Accepting Responsibility

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by path-forward, Jul 17, 2022.

  1. Larry

    Larry Member

    You’re doing well, my friend. Being bored and home like you are is the very worst combination for me. It is good that you recognize that adding more structure to your life and getting out of the house. Whenever I get the urge I now ask myself whether I am truly horny or just bored. Almost always the answer is that I am just bored. Be well!
    path-forward, Mozenjo and Saville like this.
  2. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Our habits are baked in to the point where we have to really put in the work to burn them back out. Larry's right: boredom can be a bugger. Work avoidance too. So the key is to make a commitment to not put ourselves in the position where our chances of success aren't great. Keep fighting!
    Saville and path-forward like this.
  3. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Larry and @Mozenjo - thanks very much for your encouragement and insights!

    I totally agree that boredom can be a huge factor in being drawn back to P. So can just general feeling of malaise.

    As Moz said - there is so much muscle memory to react this way after many decades of behavior

    And Larry - totally agree that being home and bored is a very dangerous combo!

    And I am working on ways to "narrow the window of opportunity" by developing other behaviors to compensate for prior bad habits.

    It will always be a struggle for me - but I need to accept that and look at it as key to having much better balance for myself and my relationships.

    I know I am happier when P is not a focus in my life
    Saville and Rudolf Geyse like this.
  4. New Frontiers

    New Frontiers Member

    Oh that boredom! It's like ringing a bell, telling you to PMO. Especially if home alone. It's just WHAT YOU DID for ages and ages, and feels as natural as breathing as a response. I had the same issue with pills years ago too - at least those lasted for hours, not minutes. Despite resisting pills for over 4 years now, and PMO for 90 days as of today... that siren song when you sail into the seas of boredom or "lack of motivation" still cries out for you. Getting outside or in the public ASAP is the best shut down. Exercise is good too, but isn't a real deterrent just a distraction that doesn't always work as well.
    Rudolf Geyse and path-forward like this.
  5. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    NF - thanks for the feedback and encouragement.

    congrats on 90 days! That’s a very strong run.

    Keep it going!!
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  6. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Well its been a week or so since I last posted. Been having some complicated family dynamics at home lately, mostly centered around my wife's chronic health conditions which affects our lives in many ways - including social and of course sexually. But I have been very good about not being triggered into a PMO session.

    Though I still peak with more regularity than I care to admit. And it continues to be where I am focusing most of my energy on limiting and ofc eventually stopping entirely.

    I am also dealing with a sports injury, which has been a nagging frustration.

    But overall - I am feeling more at peace with myself lately

    I have many good friends, which I am blessed for. But I do find myself envious at times of their greater social calendars and travel experiences.
    My wife's health situation has greatly reduced both our ability to travel (I am retired) and to hang out with other couples. Two activities that give me great joy!
    She is also becoming more reclusive in many ways bc of her unpredictable health situation, always afraid she will not feel well the day we make plans with others.

    But I am learning to focus on gratitude every day and all of the things I am very fortunate to have in my life.

    My wife gets most of her joy in life from me, her kids, her job and her charitable endeavors (which are many!) And I need to learn from her that it is not about comparing - its about feeling appreciative for all that I do have in life, including a wife who is very loving, beautiful, non-judgemental and supportive of my porn addiction. She has never acted angry or upset about my ED or my performance anxiety related to it.

    So one step at a time and always focused on having a fuller and more satisfying life away from P.

    I have seen some new and active members on the forum lately. Without naming names - it is great to see! And I wish you all the strength to keep working hard to conquer your demons related to this awful addiction.
    Rudolf Geyse, Mozenjo and Saville like this.
  7. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Wow! Its been a month since I last posted. I think my lack of posts is unfortunately related to both the challenges in my personal life and my frustration at my actions in my fight against P.

    @Mozenjo - your ability to consistently post the good and the bad - is inspiring to me - and I really appreciate you sharing your journey so openly. Your post today motivated me to finally post myself.

    On the positive aspect - I am on a long streak for me with no PMO or MO. But I am still peeking wayyy too much - though I dont even get hard most times - which says a lot in itself.

    And unfortunately also no O with my wife as well. Though she has tried hard with no judgement, despite her health issues, manually, orally and with intercourse.

