A New Beginning

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

  1. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    I think I know the feeling you’re talking about. Sometimes, I get a feeling of emptiness, of absurdity. Somewhat similar to some of the things Camus wrote about, existentialism and all that.

    I didn’t expect that, but rebooting has turned out to be a journey about finding and giving a meaning to my life. Once we realize that living basically means making choices, there’s no going back, we have to make choices, to choose what we want for ourselves. Easier said than done. Personally, I feel much better when I have meaningful projects to work on, and when I feel I’m improving as a person in different areas (taking care of myself in a better way, overcoming my fears, developing new skills, etc.). Connecting with people has made a big difference in my life too. I used to be shy, uncomfortable around people. I still am, but not as much as before, and I try to overcome that instead of avoiding social situations. It’s such a slow process… But we can change, it really is possible. You realize a thing or two about yourself and about life, you change some of your perceptions and behaviors, and then new things come up.

    Learning Spanish sounds like a good plan to me! Whatever you’re interested in, do it. Things can only get better that way.
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  2. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reply Mr. Bilbo! It's really helpful.

    This is also true for me. When I started my first expectation was that I would go without PMO for a few weeks and then everything would go better with women. I quickly realized it was about way more than that. Way more.

    But even if it sounds strange, sometimes I miss the times when I just lived into the day without a plan or a goal. Without "self-improvement" and "making choices". I agree with you, there's no going back now. I have not given up. But sometimes I look back and feel the emptiness you talked about, and in these moments I ask myself "Why even try?"

    I've gained some wisdom over the last ~10 years, I learned a lot about myself. I try to better myself instead of watching porn, video games and soccer all day long. I became more self-aware and I stand up for myself more. I'm less likely to let others influence my decisions, I make my own experiences and form my own opinions instead of just following the herd. I haven't had any alcohol in almost four years. I never liked it, but always went along out of peer pressure. I don't think like that anymore and am more confident in my own decisions. I gave up my smartphone because it did more harm than good for me. So I guess my statement "[...]but I'm in a worse state than 10 years ago" may sound a bit absurd. But I have less friends, a worse relationship with the rest of my family, I feel more lonely, I have more self-doubt and feel like an outsider way more often. I think that's the price you have to pay when you break out of the herd. But going with the herd was much easier.

    I guess I still haven't fully internalized that life isn't easy and that this is actually a good thing, because it gives us the opportunity to grow. I'm 34 years old but in that sense I still have not grown up, because I still have difficulty with taking responsibility for my own life. Maybe because I never had to do anything growing up and my mother always did everything for me.

    Well said. I guess the slowness of the process is what annoys me and why I give up so easily. That there is no magic button. In this sense, I am one of those typical "Millennials". One of those Millennials I despise so much.

    The Road Goes Ever On...
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  3. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    Great post. Thanks for sharing that, Luke. I hadn’t realized we’re almost the same age (I’m 33). We seem to have a lot in common: similar upbringing, past experiences, struggles, etc. We also both say SOCCER and not football (I remember a funny comment by @Pete McVries about the use of that word :D). lol

    We’re still very young, we have many good years ahead of us. We’re discovering ourselves, and what we want in life. This is very important, and also very difficult. I think you can be proud of yourself, Luke, for all the things you’ve changed about your way of living.
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  4. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for your nice words, Bilbo.

    I think I should be grateful for the path I have taken. The path is more painful and lonely than the life I led until my early 20s, but at least I'm trying. Even though I often fail and doubt myself, I haven't given up.

    You wrote in your journal that your mother was cold, severe and never satisfied. That wasn't really the case for me. I can't say anything bad about her to be honest, but I haven't much in common with the rest of my family. Like I said, I never had to do anything, I always got through somehow. Others my age were always more independent when I grew up. It took me until my mid twenties to realize that I'm responsible for my own life and that wrong choices can have negative consequences. Sometimes I still have problems realizing that. My father didn't have much to do with my upbringing, he was at work most of the time.

