A New Decade - Let's Go

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Rudolf Geyse, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I've been hit with a fairly huge workload to process thru, but limited control over my time this week with pre-existing commitments. This is when I have the urge that, man, it would feel great to crank out an MO... just to escape... but this is NOT any kind of solution. I will feel MUCH better if I can tackle the work head on, and at least get SOME of the tasks off my back today.

    Also lately the P subs I have looked at during the last couple of relapses is just not satisfying... I am at least as satisfied, probably more, by just getting close to my wife in bed at night, even without sex. There are two ways to go from here: either waste more time, most likely hours and hours, looking for more satisfying images somewhere, thereby making my entire situation even more stressful for the sake of a few moments' worth of escape, or to engage with the real joys of life as I go, face down those deadlines, stare 'em in the eye, and accomplish what I can, while I wait for a gap when both my wife and I aren't so tired and busy. I know the meme about how being an adult is saying, "next week things will slow down" over and over til you die, but for real, I know this is a particularly busy week for both of us and next week I plan to pursue some intimate time with her after our immediate workload is reduced.

    Let's stay the course, brothers, let's go
    Thelongwayhome27 and Saville like this.
  2. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I realised I have this odd sensation before sitting down to work at night, on those evenings where after hours work is unavoidable... I'll have an urge lasting just a few seconds, in which I sort of picture myself PMOing instead of working. Then I have almost like a bargaining session in my head, which says, let me first crank out some work and then I'll go for it and look for some P or Psubs. This fortunately doesn't usually happen - I am not in the habit of following thru on that momentary urge anymore. The whole experience is probably hanging on from some old ingrained behaviour, and it happens a lot of the time at night. Hopefully the more distance I put between myself and the old nightly habit, the less this urge will pop up.

    A week tomorrow! And a pretty much perfectly clean week as well. Happiness! It's worth watching out for that trigger, to follow through on the urge won't be worth it. I'll prefer staying clean, thank you. Let's go
  3. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Well done, man! Routines can be a curse, that's a fact. Glad you didn't get bamboozled by the bargainer.
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  4. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Couple of points since I last posted:
    • I was absolutely smouldering yesterday, had some ideas for F pop up, and went as far as looking at some P subs - thankfully not too severe or deep, no MO, no relapse. It is a bummer that I now can't call this streak 100% clean, but at least the streak definitely still stands.
    • While this was going on in the background, my wife surprised me by suggesting "sexy exciting times" sooner than I expected in the week, and so we went for it. It was tremendous. Really enjoyed it.
    • I think since having curbed my major and regular intake of smut, I appreciate the female form a lot more. This is good and bad! It's good cos I appreciate my wife's body plenty lately. It's far from what I guess society would call perfect but it is absolutely appealing to me. But I also find myself appreciating other women I see as well. A lot. In one sense there is nothing wrong with this. But on the negative side, is that it's fuel on the fire of the urges. I can't remove my wife and I from society completely, there will always be attractive women around and need to respond appropriately, even as I get older and styles seem to get more and more revealing - although the "covered up" women honestly can be much more attractive.
    • In any case, I wonder what this last point would have looked like if I had never ventured into a PMO habit. Would I have been more or less prone to urges when I see any attractive woman? I would guess less so - because I trained myself when I saw an attractive female, that I could "have" that in the form of FMO or PMO - but this was never worth it, it cost me more in the long run that what it allowed me to "have" in my mind and in a shallow sense. The result was that instead of just a healthy appreciation for the female form, I now still have a lingering sense of urging when I keep seeing attractive women over and over throughout the week.
    • Solution: stay the course. Keep journalling, filling my mind with good things (Scripture), prayer. Keep engaging with the ups and downs of life and enjoy truly satisfactory and legitimate pleasures. Relieve stress through completing deadlines. Keep acknowledging the power of sin is broken by Christ so I can live for better things.
    • Thanks for the post and likes @Mozenjo , @Thelongwayhome27 , @Saville and anyone I missed. You guys rock.
    mailboxsam and Saville like this.
  5. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I relapsed today, boys! It's a clear relapse - avoided work for +- 3 hours to pursue an elaborate fantasy. MO'd. I can't call this anything but a relapse.

    I crave release from this frustration of repeated relapses, coming face-to-face with my own inability to master this thing. Makes me ever-more mindful of my need for an able Savior.

