Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by -Luke-, Jan 17, 2019.
Hey man. Back on the horse!
Getting back on the horse wasn't so easy. Once you open that door it's hard to close it again. But I'm back on the horse (in my case, Jolly Jumper of course) now.
Hahaha, humor is always a good sign! Welcome back, I guess, then . Wholeheartedly agree with your observations...
Nip, nip, nip, nip it in the bud...
Pretty strong cravings today. Had some emotional stress and felt some loneliness the last few days. The first instinct, of course, is to do what I've always done in the last 20 years in situations like that. But it's a vicious cycle. I need to find better ways to deal with emotional stress.
One of my new "projects" is to use the internet again more like in the old days and less like I use it as a porn user. That means I try to have only one tab open at any time, if possible (sometimes I need an additional tab for a dictionary or something like that). I try to visit only one site at once. That's waaaaaay harder than I thought. The habit of always having multiple tabs open and multitasking is deeply ingrained for me. It's funny how that goes. When I started using the internet (before wifi) you sometimes just had to wait for a website to load. And you waited. What else was there to do. Nowadays I have 10 tabs open because I can't wait for one nanosecond. That behavior is too closely related with watching porn. I am curious if I notice anything through it.
Well done for coming here with those cravings, it's one of the best places for them.
I really admire the sound of your new project too, you have an impressive level of self-awareness and perspective, and wisdom.
It seems like writing brings those things right to the front of your mind too (for me as well).
Keep doing your best Luke, I'm hoping the loneliness and emotional intensity passes soon.
Thanks for the encouragement @100DaysMission. I wish I could use that self-awareness more. It feels like I get that self-awareness only when the damage is already done. And then I forget about it and do the same stuff again. Well, it's a journey that doesn't really end I guess. All I can do is keep trying, trying to deal better with my emotions and feelings, trying to accept myself more and let go of past regrets more. But I will never be perfect.
Today I didn't do a good job of managing my emotions better. Woke up last night at around 3 AM and felt pretty stressed, couldn't go back to sleep, got up and ate a little snack, read for 30 minutes or so and was able to get another 2,5 hours of sleep. But I still felt pretty stressed and tried to find some arousing stuff on the internet. Couldn't find anything (thanks to blockers) but MOd later while I was in the shower. I'm pretty agnostic about MO and don't think it's bad (but also not good) for me if done in moderation. But the combination of trying to find something online while fantasizing a bit about what I could potentially find and than MOing later is definitely nothing to be proud of. But I'm thankful that porn blockers are way better today than they were years ago.
I also started to work on a bigger project for the future but nothing I want to talk about right now. It would be a little embarrassing if I wrote about it and then didn't follow through (and not following through with something is the story of my life).
I've always held the belief that younger people are relatively smarter than older people (RELATIVELY) and I think I know why now. Your statement that you wanted to use the internet more like in the old days (as a search tool) and less like a porn user strikes a chord with me. Back in the day, I remember having a much stronger sense of focus when I was younger and I get why now. When the internet became more of a recreational thing for me rather than just something I'd use for research purposes I found that I likely began to experience ADHD symptoms and focused less deeply on topics. Interested to see how this project goes for you.
What I already noticed after one week is that I actually read more on the internet. I don't just skim articles or briefly read headlines, I actually read texts. I think there is a direct correlation. If I have several tabs open, my brain is already focused on the next tab, while the current one is still open. There's a sense of restlessness. If I have only one tab open, I don't feel the desire to rush so much. It's still there but less than before.
There are two books that discuss this phenomenon partly which come to mind:
Manfred Spitzer: Digitale Demenz
Nicholas Char: The Shallows - What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
I have skimmed through the first one and I found it to be very eye-opening. It's about ten years that these books have been released and the negative effects of too much internet- and smartphone-use are well documented and researched. Scary to think that both these things by now are so natural (how ironic...) for humans in our age that deciding to use both these more mindfully or less has to be a very active and strict decision that is very hard to implement for a lot of reasons.
Personally, I always have a hard time reading or researching in a focused manner after using the internet carelessly. It's like, my mind is in unrest. In Spitzer's book there is a chapter about a study scientists conducted with children who had to solve tasks. If I remember correctly, one group had to read beforehand, the other had to watch a cartoon and another surf the web. The study showed that both the latter scored way worse in the following tasks. They also forged a link to how multitasking activities are bad for focus (surfing the web is the epitome of multitasking) and that focussing on one task at a time gets harder in time for people who are used to multitasking. Moreover, the tasks being done while multitasking get done worse in comparison to completing them one after another. I found this very interesting as well, especially when I always thought that multitasking is an ability to strive for.
I read the second book years ago. It was quite eye-opening because it was the first time I realized how much my own approach to technology had changed (And I grew up with a lot of technology like tv, vhs, game boy, nintendo,...). But before I read that book I wasn't really aware of the changes. It's like the metaphor with the frog in the water. You throw a frog into boiling water and it jumps out immediately, but put the frog into cold water and heat it slowly but steadily and the frog doesn't even notice the difference and is cooked alive (I have no idea if this would really happen in reality, but it's a good metaphor). I didn't really change anything when I read that book but I thought about stuff like that lately.