    I'm always confused with the football/soccer thing. :D Maybe that's why I like basketball: Everyone knows what sport you are actually talking about.
  5. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Posting here helped me get on my feet and getting back into some habits again. I started meditating (It's pretty easy to start again after you stopped, I have done it 100 times...), worked on some work related goals and learned some spanish every day. Also got rid of some of the mess I have in my flat. It is easier if I do not look further than the current day. Just like in the story of the street sweeper in the children's book Momo. If you see the entire road, it's discouraging and overwhelming because you have so much work ahead of you. If you focus only on the road directly in front of you, it's much easier.

    No PMO since Monday morning. I also started my own version of the "No Arousal Method" again. When I see a woman, I don't look down on the street, but I make it a goal not to look below the neck. That includes not turning around and looking over my shoulder like a little schoolboy.

    When I logged in a few minutes ago I saw my signature: „When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it – but all that had gone before.“

    It's a bit hypocritical that I have this in my signature and don't live by it because I give up so easily. But it's a nice analogy and a nice picture. I should remind myself of this more often when the road is difficult.
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  6. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    “Itis easier if I do not look further than the current day. Just like in the story of the street sweeper in thechildren's book Momo. If you see the entire road, it'sdiscouraging and overwhelming because you have somuch work ahead of you. If you focus only on theroad directly in front of you, it's much easier.”

    Well said. I came to the same conclusion this week. It takes away so much pressure!
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  7. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Had a relapse this morning after 4 days clean. Saw something last night and was "wired" all evening and this morning. Searched and found some softcore stuff. The good thing is it was short and I had a fairly productive day afterwards. I also installed an Ad Blocker. It's a chance now to prove to myself that I can keep it at this one slip.

    Have a good weekend, gentlemen!
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  8. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Some headaches today, but didn't act out since yesterday morning and was fairly productive. Had some trouble with my version of the No Arousal Method yesterday while buying groceries. Many lightly dressed women around. The Ad Blocker helps I think. You probably have to be a porn addict who wants to quit to realize how sexualized those ads are. I know that I can't always rely on something like this and that the will has to come from within myself at some point, but currently I'm grateful for every tool that helps.

    I heard a good quote today: If you live from people's acceptance, you die from their rejection.
    That quote sums up my life so far pretty well and I think some here might feel the same way. That's my ultimate goal I think, accepting myself instead of looking for that validation from the outside.
  9. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Feel exhausted and sluggish today. Had trouble falling asleep yesterday and the sleep I did get after midnight didn't feel restorative. I did exercise, sold a few books (I need to make some space, I have way too much useless junk lying around the apartment) and learned a little spanish. It wasn't a productive day, though. Almost haven't done anything related to work.

    Finished a book about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird yesterday. It almost made me feel bad that I didn't witness those times. I feel like I can better identify with people from the past, even if I only know them from books. It's hard for me to relate to people my age or younger and I like reading about people who didn't have to post on social media every time they took a dump. Started reading Lord of the Rings today, for the second time in my life. Just amazing how a person could come up with a world like that in his own mind.

    One day at a time...
  10. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    My sister is getting married on Saturday. I am not exactly looking forward to it. First of all I hate weddings, second I feel pretty distant to most of my family/relatives. This will probably be a day full of superficial, short conversations and silence. But whatever, the day isn't about me and I will probably survive it. But the thought of it alone is causing me some stress.

    Other than that, yesterday and today were pretty good. Sunday not so much. Today I felt like shit, but I made a fairly good day out of it. That's a good reminder for me: Negative feelings don't have to negatively impact my day, I can still make something out of it. I don't have to use it as an excuse like I did hundreds of times in my life.
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  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    lol As an old-fogey I'm in agreement with that. The internet exists in its present form almost entirely due to P. It was the P companies that figured out how to make online Visa transactions safe. They have been the driver for much of the innovation on the net. Twitter and facebook are baby-porn, as is the news, imo. And, because we are a consumerist society we consume all these pixels like the voracious animals we've become. The "old days" weren't better in some respects, but what we have now is surely not the evolution of a fair society. My rant for the day :)
  12. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Today is the wedding and I couldn't sleep last night and felt really stressed this morning. I'm at my parents right now and this means unfiltered internet. Two hours ago I gave in and PMOd. It was over in 15 minutes, so it wasn't that bad. But I'm also tired of seeing something positive in a situation that isn't positive at all. No internet access for the rest of the day at least and tomorrow I'll go back home. Now somehow get through this day with some dignity. I am happy for my sister on this day, but I wish it was already over.
  13. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Well, wedding was way better than I thought. Sometimes I just worry too much and live too little. Social anxiety was pretty low, maybe because I drank 5 coke and 4 espresso (somehow I could even sleep last night/this morning). Yes, there were some superficial conversations, including the "Where is your girlfriend?" question from a very annyoing but well-meaning aunt, but it was a good time and time flew by. Had some good laughs with my cousin who is closest to me from my relatives. My sister was very happy.
  14. BoughtWithBlood

