp group or confiding a therapist. Maybe you have a (male) best friend, who might understand your struggle better than anyone else? I think, talking to someone about it in real life is very beneficial. Maybe, even more so if he shares your fate.

    If I recall correctly, you often wrote about Underdog's post of mapping out a life vision. Having a vision and develop a lasting mindset in the process. I do not know if it's helpful or a recommended technique but I accidentally did the exact opposite. After relapsing for the last time, immediately afterwards, I was reading through a journal of a guy in his mid fifties who had a life long porn addiction. And he wrote extensively about how badly it had affected him, how it had robbed him of family and having children, how he is a slave to the addiction, how he can barely can make it through the day without acting out and so on and so forth. I read his journal for a few hours and for the first time ever, I really felt that I am walking down the same road he has been walking before. And that I already have been walking down his road in my teens, in all of my twenties, and the first year of my thirties. And that if I continue to walk down this path, that this guy is just me only 25 years older. That he is me and I am him. That someone wrote down the fate I am about to live. That I'm reading the thoughts of future Pete and taking a glimpse of what my life c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶, w̶i̶l̶l̶, is going to be like 25 years from now. Regrets, unhappiness, being a slave to the addiction, not being able to live a life worth living. And that was a crazy realization. Many times have I had these thoughts but for the first time ever I FELT to the full extent what the consequences are going to be if I do not manage to overcome my addiction and PIED.

    And that was the natal hour of the mindset that helped me overcoming it all. And it is a lasting one because in that moment, I didn't panic or became even more depressed than I already had been but It was like someone presented me a very clear and understandable mathematical equation even a first grader can get his head around. One plus one equals two, really simple. And if you want another result, you have to change the values. It helped me tackle the problem because even though the equation is so, so simple, it seemed like I was not understanding it fully beforehand. There are so many guys on all of the porn recovery forums who relapse over and over again and start over and over again not changing anything. And don't get me wrong, I'm not looking down on anybody, and I did the same but now it seems mindblowing to me that another outcome is expected when the only thing that has changed is that time has progressed.

    What I think would be also crucial for you is to work on your confidence in social situations. And I'm totally not saying to act like an extrovert if you are an introvert but to feel comfortable in your own skin. We are like injured professional football players. When you come back from a broken leg, you don't play 90 minutes the very second your leg has healed again but you have to retrain the musculature again so everthing is stable again. Doing individual training for a month. Eventually, you train with the team again and your mates know that you have come back from injury so they don't tackle you at first and don't go all in on block tackles and such. And slowly you internalize again, that you are healthy again, and you become more confident in the process. Slowly presenting yourself with tougher challenges until one day, you're finding yourself on the pitch again on matchday.

    You were in a relationship with a woman you found really attractive for four years, so you already have the evidence that you have all it takes to find someone. Not just someone but someone you like and you find attractive. And if you start really small again, present yourself challenging yet manageable tasks, regaining confidence in yourself in the process, you will reap the rewards one way or the other.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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  20. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to hear all this. I have known long periods where I didn't have a relationship either and I can't say I liked that. Talking to women is one thing, but dating women is something totally different to me. If me and my girlfriend would break up right now I would have absolutely no confidence with that either. The relationships and flings I had had nothing to do with me taking initiative. I just have to be lucky that some fine girl fancies me. And even when girls take initiative I still don't really know what to do. My girlfriend and I had been talking a few times when we met at university and I helped her out with some stuff and as a thank you she asked me out for coffee. And you know, I really wanted that, but I answered: "Yeah well, I don't really drink coffee." Repeating that makes me seem rather awkward and in certain ways I definitly am awkward, but that was just me not having a clue when it comes to dating.

    What I wanted to say is that you are not all alone in this and that you are not hopeless. If you don't want to I don't think you need to find a relationship, but knowing how much added value a relationship brings to my own life I can really recommend to take the step. Now I'm fully aware that that's kinda rich coming from me, because I never actually took that step, but during the last couple of years I've learned that life is a lot more malleable than I thought. I can't say I would take the initiative if would be single, but I do understand that it would be worth it. Have you considered dealing with this in a therapeutic setting?
     
    Thelongwayhome27, -Luke- and Gil79 like this.

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