    And while I do get excited - I don't get fully hard and am clearly extremely fixated on my dick during our time together. So its likely a mix of ED from both peeking and from performance anxiety. I have had bouts of performance anxiety my whole life - going back to high school. I clearly have OCD in some aspects of my life - and my dick is clearly at center stage for my focus right now

    I am struggling with the peeking, because of its ability to calm me during the many challenges that have erupted in my personal life lately.

    Its been a bad movie with the number of issues involving my wife. Now it is not only her serious health stressing her out - but also several family issues as well

    I am person who always wants to fix things. But not only can I not - but I also realize some of her family struggles relate to her taking my side and focusing on me - on issues that we swept under the rug for many years. And now they all seem to be erupting at once.

    I keep having a time frame to completely cut out peeking - and ofc know - the answer is to make the timeline NOW!

    But I just don't have the strength right now to be 100% vigilant - as my level of depression and anxiety is at its highest, since my divorce almost 2 decades ago.

    Sorry for such a sad post! haha

    As I always try hard to find the inner strength to focus on improving myself. But I also have been suffering from several sports injuries, that have also taken away my favorite outlets both physically and socially.

    But I do keeping fighting the desire to O - as I know I would get hard from P - if I made my peeking sessions longer. But I fight hard to keep them to a few minutes at a time.

    I know what I need to do first - which is focus on gratitude - as I still have so many things in my life to be thankful for.

    My fight continues and I know in my heart I will get this demon under control. I just wish the timeline was sooner.

    The peeking clearly needs to stop.
  8. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    path-forward, good to hear from you. Yeah, we've been too scarce here lately. Posting helps! Our struggles are very similar, though my viewing is usually not something I would term "peeking". I wish I could keep it to just a few minutes as you are doing. The fact that I cannot is a big reason why I came to this place. I can now go a long time without O. That's something, but at my age (64), maybe that's not so unusual. Bottom line is in our acknowledgment that looking at porn is continuing to mess with our brains. Our SO's deserve better than this. If we could perform better without porn in our lives, and we know we could, then IT IS TIME to make that happen! I know it, you know it, we all know that this is imperative. Whatever stress relief this habit may still provide (I will say that it long ago started producing way more stress than it relieves) is not worth it. We can scream it from the rooftops all we want, but until we STOP the behavior, it's just noise.
    Let's do this!
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  9. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Moz my brother - I could not have said it better!

    We need to fight harder for our own sakes. And as you said - our SOs also deserve better!

    thanks as always for your support and encouragement!
    Saville likes this.
  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This kind of remark always chafes my psyche. Our SO's are very much a part of the dance we are doing. They were attracted to us because of our faults/weaknesses/predilections. In short: it takes two to tango. Our SO's, to some degree (usually quite a lot), enable our behavior, both the good AND the bad. We do the same for them. The pay-off for this is we never have to grow up and change.

    We can chide ourselves and pity ourselves all we want, but that doesn't lead to bonerville, in fact, it's quite the opposite. If we don't want to be undermined by our past then we have to blow it up. There is no past. There is no little boy hoping to get laid, hoping his pecker works, hoping his partner will be pleased.

    The odd time when I don't feel a powerful erection I put it down to the fact that I probably didn't really want sex that badly. Or, it could be that my wife is going through the motions. Even if the wife is saying "yeah, baby, give it to me, bite me, spank me," it might not be real. We can't know what's going on in another person's head. Even Mother Theresa was a cunt and bitch sometimes.

    Love making, the initiation of sex, usually follows a similar pattern. Breaking these patterns is hard, but not impossible. It basically comes down to, imo: I'm the man, I'll take what I want. Yes, there is a brutality to that, but for men like us, who have never flexed that muscle, there is also freedom...and boners.
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  11. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Agree with everything you say here, Saville. I had a feeling my statement would strike a nerve lol. Personally, I don't feel the guilt because I feel like I need to perform on cue every time (though I sure wish I could, for my sake even more than hers). I feel guilt because I know I'm going through the motions of improving myself without really making the progress I should. So, in that sense, it is still ultimately more about satisfying my needs over hers. Gotta take care of number one.
    path-forward likes this.
  12. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Sir Saville - I also wondered if that line would strike a nerve! haha! And while I overall very much share your sentiments about needing to feel dominant towards one's partner - I do believe my wife deserves me to be "all in" on doing everything I can to make our sex life, as good as it can be for both our sakes. And she rarely says no to sex when feeling healthy and tries hard to please me - so I can not blame her for my boner issues.

