Back... a bit broken but maybe wiser?

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Lowdo, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hey peeps. Feeling a bit rubbish this evening - started putting a shed together earlier but it didn't go to plan so feeling a bit un-manly. I know its dumb cos I'll get the proper tools and tackle it at the weekend but I still find I have expectations of myself as a bloke - that there are certain things I should be able to do. Anyway - I'm glad I came here. It s good to just offload sometimes - does anyone else feel the same way sometimes?
  2. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    Barbecue. It's never been my thing. Spring is coming and people are talking about cleaning their grills and cooking on their balconies here in the condo we live in. That sort of gets me down, or has in the past. I feel like less of a man because I don't barbecue. Silly, but there it is.

    Until you shared your thoughts and I sat here and examined mine, I never realized I made some progress here. When it was brought up a day or two ago, it really didn't get me too down. The fact that I recalled this "shame" of not being a manly barbecue-r right here feels a bit more hurtful. The old pattern of beating myself up, punishing myself by saying in this forum, "I don't barbecue, aren't I a loser?" The way I've made some progress with these thoughts is two-fold. First, all the Buddhist stuff I've been reading and the meditations really have me more focused on humans. Saying things like, "dudes always be like, asian people always, women never," feels off to me. We're individuals, but we all suffer because we all have these human brains. Second and more important, maybe just maybe, I'm starting to not care what others think. They will think and feel whatever they want despite me. I've learned this the hard way, thanks to my own brain telling me shit like, "you are probably going to hate this response to your journal." I think it before even letting you respond.

    @Lowdo to me, you're more a man than most of the men I've met in my life. Because you're here journaling and being open about your issues.
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  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I don't care for BBQ'ing, either. I do it once in awhile and I rarely cook things well.

    I agree!
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  4. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys! Bbq-ing is just one of those things I guess I really enjoy and was such a part of my upbringing that I suppose I've never thought about whether it's manly or not.

    It is a bit of a stereotype isn't it - bloke standing there with a beer, cooking meat on a fire? That is me though: I guess, going back to earlier musings, that it gives me a role in a certain social context. Put me by the fire, give me a beer (preferably from the fridge in my vw ;-)) and I know how to behave and feel like I belong. While these things aren't important; finding something that works for you that ultimately builds up your self-esteem is really important for men nowadays.

    Anyway - hope you're all OK. Keep going and be kind to yourselves!
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  5. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I've found the key to these jobs is going "slow!" I give myself all day and smile to myself as I'm working. Not all guys are meant to throw up great looking sheds. Building a poem, a garden, or a day out with the family are also manly talents. I'm on a bit of thing about going back to our toddler days. When we are two years old we are too busy exploring the world to care about who's manly. Our minds are polluted by a society that went off the rails a long time ago.

  6. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Saville - the whole thing about simply being a kid, enjoying something for it's own sake and being un-self-conscious occurred to me a few weeks ago when I was writing down some thoughts. It's not really coherent yet but definitely echoes your point above. When I finish writing it (it was only short) I'll try to share it.

    Anyhoo, today I managed to go for a run (altho now my knee is hurting - the joys of being in my 40s!) and enjoyed a sauna afterwards. I'm trying to consciously make 'me' time for treating myself as it definitely reduces any grumpy feelings of entitlement.

    How are you all?
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    This is pretty good stuff. I totally agree. I think we all play a role when we are interacting. It's all about finding the role that works for us. Being ourselves is basically playing a role that is natural to us rather then trying to play a role that is alien. I use to think being myself means not playing a role at all, but that's too idealistic I think and counter productive. It's about finding the good roles, that is the one that works for us.

    It's interesting I've also had some thoughts about this lately. I've been wondering how is it possible to remain child-like somehow while still being responsible for ourselves. It seems the fight to make it as an adult drains us of that characteristic. For one to be strong enough to deal with the petty stuff of life yet remain free enough inside (child like so to speak) seems like the big win. I also think girls are attracted to that. They like the guy who can fight yet keep a (real) smile on his face.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  8. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hey guys. Sorry I've not been around for a few days. No problems to report but I had my parents visiting at the weekend and what little free time I had I've been spending working on my latest creative writing assignment - I'm really getting into it now. It seems like almost any form of writing is amazingly therapeutic. The only trouble is getting myself to actually sit down and write.

    There have been a few stressy days recently - while I get on well with my parents, family is often a source of stress if I'm honest. I've not dealt with it all that well but have at least been pleased that I was a bit less panicked when issues arose. Often my default response when I sense conflict is to run into a full-on nice-guy panic - which just pisses off my wife (understandably) and makes everything worse. I think I'm getting better at keeping calm; maintaining a sense of perspective (and self-worth).

    Anyway - sorry for the short ramble. I'm going to go and browse round the forums and see what's happening.
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Sounds really positive! :)
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  10. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    After all the talk recently about thinking like a kid and maybe unlearning some unhelpful 'grown-up' behaviour I looked up something I wrote a few months ago and thought I'd share it. I'm not pretending to be an expert - it's just some ramblings ;) Here goes...

    I’m not sure how well you remember your childhood, but try to push your mind back into your memories. Do you recall ever running, through a grassy park towards the swings? Or were you simply playing in a garden, running from an imaginary foe, or towards a raging battle only you could see? Were you a plane, a train or Superman? A race-driver or Usain Bolt? Or Mary Poppins? It doesn’t matter.

