Accepting Responsibility

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

  1. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I second that. For me sexual fantasies are the equivalent of your peeking I guess. It keeps the coals smoldering, until sooner or later a bit of wind can turn it into a big unstoppable fire.

    Good to hear you're in the zone again!
    path-forward likes this.
  2. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @mailboxsam @Montesquieu @Gil79

    Thanks for both sharing and for your encouragement! Its all very much appreciated. Going through a bit of withdrawal from my "peeking binge" - but it makes me realize even more how strong my porn and overall sex addiction is.

    I need to work extra hard to find other outlets to settle myself and "block out the pain" during times of deep emotional pain and upheaval. I suffered intense PTSD level emotional trauma as a teen and did not not share it with anyone for years. And PMO became my self-medication for any times I needed to settle myself.

    I am thankfully now at peace with my trauma but old habits are sooo tough to beat. I need to always remind myself - that peeking and PMO are just not options in my life anymore. They only take me down a darker path.

    For myself, PMO is not just about sex despite being a sex addict - it is about a compulsive behavior to shut off one's emotions - the same way people use alcohol, drugs, gambling etc.

    I need to constantly remind myself, that I need to be extra vigilant to stop myself from using P as my choice of self-medication.

    Yes life can be hard - but it is also sooo beautiful! I need to focus on the light in my life - not keep chasing the dark....
    Gil79, mailboxsam, Caz and 3 others like this.
  3. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Had some extremely tough and deeply emotional discussions with my wife. Looked at P for a bit but thankfully stopped without any touching etc. But reset my last peeking date.

    Doing my best to stay strong with hopefully new resolve that I can maintain.
    Gil79 likes this.
  4. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

    Were they conversations that needed to be had?
  5. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    yes. Very much so.
    mailboxsam likes this.
  6. sufficio

    sufficio Active Member

    @path-forward : I see you've made references to peeking, and like you, I found that it causes me to spiral into fantasy and other troubles. For now, I'm just staying away. This is not my first recovery, so I'm not going to say "never" or preach to anybody (there's at least the possibility that overconfidence was part of my relapse - ahem!), but for now, I'm staying away. There's a blocker on my router, but there is stuff that I can still get to (no blocker is perfect; all of them block things they should allow, and allow things they should block), and in my journal the other day, I talked about ways I could beat the blocker. But for now, I'm being stringent.

    I hope you continue well.
    StarWarsFan and path-forward like this.
  7. Caz

    Caz Active Member

    Great job holding back!
    I’m curious how many “dates” are you tracking?
  8. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    My counter is for how many days with no PMO or MO

    And in my “signature” I track last time I looked at porn.
  9. Caz

    Caz Active Member

    I’m on this site on my iphone so don’t see signatures. I will end up copying you. Thanks
    path-forward likes this.
  10. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Reset my last peeking date yesterday.

    going through some very rough times but doing my best to stay fully clean going forward. Peeking and PMO are not the answer for my pain.
    sufficio likes this.
  11. Caz

    Caz Active Member

    Stay strong.
    path-forward likes this.
  12. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    thank you!
  13. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    This is the toughest post I have ever written here and I am going to keep it relatively short.

    My wife and I have decided to get divorced. It was a heart breaking decision for both of us and we hope to remain close friends. We are both hurting a lot, tho in somewhat different ways. And are thankfully still having decent communication and have both vowed to try to make the divorce process quick and non-adversarial. I will always wish her peace and happiness in her life.

    I feel incredible vulnerable to a massive relapse rn - but that knowledge is actually helping me keep control.

    I know with time - I will come out of this OK - but its going to be a long tough road for a while.
    But I am resolved to have added focus on staying clean with both PMO and with how I am treating my body. Sadly - not my first divorce - so I do have some muscle memory to get myself through this.
    Gil79, 1MoreLookAway and Fluyo like this.
  14. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

    Ouch. Thinking of you man.
    path-forward likes this.
  15. 1MoreLookAway

    1MoreLookAway Member

    Hey PF, I've been away for a minute but all I can say man is my heart goes out to you. Porn will only mute the pain for so long until the volume is back on higher than before. Pain like happiness/any emotion and passive income is very residual, if you push it away it will come back ferociously later.