    But in the end, as @Mozenjo said, it is about pleasing ourselves! ;)
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I don't think of it as being dominant. It is our spirit (inner life, connection with the universe, etc) which needs to be indomitable. That probably sounds like horse poo, but that's what gets me jazzed. I am older than both of you and still get good boners. I've got loads of health issues due having been a fat pig for most of my life so I don't have something you guys don't.

    I don't have the answers for anyone, except myself, but I think I do know it is about being provocative with ourselves that helps create change.
    path-forward likes this.
  14. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Sir Saville (I often called you Sir as a display of respect for both your candor and insights - no other feelings are implied)

    I do understand what you’re saying and it makes sense for you.
    But each of us needs an approach to love making, that fits both ourselves and our partner. For me and my wife, a sense of dominance along with being loving and protective - works best for us.
    For many years, before the combination of my ED and my wife’s health issues weakened that special connection - Dom/sub dynamics were the foundation to our relationship both inside and outside the bed room.

    We both miss the strength of that dynamic and are very focused are bringing it back into our relationship, albeit modified for my wife’s health issues.

    Sir Saville - thanks as always, for your valuable insights and honesty. It’s very much appreciated by myself and many other brothers here.
    Saville likes this.
  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You're welcome! I throw spaghetti at the wall and sometimes something sticks. Sometimes there's just a lot of spaghetti on the floor.


    Keep writing in your journal!
    path-forward likes this.
  16. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    My wife had some medical work done recently that has made "testing" things out again very difficult. But I have tried to cut back on the peeking, which has seemed to change my psyche a bit in regard to a feeling of self-confidence.

    But I as once did before with my earlier and overall more successful 100 day streak - I need to treat peeking as negatively as actually PMOing.

    So I made some mental changes in regard to my propensity to peek for short periods and truly admit the damage it is doing both in regard to my ED issues, as well as how I feel about myself.

    So I added back my "last peeking date" to my signature today - as an added self-discipline given its public nature. I had removed it, after needing to change it so often. But I have given my tendency to peek at times a lot of thought the past week or so. And I have been working up to truly focusing on a zero tolerance approach. It will be very challenging for me - almost more so than PMO in some ways - as I used it as a way to "calm myself" during periods of stress. But I need to focus on talking walks, exercising, online chess, reading, writing and reading on this forum, talking to friends, playing sports, etc. There are sooo many other healthier alternatives to alleviate my stress than succumbing to my addiction - even if PMO is not the direct result of that day's actions. As peeking clearly still keeps me around the proverbial hoop, as well as affecting my sexual performance, feeling of purpose in life and my overall self-esteem.

    I do not want my addiction to be in the forefront of my alternatives to calm myself during stressful times.

    I also do not want my peeking to be an ongoing reminder of my inability to truly gain control over my addiction.

    My goal, while it will be very difficult for me, is to attempt to stop looking at P for at least the rest of 2023! And ofc hopefully even longer.

    I need to establish the sense of resolve I had - when I first joined this forum and had a very solid and rewarding clean streak. But I am also committed to stay clean - AFTER things are working successfully again for me in the bed room. As I have learned like many brothers on this forum - that you can't use success, as an excuse for an "occasional" relapse or "innocent" peeking. There is nothing occasional or innocent, when it comes to P addiction.

    This will be a tough commitment for me - but the peeking - like PMO - needs to stop controlling my life and pushing me down unhealthy paths.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2023
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  17. Montesquieu

    Montesquieu Member

    That’s my (intermediate) goal as well, @path-forward. We can do this!

