Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by a short guy, Feb 28, 2013.
Thanks...What does "ASG" mean. I'm dialing it in better and better everyday!
Am recognizing my triggers to feeling down, negative, unworthy and having a "poor me" attitude. This attitude has led to anxiety, depression and to PMO in the past. Related to being one of 8 kids and feeling a sense of lack, feeling there was not enough to go around - food, stuff, attention, maybe even love (maybe). Interactions with my wife and friends click me back to being a child; I feel and think like an unhappy, neglected, impoverished child, but I'm now a loved, happy adult with joy and abundance in my life. I'm pro-activly catching myself at these moments, seeing it for what it is, taking a breath and letting that crap go.
Quote from young oldie I think I'll take to heart. Will be working on an "instead of" list.
ASG = A Short Guy
I often abbreviate people's screen names. Of course, many people have abbreviations as their screen names to start with.
You just helped me by posting this. I was PMO free once for over 900 days but it didn't work. It was like a dry drunk. I wasn't indulging, but I was holding out and eventually I failed. My remission was conditional at that time.
Hi short guy,
good to read your story, you reflect a lot, which is very interesting for all of us. Hope to watch you thrive here amongst fellow rebooters.
I wonder if you go thru the emotional crap that a lot of us suffer in the first 3 or so weeks. 'The rollercoaster'
Maybe your frequent quitting has made you more in tune with the process. This is my first reboot, everything is new.
Quick update, little time to write:
No PMO, no P, no MO, loving gentle sex with my wife a week ago with no over edging and no fantasizing elsewhere. Been busy with life and work. Not drawn to porn very often, but feel the tug, want to at times when I see a picture of an attractive woman or an attractive real woman (find myself lusting and purposefully looking away, taking a deep breath and thinking of other things), the thought of wanting to PMO just hits me and I change the thought right away. I find myself quickly saying to myself, "Oh yeah, that's right, I don't do that anymore, that's not an option." General low libido, a little interest in sex, no interest in MO without P, cuddly and kissy with my wife. Also easy quick mood changes, some grouchiness and anger sometimes. Sometimes I'm not fun to be around. Try to take care of it alone and not express it to my wife. Doesn't last long, relax my belly, do deep abdominal breathing, do mental self-relaxation...
Glad to be helpful. I know that you know how it is much bigger than the addiction. 9 or 900 days aren't too different. For me, I realize I've got to have a spiritual awakening, where my life and how I live it has a deeper meaning and I think I'm having one, though mine's not religious. I like your use of the word "conditional".... it has to be unconditional for it to stick. I'll be contemplating this "dry drunk" phenomenon.
I have had an emotional rollercoaster ride from hell at times, but things have eased for me lately. I feel pretty emotionally stable right now which has not usually been the case. I've been quitting and restarting for many years. I do know that at any moment this rollcoaster could jump the track and I could crash and burn. This forum and YBOP website has been a hugh help in me making a concerted effort to quit for good. There are people on here with real WISDOM and I am grateful!Before this forum and before understanding how the brain works regarding P addiction I was lost. Wishing you the best!
For me PMO is just one of my symptoms of personal emotional struggles, another is hitting my head with my fist till my head's bruised and swollen and hurts for days. I started doing it when I was 24. I use to do it regularly. I had years of therapy. I rarely do it anymore. The last time was a couple months ago, it happened spontaneously and it was only a few times, but I gave myself a headache that lasted a few days. I use to PMO regularly. Now I haven't PMO'd in 12 days. And I have no interest in hitting my head, I know that's just a reaction not a solution.
I agree, it's the personal emotional struggles that are at the root. I used to fight incredible levels of frustration, I'd bite the inside of my cheeks until they were raw. When I look back on "the good old days" they weren't so good. I was an unhappy kid. Got some psych help along the way.
In my case a lot of it was cognitive dissonance. I was raised in a very strict religious environment and some if what I was expected to live by was not realistic. For years and years I struggled with the conflict between the real world and the idealized world my mother believed in. Eventually, I had to forge my own path and I've come to realize that she imposed her neurosis upon her religious beliefs and created an alternate reality. Once I figured that out the frustration dissipated rapidly. Amazingly, my beliefs have changed very little but I keep them grounded in reality.