    Here’s the really important question.

    While you were doing this, were you aware of onlookers? Or were the only notable witnesses the imagined participants in whatever adventure was unfolding in your mind? The reason I believe this matters is that, in that moment, whatever form it took for you, you were truly able to just be - uninfluenced by observation, totally unselfconscious.

    We spend almost all of our lives interacting with others, sometimes consciously, but often simply instinctively, measuring, gauging the reactions of others to our inputs, our contributions, or our mere presence. This is normal and a key part of how we develop empathy and learn to live in healthy community. Some of us though do it more intensely than others (hello introverts - can I get a shout ou...? Oh, never mind.) and it can become exhausting.

    And what we really need then is to be allowed to just... be. To switch off all the external sensors, dull the noise, dim the lights. Except that the problem is that often we can’t. Cos the noise isn’t just other people. Our own brains are so busy running background checks on everything we’ve said and done since, well, forever, that even when we try to retreat, we can’t offload.

    But when we were kids, we could. We could play...

    There are probably loads of things that we’re much better at now that we’re adults - but playing? Nope - most of us grown-ups are pretty crap at it. Because we’ve grown old and self-conscious and perhaps most fatally of all, we’ve fallen into a modern delusion. The delusion that in order to do something (painting, ice-skating, crochet - or writing or running), we should be good at it.

    What does that even mean? And why do we use the word ‘good’ when we actually mean ‘skilled’?

    If you’re trying to make a living doing something then, by all means, become skilled at it: that makes sense. But if you just want to do something because you’ve always wanted to, then bloody hell, just do it - who cares if you’re good at it? The only criteria should be; do you fancy having a go? And if you enjoy it and can lose yourself in it, then carry on...
  11. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi guys - sorry, it's been nearly a week since I posted anything here. All's going OK actually but I've been really engrossed in writing and family stuff which is cool. Still carrying a knee injury so I haven't been able to do as much running as I'd like (running is therapy as far as I'm concerned :)) but gardening and writing have been filling the void to some extent. Also have been (slowly) learning to be good to myself when I'm feeling stressed and unable to cope - my wife has been amazing in this regard in spotting when I'm 'not right' and making sure I do something about it. Sometimes it's as simple as realising that it's OK to buy myself a coffee and go chill in a cafe for a bit.

    Hope you're all doing OK.
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  12. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Besides the knee injury things seem to be really nice and stable for you, allowing yourself to do the things you enjoy. Great to hear. This takes away the power of the addiction, moving it further to the background. We need such positivity!
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  13. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Gilgamesh - I'm fortunate be in a good place at the moment and am trying to 'make hay while the sun shines'! I've been nearly 2 years clean of PMO in the past but failed to properly learn to take care of myself. This time I wanna be better to myself - I've learnt a bit and am hopefully a tiny bit wiser!
  14. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hey guys - just a quick journal update. Nothing really to report except have been feeling a bit low the last couple of days - it seems to coincide with being really busy at work and home. Sometimes I find when things start to get really busy that it reaches a point where it's suddenly overwhelming. That's when old feelings of inadequacy and panic start to come back and the urge to just be numb presents itself. I haven't had any real urges but I recognise some the feelings I've had as dangerous.

    My wife is out this evening and daughter is asleep so I'm not going to stay online much longer, just in case. Might watch some old box sets and do something to chill out.

    Hope you're all OK.
  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Good job recognizing the old useless feelings. You are dealing, bro'.
  16. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    For me the "overwhelming" part comes when I ruminate on the busic and the panic. I'm not present and I'm in the past tallying up everything that is "overwhelming" me. Supposedly are emotions are trying to tell us something, so numbing them is not a great strategy. Staying present seems to work for me. "What can I do right now about these feelings?"
  17. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hey guys - sorry I haven't been around for a few days. I'm still OK but am definitely a bit low at the moment. I think work stress is playing a part in that so really appreciate the advice.

    @MissingSelfCompassion - thanks for the comments above. Observing my feelings and tackling them objectively helps - but I have to make an effort to actually do it.

    Also, I seem to be in the odd phase (which I hit at about this stage on my last proper stretch of PMO free) of having porn dreams - bloody annoying cos for a few seconds I really thought I had relapsed until I woke up properly!!

    Anyhoo - it's always good spending time here on YBR. I'm feeling a bit brighter just being here. Hope you're all doing ok.
  18. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Good to hear from you! Could there be s relation between stress and porn dreams? Would going for a walk or yoga before sleep help to avoid?
  19. Johhny Bravo

    Johhny Bravo Every temptation is another chance of life revival

    Porn dreams are actually a healthy sign of recovery.

    My theory is your brain is resetting and 'cleaning out the trash' of very significant data- rather, data that was significant but will no longer be in the future (porn).

    The dreams should settle within 3 or 4 days.

    You will find that if you watch porn and touch yourself that you will have zero porn dreams on that particular evening.

    Freud and Osho theorise dreams are our repressed life expressing itself. Possibly!

    But in experience I do remember in the first months of quitting porn (when i first attempted to stop like 6 years ago) and the mental struggles invovled that i would have such dreams also.

    Let us know how you go. Take care stay healthy and soothing towards yourself :)
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  20. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Gilgamesh and @Johhny Bravo. Nearly thru the week and am very much looking forward to a family camping trip with friends for the next week. I'll be making an effort to stay off-grid so probably wont be posting. Hope you all have a good week. Take care!

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