A New Beginning

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

  1. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    I'm not very happy that there's a storm right now, but I'm trying not to let it affect me. I can't control the weather, but I can adapt to it.

    Morning walk sounds good.
  2. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    @Eternity: Focussing on what we can control and accept what we can't control is a helpful mindset I think, not just with the weather. We don't have to like it, but if we can't do anything about it, what's the point in dwelling on it? Easier said than done, though.

    Had a restless night again and had some headaches after waking up. This time I didn't stay in bed for hours. Had a nice walk with some pleasant morning sun. Two female joggers with...uhm...let's say nice bodies. It was hard not to indulge in sexual fantasies. I didn't act out again since Monday and have five clean days behind me, but everything still feels very wobbly. I guess I should stay away from ogling completely for now. There's no point in it. If I see an attractive woman I wouldn't talk to her anyway.
  3. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Yeah it goes way deeper than just the weather. Heck, even all of my anxieties come down to it. There are so many irrational thoughts and a lot of self-criticism that shouldn't even have to be there. Shouldn't...

    It's so difficult not to look, being a long term habit. But not impossible.
    BoughtWithBlood likes this.
  4. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  5. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I went through the first lesson of the Recovery Workshop on RecoveryNation today and did the writing exercises. Among other things they talked about the difference between passive and active recovery and how success is measured in passive and active recovery. When I think about it - and that was a surprising realization - I never or really seldom had more than passive recovery. I read a book or article here and there, I listened to a podcast and I viewed that as progress. At the same time I didn't really changed my views on recovery. It's like in the old days in school or sometimes at work. I needed to study for math and didn't do it. Instead I studied for German, despite the fact that was already my best subject. But it gave me a good feeling. I did something, I studied. Cool! Didn't get me anywhere but who cares? At least I had the illusion of progress and I felt good. With my porn use it was similar. Just do something and feel good about it. It didn't get me anywhere? Aaah, don't think about that.

    They also talked about commitment. And while it's easy to commit to something, it's less easy to really mean it and to accept all the consequences. From an outside perspective this looks like an easy task. Why should somebody talk about "accepting all the consequences" when he gives up something that caused so much pain, shame and anxiety? I took a walk afterwards and thought about it and I made some rough estimate. In my life I probably PMO'd 4000-5000 times. I watched porn for around 15000 hours. Like I said, rough estimates. And the thought about leaving that compulsive behavior behind brought up some doubt and anxiety. It's something I depended on for more than 20 years.

    @Shady: Because of shame, anxiety and low self-esteem.
  6. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    I've been where you are my whole life.
    The only way to fix this is practice. So practice.
    And according to porn addiction recovery coaches, porn addiction is a major cause of anxiety so as you get clean, it will go away.
    You are a human being just like everybody else. There is no reason you should less than anyone else. We're all the same. No one is better.
    I missed many opportunities in my life because I thought I was not good enough and that I'm not as good as everybody else.
    As soon as I dropped that idea and adopted the mindset that I'm just like everybody else, I found myself able to talk to others and even to women. It takes a lot of time and practice but eventually you get there.
    So please... Believe.
    Pete McVries and BoughtWithBlood like this.
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Maybe your commitment can improve, sure. But I would still say you showed a lot of commitment since I have been reading your journal. You just gotta keep fine tuning it ! There's also a lot to say about our skills in dealing with our daily lives and managing our emotions, and breaking past our barriers. One realization I have had lately is that many times good intentions can lead towards a .... relapse. We're often walking into the unknown without the best of maps yet ... Kind of like in Zelda when the maps lighten up gradually as he keeps discovering new places.
    -Luke- and Pete McVries like this.
  8. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm probably too perfectionist about it and there's also some anxiety about the future and doubt about my own abilities. The Zelda analogy is good one (maybe I should reactivate my old Super Nintendo).
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Great that you started the workshop! Maybe I should start again too . . .
    -Luke- likes this.
  10. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I think this is really an issue with wanting to change your life, especially when it comes to self-help. There is just so much information out there, that you can read on and on without ever getting anywhere. In the past I have even used passive recovery as an excuse for not acting. I kept telling myself I was doing oh so well, because I read this book and that book, but in the end you will need to make steps. It's easy to read a book or even better, to listen to a podcast or watch this muscled guy on youtube telling about his struggles and how you should deal with it. But listening to a podcast is not going to change your life, taking action is. And these don't even have to be really big actions, but in the end you will need to actively change your behaviour. The good thing is that taking action will feel really good after a while.