    Something that occurred to me while reading your post is that you mention that you regard briefly looking at images and so on as a stress relief. You probably already know this but the opposite is likely true. Most of us on here have dealt with hypersexual disorder for most of our lives, which is an umbrella term that includes porn addiction but also excessive preoccupation with sex, excessive indulgence in sexual fantasies, masturbation, etc. People with hypersexual disorder have a greater amount of cortisol circulating in their blood and an overactive stress systems (the HPA axis). But the good news is that this normalizes among those who refrain from the excessive behavior. In one study I read, it normalizes after 7 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy. But I assume the gist of the CBT is to stop thinking about sex, masturbating, watching porn, and fantasizing so much. So my point is that you’re likely making yourself more stressed out by regular engagement even with soft porn images and will indeed better off avoiding it.

    I only mention that because at least for me, the more reasons I have on my side to avoid a certain behavior, the more likely I am to refrain from it. So that’s another reason among many to try to refrain even from the peeking.

    Here is a link to the study and a relevant quote:

    “Thus, our results of high oxytocin levels, together with previously reported noninhibition and hyperactivity of the HPA axis, are in line with previous research reporting compensatory effects of oxytocin to the HPA function. This function of oxytocin has been proposed both from addiction research as well as stress research.”

    The idea is that the oxytocin is combatting the hyperactivity of the HPA axis/stress system/excessive cortisol. I’ve read a couple of other related studies if you are interested but the main idea is the same: hypersexual disorder stresses us out; refraining from thinking about it so much will result in a normalization of our stress system over time.

    Good luck with your goal!
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  18. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @Montesquieu I have a desire to you Monty - but wanted to ask permission first? :)

    Thanks very much for your strong encouragement and detailed response. I hear you on looking at P ultimately causing one further stress and raising hormone levels, as well as further stimulating fantasy, sexual impulses, etc.
    And while there is a lot of truth in what you have explained, for me I have that feeling much more from reading erotica. And in the very short term - I do feel a sense of calm - as even just looking is a many decades form of self-medication for stressful thoughts.

    btw - I coincidentally got both my cortisol and testosterone levels checked - and they were thankfully very "healthy" for my age and life situation.

    But to be clear - your explanation still made a lot of sense. And for a myriad of reasons - I need to stop peeking at P -even when I don't have it lead to full PMO

    Thanks again for your support and best of luck with your own goals!
  19. Montesquieu

    Montesquieu Member

    Yep, feel free to call me Monty! It’s easier to spell anyway.

    Your explanation makes sense. Hang in there and keep up the good work!
    path-forward likes this.
  20. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    My first time posting on consecutive days in many many months.

    I meant what I said yesterday. I will start considering peeking at P equal to the harm of PMO.

    Because despite a relatively long streak of no PMO, I don’t feel nearly as confident and clear headed as the 100 day clean streak I had around this time last year. Plus I am still struggling with ED.

    I have finally admitted to myself, that I need to work much harder to have my life feeling good and for things to be working well in the bed room.

    And while it’s only been about 30 hours since last peeking, I already feel a much stronger sense of resolve.

    My initial goal is to be clean of P peeking through the rest of 2023 and then focus on continuing to stay clean in 2024.

    And I know some of you may say it’s harder making long term goals like that, as I may be setting myself up for failure.

    But I am someone who needs structure and a strong sense of discipline to achieve my goals.

    I have always chosen a similar approach professionally and it has worked relatively well for me.

    Even last year - I found being clean easier on both Peeking and PMO/MO with an initial 100 day goal.

    But after finding everything working well both in the bed room and emotionally - I made the obvious mistake of thinking I could handle my addiction in moderation.

    A lesson many of us here know far too well.

    There is no room for moderation with an addict!

    Once the door was opened, I started a many months pattern of 2 to 3 weeks clean then PMO - ending up back where I started both physically and emotionally.

    Then I convinced peeking was still relatively benign with no PMO/MO

    So this time I will have a much greater resolve to be true to my profile name - firmly putting myself on a path forward.

    I know it will be very hard at times and I plan to journal more frequently again - as it’s such a great way to both not feel alone and to encourage a healthy and candid dialogue with myself and others.

    I took a walk on a beach this evening, writing parts of this as stopped along the water, and I already feel so much more at peace than I felt yesterday.

    I know what I need to do.

    No more looking at P, no more roaming insta for bikini pics and no more reading erotica.

    There are soooo many healthy and uplifting ways to spend my time.
    StarWarsFan and Montesquieu like this.

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