    Heavy urges, distracted and demotivated at work, had an inexplicable altercation with my wife while trying to sort out an ongoing problem in our communication. Was a little burned out from working 2 weeks with no breaks to speak of. Binged some streaming tv while enjoying well-deserved downtime but the result of that has been unhelpful for my mental space.

    Why should I let it get to the place where I relapse? The power of addiction is broken. I believe the system works, let me lean into it. @mikehunt is reporting an improvement to his mental space thru setting a 90-day goal. I have been demotivated by unsuccessfully trying to reach that milestone since I started here on the forum in 2019. But I really want to get out of this slump right now of going from relapse to relapse. I would like to commit to 30 days of metascript journalling for a start. Reviewing the metascript or writing preemptive (or even retroactive) entries every day I feel good, and responsive entries on those days I feel urges, as much as is required. Only when I have tried this practise for a full 90 days will I be able to move on, whether it works or whether it doesn't. At the moment I only write when I feel I need to, and so I'm not in the habit of reflecting in the right way at the critical moment.

    Meanwhile so I don't get totally negative, I can celebrate my signature here on the forum. I have reported just 4 relapses in 80 days or one relapse every 20 days. As an average, this is not terrible, some guys on the forum have told me they wish they could do 20 days - and I must remind myself of this improvement since the nightly PMOs to fall asleep when I started - but it's just still too frequent. Let me not bring in positivity to cushion the frustration of having relapsed, to the extent that I don't feel the frustration, or learn from it. I don't want to relapse every three weeks on average. Let me get that figure down. To zero relapses this week, and this month. Just to start there.

    So defeating, so frustrating. Let's not let frustration send us on a spiral, let it motivate us to rather remove ourselves from the spiral totally. It's there, we can do it. If we persist.

    If I have taken this amount of ground without a daily habit of the best system which, I believe, actually works, how much better can I achieve if I invest in the system intentionally as a habit?

    This is our time. Expose the lies. Change the mindset. Engage with life. Be CONSISTENT.
    mailboxsam, mikehunt and Gil79 like this.
  6. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    One relapse every 20 days does not sound bad. Maybe you can use it in your advantage in some way, because it seems that you do have some sort of control over your impulses. Do you feel like there's a build-up of tension in those 3 weeks clean and could you establish some sort of break to get breath, a healthy outlet of tension and evaluate your situation and strategy in that period?
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  7. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Great strategy @Gil79 , I should seriously consider that. Once every three weeks. I'd look forward to that, I could really enjoy that actually and I think it would be helpful.

    Strong chaser effect today. As much as I'd like to go down that rabbit hole, this is an opportunity to put into practise what I really want to do and respond the right way.

    Don't read this if you're prone to triggers (Unfortunately reading some posts on the forum put ideas in my head previously and I don't want to put ideas for acting out in anyone's mind): Lately since I've blocked searches for P and P subs a lot, the temptation is to create my own smut. I'm a creative type and an ok writer, so I get something like an obsessive compulsion to put my ideas down on the page, eg. as erotic fiction. I would NEVER publish this cos I don't want to cause other young guys to stumble on these things, it's absolutely destructive once you get a taste for it. But my brain doesn't seem to leave the ideas in my head alone until I've acted upon them in this way. Not helpful cos it takes time I'd much rather spend on things which will help me. FMO hurts me in the long run.

    Sticking to the plan: Remembering the work of Christ to break the power of sin, taking physical steps to have a conducive environment to avoid acting out, and journalling.

    Journal Day 1/30 - Wrote out my main objective. Wrote out what the "old me" loves, hates, and is indifferent to, which led me to the PMO habit. Then what the "new me" loves, hates, and is indifferent to, which is leading me to make better choices.
    Gil79 likes this.
  8. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I gotta say, I'm battling more than usual. Thoughts are rampant. Chaser normally doesn't last this long. No P or Psubs, but I did MO yesterday for some release... not convinced that is helpful though, it could extend the chaser effect rather than alleviate it. I hope this battle is because I'm trying to get intentional to take it up a notch, usually feel increased resistance when I am applying increased intent to remove bad patterns.

    Why am I doing this? Why am I fighting against relapses every ten to thirty days, or once every three weeks? Because I'm not willing to regularly squander several hours or days on behaviours which hurt me and offer no value to my life. Because I don't want to be ruled by stray thoughts, I want to instead master my thought life. Because acting on lust is not fitting for a child of God.

