Back from death, I need another round of work

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Gandalf the Grey, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Not giving in totally.

    Reading on porn addiction. New material I've not seen before. Most of it on NOFAP ....

    One thing that stands out ... most addicts are all or nothing thinkers .... I'm an all or nothing thinker.

  2. Great night of sleep. Woke up to snow on the ground. Merry Christmas!

    I scrubbed my devices last night. I read a lot on addiction and PIED. I am solid in my commitment to move forward porn and MO free.

    I found an article on In Changing for Good (1994), Prochaska and DiClemente which describes the six stages of change. That was helpful. I've been aware of the impact of the addiction but haven't been willing to see the effort of quitting worth the it. A full night of reading others stories and scientific literature on it tipped the balance.

    I woke up in a panic. I have let a number of things pile up. I woke up. I immediately thought of a couple of things I must do that are going to suck doing. And then I felt a tug to tug. I didn't.

    I've always heard those things we must do but don't want to do as "frogs". I learned in my reading where that saying came from:

    "Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”"

    My thing is that I have a whole bucket of frogs and rather than sucking it up and getting them done I'm self medicating.

    When I think about moving forward and getting ahead the frogs get in the way. I don't want to wake up. I don't want to work out. I don't want .... but I do self medicate with too much alcohol, porn, MO, etc.

    My plan is a bit different this time. I am going to stop PMO and social dating sites. But instead of thinking of this as an improvement project I'm attacking it as a clean up project. Before my boys come today I will have a list of the frogs .. or at least as many of them as I can come up with. And then I am going to attack them. I'm going to invest at least an hour every day to frog eradication. They are like rocks in the backpack. They serve no purpose other than to slow me down.

    The other thing I read that was helpful in my thought process and I think useful to others is something I read on goal setting. We typically set goals on a lagging measure (e.g. weight loss) rather than a leading measure (e.g. working out everyday; counting calories every day). I've been focused on a lagging measure (i.e. no more PIED) rather than the leading measure (i.e. no PMO really). Simple thing really. It is common sense that you can't get to destination without taking the steps but I've been focused on the destination without thinking about the steps or paying lip service to the steps and then letting obstacles get in the way of my taking them. Actually, inviting obstacles in to get in the way. I KNOW that dating sites are poison for me ... yet I keep going back to them ....

    The 4-day pattern has been a couple of days of clean, followed by a slight urge and some stress and then I sign up and start swiping. Soon enough ... particularly if I engage in a conversation ... I am back to touching ...

    OK. So off to the frogs.

  3. Woke up agitated. Almost panicked. Woke up about every hour from 3 AM on. Forced myself to sleep to 730. Today and tomorrow are frog days. I’m not looking forward to it. My objective is to figure out how to get each one of these frogs close before the end of the week. I don’t think I can move forward unless I get them out of my way. Just thinking about them makes me feel like tugging.
  4. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.

    One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.

    The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

    The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed
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  5. Came into the office today. Could have worked from home but it would have been harder to be productive. Getting some done. Stomach is upset. Want to go back to sleep. Think I need to see doc and get back on anti-depressants. I think I’m in the midst of an episode that I missed the start of. I have a list of “frogs” to do this week. I’ll get them done by week’s end but thinking about them Is making me sick. AND my wind is wandering into all sorts of porn related thoughts.

    I didn’t sleep well. Crazy dreams. Dreamt of an old girlfriend. VERY vivid. A good dream. Or rather memories of good things. Dreamt of work things, of my frogs. Nightmarish dreams about the frogs getting the better of me. Woke up once in terror because of that feeling. I was worried about financial things because of that dream.

    Came home mid day to take my son to practice. Came home. Ate. Napped. A little too much touchy. It feels like the more aware of the fight the more I'm tempted and touching? Wasn't enough to reset. I am determined to push through this.

    Killed a frog this afternoon. More to go but it felt relieving although I know there are a lot more. I'm going to try to kill one or two more tonight.