Much too serious,
Changed my avatar,
Porn is NOT an option mindset... got this link from TheAndersMan's journal: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/im-going-reveal-you-1-secret-overcome-pornography-addiction
Great going shortguy 2 weeks already! Keep moving forward one day at a time.
Thanks, and I shall.
I'm taking the attitude that there is no cure, that this is a life-long condition, that I am a pornoholic in the same ways others are alcoholics, and that I can never use P again without it triggering my automaticity of PMO whether it's next week or in 20 years. I believe I can get to the point where I no longer crave it, need or use it, but if used I'd be right back at square one.
Spent a lot of time today reading other's journals and commenting if I felt I could be helpful. I'm amazed at how much I feel I have learned and grown in the past 2 weeks. I've never communicated this much about this P issue. There's a support and knowledge I've never before had in my life.
I'm feeling grateful!
Well stated. That is exactly how I see it. My porn cravings have pretty much stopped. I still have to be careful about how I view women I encounter in the real world but I'm much better than I used to be. Sometimes I get a bit horny but most of the time I am pretty calm.
One thing I feel strongly about is that avoiding sexually stimulating material is an absolute must.
Hello Short Guy, I just dropped by to say hi and let you know I'm keeping up with your journal.
And I loved this post you made. Very well spoken!
Nice to hear from you LTE and Arthur! I learn much from both of you.
Yesterday I watched some videos from TheAndersMan's journal about Kinsey, Ted Bundy, dark side of P... They were disturbing, I felt slightly nauseous and was introspective all day. Had strange dreams. I feel even more motivated to live a life of integrity, with thoughts and actions that reflect my true values.
For me, no strong porn cravings, I hear little longing, grumbling voices and have flashes of memory pictures that bubble up but easily ignored if I choose. This is a time for me NOT to mindlessly (and unnecessarily) drift to P, which has happened in the past.
Most triggers are with real women. I'm practicing letting go of those lustful objectifying thoughts about women. Fantasizing about women, about other women as well as my wife, while MO has been common in the past, has even kept me away from porn temporarily. But I see and feel the importance of avoiding fantasizing and MO. It will not help to balance my brain chemical situation. No P. No MO. Love making with my wife without fantasy or edging, giving without the need for my own O, if it happens so be it, enjoying the moment.
Regarding sexually stimulating material, it's impossible for me to avoid. I have to practice immediately looking away and just not paying attention, not focusing on it. The most seemingly benign ads, mailers, magazine covers, etc. can be stimulating. I just avert my eyes, turn them over, throw them away, get it out of my visual field. Of course I must choose to completely avoid triggers on the computer, can't tempt fate with that!!! I use to have a blocker which was great at the time, but now I have to choose to avoid; I'm choosing to take the responsibility. I haven't had a TV for 15 years. TV's the worst for me. We do see TV now and then at friend's homes which can still be a trigger.
I had an uncomfortable encounter a month ago, at a public gathering my wife and I were attending. We both introduced ourselves to a woman who looked very familiar and whom I found very attractive. I asked if we'd met before and she said quickly and assuredly, NO, end of conversation. Later, I realized she looked like a familiar P-star. I didn't feel good about myself, ashamed. Felt like someone could read my mind.
I agree with this concept. Porn (or any addictive behavior or substance) must be eliminated rather than just avoided; and for the elimination to be effective (in other words, permanent elimination) you have to live a mental life that assumes the elimination is not just avoidance, but rather is permanent elimination.
(Verbal disclaimer: Maybe in this post I'm using those two words funny -- "eliminate," "avoid," what do they really mean? Well, I'm just going to abandon the typical dictionary for a while and use them the way WE at this forum KNOW that they OUGHT to mean, at least for the purposes of this part of the discussion.)
So, to be free of porn, and its influences, you have to be PERMANENTLY free of porn. But PERMANENCE cannot brook the concept of recidivism, right? So, if you really want to be permanent, then you have to start TODAY to be permanent. Otherwise, your supposed permanence is simply delay. Thus, permanent = eliminated; delay = avoided for a while. Which do you want?