    Journal Day 2/30 - Wrote out a retroactive journal entry on what was the critical moment when last I relapsed, what lies I believed to go along with it, and how the "new me" would react based on what I truly love, hate, and am indifferent to.
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You're saying all good things! Also, be gentle with yourself as well. :)
    Gil79 likes this.
  10. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Saville ... probably good advice, I'll try. I haven't been "feeling" that though. Just been feeling the struggle, and I'm pretty sick of it. It's been a long 3 days!

    What helped a lot was Journalling Day 3/30: a responsive entry to address the urges in the critical moment. I outlined exactly how I was feeling, putting the emotions into words so I could address them with good reason, telling myself what I need to hear as a coach, mentor and friend. It's a great system and I feel like it's helped me round the corner. We often know what we need to hear but we don't take the time to tell ourselves!

    To lighten the mood... I love out-of-genre covers and this was worth sharing:

    Excuse some unnecessary language at the end of the clip.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2022
    StarWarsFan likes this.
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Truth, brother!

    Journaling is so important, RG, and you are using it as a great intervention to heal. Well done!
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  12. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    I've run the whole gamut since I last posted. Constantly battling, I actually thought "why bother resisting anymore" - as I write that now I can't believe I could get to that place - looked at some stuff, hated it, yet still came back to it again later. Lots of F. Avoided work. MO'd. Really bad, a train wreck of a relapse over 2-3 days. Has made my workload that much worse (exactly the things I have been warning myself about over and over again for the last 3 years). I have to reset the counter and nuke my averages.

    All the while I've been picking through the Easy Peasy method as suggested by @Kuhn . Fantastic read: https://easypeasymethod.org - check it out. My commitment to journalling has taken the form of writing out notes on this method. I already know a lot of the stuff in there, but I think what has been significant is how it tackles the big two reasons I still have been going back to this addiction: 1) Fear of the "empty feeling" of withdrawal from the dopamine loop, and 2) Fear that somehow I am "missing out" on something when I am not engaging with this habit. And both of those fears are bollocks.

    So here we are. I feel like I'm standing here empty-handed but with resolve to tackle this again. To escape from the addiction. Yes, it's a bummer to reset yet again on 6 days, but if and when I leave behind this addiction for 30 days, or 300 days, or 3000 days, the screwups of the last couple of days won't matter - what will matter is that I got up again to remove this addiction, to escape it completely and engage with the fulfilling life of a non-user and all that comes with it - peace of mind, confidence, productive use of time, increased intimacy with my wife and also with my God, etc, etc. the list goes on.

    I didn't want to post this. Not even because I don't want to confess this failure of self-discipline. Not because I didn't want to reset the counter. Because I feel tired of talking about this. Tired of going round the same mountain. Tired of keeping a positive outlook, but then repeating self-harmful actions. It's time to move forward. Yes I might blow it, hell, even today. But I will not give up. Every clean day (and there have been many, many of those since I started) is a win. I hope that at last, this Easy Peasy method will be the final nail in the coffin of PMO.

    This is what I believe Christ died for, as it applies to me - I want to go with that, not against it.
    mailboxsam, Kuhn, Gil79 and 3 others like this.
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    We need a plan that involves one thing in order to break the cycle. For me it was having sexual relations with my wife again. Because I had burned her trust, along with devastating her heart, there were simply too many moving parts to do otherwise. Yes, I had to mindful that I was the last human on earth she wanted to sleep with, but I still made it my goal. However, my goal was not to make her feel better or closer to me. My goal was just to successfully get my rocks off with another human. Sound selfish? Yes, it was a selfish goal, but I had never been selfish in that way before. You see, I knew already that I was a lowdown scummy louse who couldn't be trusted. But, I was dimly aware that if I actually went after something I wanted that I might have a chance of healing. I became a basic man. I was a chimp who wanted to exercise his basic need.

    Who had I been before? Well, I was a people pleasing, nice guy. I did dishes, I cleaned up around the house, I worked, I took care of all my fatherly duties. I was the last guy on God's green earth who anyone would've suspected of cheating. Anyway, that's all in my journal. My point is we have to, imo, become the most elemental version of ourselves. Strip all our preconceived notions away and follow that voice inside us that has been covered up for decades.

    My wife as aghast at first. She accused me at one point of being abusive, because I was always sidling up beside her and trying to hold her. Yep, it was clumsy, but little by little SHE began to see the person that she thought she'd married. We can only be sorry for so long and then life must be lived.