    It's great that you're aware of your own vulnerability. And I wish of all the pains, that this one and poverty, no one here would ever have to bear.

    Communication is partly porn but I feel in today's climate, society certainly lacks cohesion, if I said there are some things from the 50s we might do with today, I'd warrant being called a male chauvinist with zero context that my comment is rather innocuous. Today, there's too much fake 'networking', intimacy is getting eroded by social media. We're never just in a relationship with an S.O. but their sounding board which is like their FB list, people who have congenial thoughts to them, and or/ those who feed a notion that the partner is disposable.

    I know this pain of losing a love I can't really say much else than to say have a contact at hand, chat with friends who've been through this too.

    Do the mourning work, go easy on yourself and understand it's normal to go through it all. Once more, I really regret to hear of this, although I do not know the unique pain of divorce, I do know the common sorrow of when communication not at all helped in a society where we relate more like the machines we use than the beings we are, goes contrary to our intentions.

    A massive hug to you PF, keep your head up high man! ;)
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  16. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much 1MLA! I really appreciated your heart felt and candid reply. And I hear you on the disposable attitude - but that's not germane to my own situation. I admit that I was very much a driver towards the divorce decision.
  17. Caz

    Caz Active Member

    @path-forward that is as tough a item as it gets in life. Here for you.

    glad you got this motivation “
    But I am resolved to have added focus on staying clean with both PMO and with how I am treating my body. “
    path-forward likes this.
  18. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Well - that did not take very long! But I will also blame the poor decision to take cannabis in a vulnerable state! It literally behaved like the devil on my shoulder - reminding me that with my separation and pending divorce, that it will likely be many months (if not longer!) before I have sex again. And that I had been hard mode for about 6 weeks now for various reasons.

    But there was a silver lining, as I clearly struggled with ED to get fully hard - even with my favorite porn.

    So I learned something I always suspected....

    While I just broke a 161 day streak of no PMO or MO - there were several 2 week periods, that I still peeked at times at P on almost a daily basis.

    So clearly "looking but not touching" can do as much damage as PMO itself!!!

    Because I know when I tried NO PMO a couple times - being 100% clean of EVERYTHING for 60+ days - my ED was gone or very close to being gone.

    So I now know this needs to be a hard mode FULL RESET for a long time!

    Periodic Peeking can be just as bad as PMO. I need to always remember that.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2023
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  19. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Wow @path-forward, that is some shocking news. All I can do for now is to support you and wish you strength. In my journal we spoke about vulnerability. Let's bring it up here again. Stay vulnerable. Be open for the pain and make sure that you live this moment, even if it is difficult. This is also a chance for growth

    yes, for sure. It keeps the addiction alive and grow at slow pace, until it is strong enough to beat you again. Don't numb yourself, but look for things that give you strength
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  20. 1MoreLookAway

    1MoreLookAway Member

    I'm very glad to hear you initiated it, at least in part as I know if it were in reverse it could hurt a lot more. Notwithstanding, any loss is always felt. But any loss is a good teacher, a great time to make gains. The best music is made by people in deep states of loss, the people in the best physical shape are often moved by it too. Two negatives certainly make a positive.

    Of course a relapse doesn't need to be a slide, and peeking imho is worse than pmo as it only delays an inevitable pmo. But I'm really just repeating what you and others have mentioned, as I see a lot of guys peeking. Pmo is voyeurism, peeking is voyeurism. There's zero nuance. I guess mo might well be a great fall back as it has no voyeur aspect and done right it can ease you back into sobriety. I'm highly certain of your recovery, as you always come across as someone who is very self-aware, gives great advice and holds themselve to account. You have the ingredients to really conquer the addiction.

    Wishing you healing man, please take care of yourself and give yourself time. :)
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