The more I read and think about it the more I come to the conclusion that there is no "good" multitasking. Sure, you can do multiple things at the same time without problems if at least one of the things isn't mentally demanding, like ironing your laundry while watching TV or listening to a podcast while working out. But doing two or more (somewhat) mentally demanding things and constantly switching between them and you'll have suboptimal results with at least one of those things (more likely both). I guess my standpoint is to use the positive features of new technology while maintaining a healthy skepticism. Sometimes there are some downsides but the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. I caused myself a lot of trouble with the internet (that's the reason I am on this forum) but I don't want to go back to pre-internet days. I love the benefits. With the smartphone however I came to the conclusion that the benefits don't outweigh the downsides for me. Maybe I'll go back to a smartphone in the future. I think that's actually pretty likely. But right now I feel better without one.
What worries me is the effect (especially of porn) on children. I thought about that recently. When the first guys with PIED showed up on the internet they needed 2-3 months to recover (maybe even less). That's why the notorious 90 days were probably a pretty good estimate back then. Those guys grew up with magazines and vhs and their own fantasy. They used internet porn only for a few years. Then guys our age showed up, guys who watched internet porn before they became sexually active. And we saw guys needing over a year, up to two years, sometimes more than two years to fully recover. What's the next step here? I started watching porn when I was 10 or 11, with really slow internet. I got my own computer and high-speed internet when I was 14. The big tube sites started to show up when I was 18 or so. And I had my first smartphone when I was 23. Nowadays seven-year old kids have what I had to wait for until I was in my early twenties. How long will they need to recover? 4 years? 5 years? It's hard to even think about it. Many years ago I always listened to the YBR radio show and one of the guys (I think it was Apeman) said something like "porn is like a drug that gets more and more refined".
Yeah, if I ever have children...I will be upfront with them and probably pisse'm off some days. At about 20 years of age, they will thank me .
Yes, I hope that at some point the dangers of porn (especially for kids) become a mainstream opinion, just like smoking for example. The generation of our parents didn't know anything about the internet when we grew up. I think at some point the effects will become undeniable. But it often has to get significantly worse before it gets better. This will be very painful for many people.
Ywah, I HOPE it will be treated like smoking. It is horrendous!
This weekend is a low point. Visited my parents which often means some emotional stress. Lately I have been trying to detach myself a bit from my parents which they don't understand. I feel like they still think I'm 14 years old and don't understand that I have my own life even though I don't have my own family (wife/kids). They don't understand that I'm different. It's partly my fault because I'm not someone who shares his feelings much in real life.
This weekend I visited although I didn't want to (I prone to avoiding any conflict) and the emotional stress of feeling isolated and unfiltered internet lead to 3 PMO sessions. I can't handle my emotional life right now. The last week was actually pretty good. I did some yoga every day and worked on my stress management, worked on some work related goals and had a good week overall, but when I break out of my usual environment and routine I get problems.
I'm thinking about moving further away. Maybe even abroad. I need some distance (geographical and emotional) from the rest of my family. Not because they are a "bad" family but because I need to live my own life and go my own way. I have learned to accept that I am different from my parents and my sister and most of my relatives. But I don't have the feeling they can accept it. That's why I need some distance. And my conflict avoidance personality gets in the way. How do you tell somebody that you need more distance without hurting them?
I've decided to never justify myself. And to never use P as a crutch. Although life stretches me again and again, believe me (and this won't be a surprise...you will believe me): handling the vicissitudes of the existence w/o P is the best thing. That is the manly thing to do. The next day when you wake up after you've gone through hell but didn't give in, chances are you will feel better, if not like a million bucks.
You owe it to yourself to act like an adult. Believer me, no judgement in my words: these are for me, too. Just today I was about to tell another friend of mine that behaving like adults (in whatever she was facing) won't give us any prize, because it's just the normal thing to do. But acting like adults in regards to our (virtual) sex life actually carries a prize with it.
Go on, bradda. All those days you stood upright were not in vain; now you just have to move forward. All the best!
Thanks for the encouraging words @CleanBootsBaby! I agree with you. Since my last post was immediately after a PMO session it was a bit too negative.
After a shitty weekend I have at least done something good "for humankind" and reported some unblocked porn sites to the guys of cleanbrowsing dns. Maybe someone in the world avoids a porn session because of it.
You're a solid, bloke, Luke. You'll do much better this streak, I'm sure.
I feel you, Luke.
It's hard, and maybe impossible.
Sorry it was a low weekend, but proud to hear you've managed to shake some of it off already.
Keep on shaking mate.
This guy, double my days on his counter. I'd listen to him .
Getting back on that horse can be a f**king nightmare/ struggle so well done your in the saddle once again. All best,
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