    I don't know what that one thing would be for you, but I do know that having a simple goal and going toward that with single-mindedness works. You are such a bright man, RG, I can tell that from your writing. But, like many bright men, you are able to spin logic to suit your predicament. That's not meant as an indictment, my friend. I am the last person to throw stones.
  14. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I hope things are better today RG! I relapsed last week and your words of fatigue and disappointment described EXACTLY how I felt then and how I've felt so many times after relapsing. It feels good this week to reach the clarity and relief of a week of no PMO and I'm cheering you on to get there too. We'll get there, putting PMO behind us and living daily a life of recovery and awareness of who we can choose to be, either for the better or for the worse.
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  15. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    @Saville thanks for a transparent, insightful post.
    I have no doubt this is true. No offence taken whatsoever. This is core to the issue at hand. All kinds of self-rationalisations. I have to remember my reasoning is never in a pure vacuum - the way we use logic has been distorted by what we've given ourselves to. I think this is true for all people everywhere. Very helpful to bear these things in mind.

    "One thing..." Yes, I agree it is helpful to break it down to one goal. It's challenging for me though. For me this whole thing is about use of time. If I keep going the way I was when I started I would be losing literally hundreds of hours a year. Think of the remuneration involved in losing hundreds of hours. If I keep going the way I'm going now, it'll be let's say 5 hours a month maybe in time spent directly on this addiction, and also the brain fog and knock-on effects, loss of concentration, loss of confidence, intimacy with my wife, etc... I'm pretty happy in life, there's no one thing lacking per se that I can say, "this is the goal, if I only had that I'd be happier/able to kick the addiction..." At the moment I would say the "one thing" might be just to escape the cycle: the empty feeling when I go without PMO and the wretched feeling when I indulge, particularly when I consider time wasted on pursuits and thoughts I rationally can't agree with.

    Anyway, loved this post, thanks.

    @realness loved this post also, thank you. It is helpful to know we are not alone and have some brothers in here calling it like they see it.

    Still feeling "gah" to write about a new streak... I feel like, who cares about a new streak? I'll be happy when I beat my old streak... But then I'm quickly reminded that every day without feeding the addiction is a win. What's helped me since the last post is the thought from Easy Peasy which says, P gives you NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. All it gives you is that empty feeling inside between the times you are using. The non-user doesn't feel that emptiness. So yeah, that's kept me going so far. I'd like to enjoy a life without that "empty feeling."
    mailboxsam and Saville like this.
  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    When I write things to others I'm kind of writing to myself. :) I'm glad you took it in the spirit it was meant.

    I have to say, I do love your optimism. It's also great that you enjoy and like your life. I like my life too, mostly, but I struggle sometimes to enjoy myself. Still working on that.
    mailboxsam, Rudolf Geyse and Gil79 like this.
  17. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Feelin' fine. Another day without going to the addiction. Good stuff. I have in mind three weeks as a start and then will set a new goal from there. I'm also looking forward to a new week - with all this personal stuff going on and also feeling pretty tired and depleted, I'm hoping to take it as an opportunity after the weekend to get some of my rhythms going again.
    Saville likes this.
  18. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Doing good. The main thoughts that have helped me this week:
    • P gives me NOTHING. I used to agree that P was not worth it, but I thought it at least gave me some temporary reprieve from stress etc... I've come around to the thought that it ONLY increases stress. The boost I get from P use is only lifting me out of the slump that P use itself has created in the first place. The only answer is to normalise a life with NO p use. P gives us absolutely nothing but enslavement, health issues... all negative, NO positives.
    • It's NEVER "just one peek". "One peek" is the bait that will keep you hooked til the end of your days. Don't buy it.
    • It didn't hurt that last night I had some of the best sex I ever experienced, with my wife. Long-term monogamy rocks.
    @Kuhn I'm so glad you mentioned the Easy Peasy method. Anyone know why the term Easy Peasy (one word, no space between) is censored on YBR? Check: *********
  19. Kuhn

    Kuhn Member

    That's awesome to hear RG. You're killing it.
  20. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Another good day behind me. Trying to stay productive and get back into exercising. There is so much to do, I literally have hundreds of items on my to-do list, of varying urgency. I know that it is partly because I've avoided tasks to busy myself with P and F over years. The answer is not to run away and escape but rather to engage with it, prioritise, and get the best use out of each hour, and block in my calendar (including a plan for downtime/de-stressing).
    Saville and Libertad like this.

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