    Read some this afternoon after the frog killing. Read this on NOFAP:

    I do believe that we are used to get to PMO to avoid many situations and many feelings like stress, depression, loneliness, self-rejection, shame, fear, frustration and so on... and that's the main reason why PMO becomes an addiction. PMO is just a mood alterer, a way to avoid the pain and all the unpleasant feelings. So when you feel that you are about to relapse just close your eyes for a moment, breath very deeply and ask yourself very honestly: what I'm avoiding? And whatever feeling comes out, just FEEL IT. And don't shame yourself for anything you feel. Feel is the one way to heal yourself, to overcome any relapse.

    That is EXACTLY what it is for me. I feel any of those things ... stress, depression, loneliness, self-rejection, shame, fear, frustration, etc. ... and I turn it off, mute it with PMO ....

    Best suggestions were to catch yourself and just feel .... let the feeling roll instead of trying to mute it and to get up and walk it off ... it is so easy to just lay back and let go .... can't do that.
    Libertad likes this.
  6. Wow! Great story perfect example!
  7. Wrote this earlier today ....

    I’m at work.

    I’m not coming close to earning today’s wage. But I’m here.

    It is a slow week.

    I’m working on myself.

    I’ll post this later.

    @Bobjess sharing the wolf thing struck home.

    Not long ago I was dabbling here and there with erotica and MO’ing. It wasn’t out of control and impacting my life on the day to day. But it was enough to keep my libido low and my erections lower.

    I came back here to do something about it.

    Expose it to the light has let it grow. In a sense in my realization that the evil wolf was still alive I have fed it.

    When I was 4 years old I almost died from spinal menijitis. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks over Christmas. I came out the day before my birthday. My mom used to tell me every year I would get melancholy over the Holiday’s because I remembered it.

    I’m deeply depressed at the moment.
    It could be the memories. Or it could be the fucking cold and dark!

    I’ve immersed myself in YBOP, NOFAP, depression, etc. reading over the last 48 hours. I’m certain after reading, thinking, mediating and praying on the following:

    1. I’ve got to get the depression treated. When I’m done writing this I’m setting an appointment with the doc. It is time to get back on the meds. DONE

    2. My plan to kill frogs is good. I’ve got at least another one down today. Stress is coming down but I have more frogs to go. I just need to continue to gut those out.

    3. I need to go “monk mode” for 60 days. Or rather I need to go “monk mode” for a day and then a week and then 4 weeks and then 60 days. If I start today my first monk mode week is on my birthday. I can do that!

    4. I’m eating like crap (going entire days without eating until late at night), not going to church, not keeping basic chores at home done, etc. That just goes hand in hand with the depression. Monk mode means I’m going to schedule my next 60 days out. Church is a must. I’m going to calorie count and preplan my meals. I’m going to buy healthy frozen meals and meal replacement bars and schedule my eating. I’m sure both no church and poor nutrition are contributing. Same thing with working out.

    5. The last two nights I’ve gone to bed early and woken up late. Not overslept. Just good long sleeping sessions. Not good sleep, just long. I’m going to do that the rest of the week.

    6. Next year I’m going to take this week off and do something with it. Plan something that will be truly R&R.

    7. The worst of the characteristics of porn for me is novelty. That’s why I have such a struggle with the dating sites. I’d rather look at hour after hour of dating site profiles than at hardcore porn. I’ve peeked at a little bit of porn over this last month or so but it easily gets sat down for dating sites. The dating sites is what I really struggle with. Some thoughts:

    a. Novelty goes both ways. Novelty is why so many girls ghost when you are talking with them. The next click over is better so see ya! It cuts both ways and it hurts when it is done. Of course, when I’m binging on that stuff the way to cure the hurt is the next profile!

    b. I get bored in relationships easily. Is that a novelty problem?

    c. I get bored easily. Is THAT a novelty problem?

    d. My 60 days in Monk Mode are going to be no date mode. But after 60 days I’m going to intentionally try to put myself out there physically. I’m going to need to get involved in church and some other activities to make that work. I don’t need to chase everything that moves but I do need to interact with more women than I do in my normal days today.
  8. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Active Member

    Hi Gandalf, Yeah whilst I have not written about it much novelty is what I seek, when I am eating those frogs and in my stride I have novelty, P gives the illusion of novelty. Family just gives monotony, I tried a dating site on a relapse once and I was both jacked and scared. I have forgotten the web address which I have regretted on subsequent relapses. A relapse burns out quickly because it is not "personal" without the dating site. Thinking about it I still feel grief for losing that address nothing I have looked at works like that did. I tire of things easily, but some would say that is a modern illness, especially when I meet with resistance.