I'm having a hard time with putting this into effect. So I'm writing about it. Over and over. And it gets annoying for my readers. But it's good for me.
I guess, Gray Bork (and thank you for your very though provoking comments) the way I look at it is, this is a Permanent Commitment. No looking back. And if I were to fall, I would do my best to restore that same attitude as quickly as possible.
That is not at all to say that I am planning to fall. I'm not. I am simply prepared for the possibility, were the unthinkable to happen.
We have to look at it as Permanent, or else our tricky, deceptive brains will use that as an opportunity to make that ugly suggestion. At that moment when I am down, or tired, or nothing is going right ... my disgusting tricky self will say to me, so, it's not PERMANENT, is it? well then why not .....
But if I FIRMLY view it as permanent, and remind myself of that everyday, I am TRAINING myself to say NO!!! when my tricky self tries to deceive me that way. My answer then is NO!!! This change is permanent. So go away!!! And tricky self, indeed, goes away.
Arthur and Gray Bork,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
This line from that link, "Porn is NOT an option mindset" caught my attention....
"Have you ever been attracted to your best friend's girlfriend? Or maybe to a very beautiful cousin? They might arouse you and you might get urges, but hitting on them is just not an option."
I'm working at getting to the point where I think of P the same way, that it's not an option in the way that incest, pedophilia, murder, torture, all those hideous things that for me are beyond the pale and make me queazy thinking about them. I'm working at retraining my brain to see P as not part of my reality.
In the book "Thinking Simply About Addiction" Richard S. Sandor, MD, an alcohol addiction counselor says that he never sees a permanent recovery from alcohol addiction in his clients without a spiritual aspect to the recovery program. He thinks this is why AA has any success at all. Having a "Porn is NOT an option mindset" seems similar to me to adding a spiritual aspect to P recovery. Seeing Porn use as breaking my moral, ethical, cultural, humanistic, decent (whatever you what to call it) principles of living feels like the path to permanent recovery. It's beyond avoidance.
Sandor also talks about an addiction being an "automaticity", once you start you can't stop, it's like being thrown in the water - you automatically swim. You can't control it once your doing it. But you can control whether you will start again....
Actually, the thing is ... I WOULD hit on my best friend's girlfriend.
Seriously, in certain circumstances I think it would be acceptable for me (or anyone else) to transgress certain socially mandated lines. I don't find it immoral, for example, or unacceptable, to contemplate the idea of hitting on a woman who is planning her wedding to another man. If she and I get into a conversation in which we find that we are potentially one another's excellent matches, or I learn that the man seems to be making her unhappy rather than happy in his demand for her commitment, I might (depends on all the factors) believe it to be a good idea to give her the escape, and to give me the opportunity to enjoy her company. I don't mean to say that I'd do this all the time, or that I'd do this strictly on the basis of nothing more than momentary physical attraction (though I might). Nor do I mean to say that I'm such a brilliant ladies' man that she would automatically fall for my wiles and jump into bed with me (I should be so lucky!). But I do mean to suggest, just suggest, hint, adumbrate, that we should realize that all those officially socially sanctioned rules aren't necessarily moral or perfect or good for 100% of the time. It's possible that the best thing that anyone ever does for that fiancee is to woo her away from the wrong fiance.
So when we talk about "should" or "must," and that includes eschewing porn, I get a little bit hedgy and hesitant. I think the context plays a role, in all moral decisions. I'm definitely not a mere moral relativist (at least not all the time ) but I am someone who wants to know all the factors before deciding which rule to follow, or which course of action seems best or nicest or most helpful to all the people involved. Thus, I have a hard time with an absolutist disavowal of porn. What if I go into video producing some day? What if my ex-girlfriend turns out to be a very financially successful, but dysfunctionally violent, rape-porn starlet and I need to know whether or not I was an instigating factor in creating her manic depressive lifestyle in order to try to help out her present predicament? What if I get new and different medications for my ADHD, at which point I cannot have an erection with the love of my life unless I'm looking at HER doing a porn shoot? Hmm? Gotta keep those options open, right?
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