    BoughtWithBlood Well-Known Member

    Great to head Luke! Socializing can seem daunting af times, but when we go for it we feel human. Glad you had some good laughs with your cousin :)
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  15. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I am still trying to find ways around the blocker to find some softcore stuff. Today I didn't, but yesterday in the evening. It will be hard to get the ball rolling if I continue with this behavior. Today I started a new Excel worksheet, basically a calender where I track some positive habits every day. Something like that used to help me in the past, but I was never persistent enough. If I see these habits as optional I will stop after a while. Seeing them as a part of everyday life and tracking them every day helps me keep in mind what is helpful for me.

    Yesterday I listened to an episode of porn free radio and Matt had an interesting topic: How to relapse without relapsing? What he meant by that is that after a relapse we usually get that clarity in our mind. We realize what lead to the relapse, we realize what changed in the last hours or days. And then we can adjust things and make arrangements. But how can we get to this state without actually relapsing and adjust things before something bad happens? I think tracking positive habits is a way for me to keep my mind on the goal. If I get sloppy and don't do stuff, it means something is happening. If I feel bad/lonely/sad/... and ignore these feelings, it means I will likely deal with it the way I did for years/decades: PMO. It's also important to me to be active in this community and to read other guy's journals. It helps not losing focus, especially in the beginning.
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking about this too lately. I think it's all about knowing one's ''cycles'' better and better (thus, self knowledge) and getting really good at detecting things early on. Or even anticipating the next phase comming. And knowing how to reverse things from there. This can also be said for something like depression or negativity, not only PMO. There are generaly cycles, and sometimes we can see how things are starting to go south but we can anticipate and start apllying changes so that we hopefully don't have to go the full 360 cylce before being in the right place again. Easier said then done and sometims the storms are really intense but there is hope !

    Weddings, I definitely have trouble with those as well. Glad to hear things went much better then expected !
  17. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    Hey @Thelongwayhome27, nice to hear from you!

    You're right. Some people call it a "prelapse" state. If we learn to be aware of these times where things go south before we act out, that's a nice thing to have. I never had that awareness consistently. For a few weeks, yes. But most of the time I let my guard down, relapse a few days later and think "Wait, what...?"

    This weekend I'll be at my parents' again. My sister and (now) brother-in-law have a little party (Polterabend). This usually happens before the wedding, but due to scheduling difficulties, they do it a week after. I will have to deal with unfiltered internet for some time. So it's best to stay away from my parents' computer. I will bring my running shoes and something to read.

    Every day without porn is a little victory.
  18. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    It sure is!
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  19. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I didn't make it through the weekend clean. At the party my social anxiety was fluctuating, from pretty high to basically non-existent to pretty high again. All within 7 hours. Some very annoying, drunk, dumb, not that attractive, 40-something year old neighbor of my sister (who wasn't even invited I think) hit on me in a way that would've been close to sexual harassment if it had the other way around. I was too shy to hit on a normal woman of course.

    New attempt, one day at a time.
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  20. CleanBootsBaby!

    CleanBootsBaby! Well-Known Member

    Luke, did you make a connection between your P usage and social anxiety?

    You've been on this journey for a while, maybe you've reached some conclusions if you didn't use for a long time; so have I been, and my experience has been such. Funny thing is, (random) women are attracted to me when I stay in the no P zone. It's as if they have a detector - regardless of me not being able to tell any difference in my behavior.
    BoughtWithBlood likes this.

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