    So that's a good realization;)
    Thelongwayhome27 and -Luke- like this.
  11. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Had some trouble with sleep the last four or five days. No major urges, though.

    I wanted to give a thanks to everyone who supported me when I had a tough time with a lot of relapses and binges from Mid-March to Mid-May. I wasn't prepared for everything that happened and felt lost. The support on YBR helped me to get out of that funk and now my life is improving again. I meditate every morning, I do some mobilty exercises afterwards, I exercise three or four times a week and I work on my future regarding work. Slow but steady improvements.
  12. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Today is a tough day. Had another night with disrupted sleep and when I woke up I felt very exhausted and had a headache. That feeling lasted all day long. Until 5 PM I didn't want to leave the house, then I bought some groceries and went for a little walk. Around noon I did another exercise from the RN workshop, the one in which you have to identify and define your own values. One value I came up with was "seeing obstacles/problems as opportunities". And a day like today is a good opportunity to be in line with a value like that. So far I'm taking my time with the workshop, I don't want to see it as an compulsory task where I check something off the list without learning anything from it.
  13. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Any idea what's causing the sleep problems?
  14. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    Yes stay optimistic.

    That's a good way of thinking. Learning something new from everything.

    I know how bad it can feel when you don't sleep well at night. But it's good you overcame the exhaustion and did something productive.
  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    This has been the case for years now, on and off. As a common withdrawal symptom it started a while after I first tried to quit porn. And ever since it has been a recurring cycle of asbtinence, relapses, hours-long binges and withdrawal symptoms. I guess I seriously damaged my stress circuits and my HPA axis over the years. But I got used to it. The only thing that knocks me out is an antihistamine drug, but if I take too much I become completely letargic and sluggish the next day. Plus it's hard on the liver and it's easy to develop a tolerance. So I use it very seldom.

    Yesterday in the evening I thought about MOing, but I don't want to use that as an aid when I feel bad. Today I feel better than yesterday.
    Gil79 and NewStart19 like this.
  16. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member


    Farewell to yesterday and welcome to today.

    Glad you made the right decision.
    Gil79 likes this.
  17. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Social Anxiety came up again in the last few days. When I'm outside, taking a walk I feel like people are looking at me with unsease and are judging me. I try some Defusion techniques from ACT when the Social Anxiety pops up, but it's not easy to be aware of it at the time it happens. At the weekend I relapsed and it was actually a pretty bad relapse (because of the duration), but that didn't stop me from doing my positive habits and from learning a few things. I also continue to work on the RN workshop. I'm now finished with the basic elements, where you may need a few day for one lesson.
  18. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    I know that feeling very well... The worst part is, it pushes you towards isolation. Social anxiety or feeling uncomfortable/panicky in social settings can truly turn out to be a catch-22. I hope, you are feeling better soon!
  19. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    This happens to me too sometimes. Especially if I am feeling very bad. It's good to remember it's most often our perception and not reality. We just project our internal feelings onto the outside world. It sucks, but when it happens it must be recognized and accepted. With that it can ease a bit. This can also happen when one is quite tired or low energy. Sorry to hear about the lapse but glad to have some news from you.
    -Luke- likes this.
  20. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    @-Luke- the idea here is not to get rid of anxiety, it's to manage it and to go on with your life with it being there.
    We have social anxiety? So what? We'll just live our lives with it and own up to it. Don't try to hide it.
    -Luke- likes this.

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