    All the best brother
  9. Day 1 of "monk mode".

    Since the mode begins today to time things so I'll hit Day 7 on my birthday I kept whispering to myself last night that I could go ahead and "do it" one more time and not screw my plan up. I resisted. So on day zero I am on day 1. Starting ahead. No slips though!

    I'm on Testosterone therapy. I woke up semi-hard this morning after 1 day of no M; I think that recovery may be quicker but I also think that some of my difficulties lately (timing is consistent with this) are caused by the increase of T. I've not handled the increase well. That and the increased stress are the two variables that changed this Fall when this started becoming a problem again.

    Not much more to say but here goes.

  10. Shaky ass day to start "monk mode". Stomach ache a good portion of the day. Unrelated to this drama as the boys have it. It is running around their work. And "stomach ache" is merely a euphimism for a set of related things that goes along with my stomach feeling ouchy and gurgly.

    • No frog died today.
    • No more alcohol in the house. No I did not drink the rest of it today! I have no temptation to run out and stock up. That feels good.
    • Tripped across a couple apps that hadn't been scrubbed. Of course, I opened them. They are gone now.
    • Pissed at my doctor's office. Called for appointment. They can't get me in until next week. If you call in and say you are depressed and make it seem urgent (as in I want to see him this week) one would think it should at least get more than "well I just can't do that". Gonna bitch when I go in. Tempted to just start on the meds in the med cabinet but won't. Not in any danger. I just want to kick it.

    This isn't about the addiction. It is about managing stress and the depression. I can do it.

  11. I feel I've made a solid step finally.

    I woke up and checked my phone out of habit this morning. Caught myself. Some mornings late has been a precursor to reinstalling a dating app. I just want to feel connected even if the connection isn't real. I came here instead to see if I had any alerts. None. But that was enough to move on.

    I have a full day of chargeable work (I'm a consultant, chargeable work means work I have to do for a client and bill them) but instead of going 8+ today, I am going to divide it up over the next 3 days. Do a little work and do a little focused time on me.

    I am focused on building a disciplined routine and not worrying so much about motivation in the moment. That article had an impact.

  12. Great sleep last night!

    Cold outside. Window open. French boxer under the heavy comforter. Toasty! Crazy dreams. Feel totally rested.

    Day is starting well.

    I admit I'm not in "monk mode". It seems silly to type it. This launch has been more taper. My mind is everywhere during the day. It easily gets pulled into a direction I don't want to go. There has been no porn. No MO. There's been some M and there's been some "shouldn't be looking at that "porn substitute". What to do when I girl I've gone out with and still text from time to time texts and it gets flirty? What to do when I'm reading a news story and find one of those click bait articles "You wouldn't believe what she takes off next!"? With each day I'm getting more resilient, touching less, giving into distraction less. I feel I'm getting stronger but it wasn't the light switch I wanted it to be. Not resetting but I am aware this is a slow launch. Fine with it because I'm feeling stronger.

    My oldest jumped my shit last night. He's worried I'm not managing my depression. Well, duh! It was an earnest, loving approach. He started with "Dad, one of the first things you taught me was "don't panic". You are panicking". And from his perspective I guess I am. I need to remind myself that I am blessed to be where I am. The positives without qualification great job, nice townhouse with a roof, paid every two weeks, social opportunities with the job, good friends, my physical health, great kids, etc. But the depression is a blanket over all of that. And those that see only the positives do not see my attempts to self medicate the bad feelings I have due to the qualifications with each positive. But the boys see them. I deserved the conversation. At first I was defensive and acknowledged that I deserved "what I had coming". But the morning after I realize that I deserved it because I'm a great dad and raised my kids right; what he did, what he said, took some level of courage. And I needed a little extra fire under my ass.

    Dreams are increasing. Last night they were CRAZY. I have read in the past that that is a sign the brain is healing.

    I've been up since 9. Living life in 4 hour blocks today. I'm going to have real progress today. No M at all. No itching with purpose. No checking outside the jeans to make sure it is still there. None of it.

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  13. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    Welcome to 2018 Gandalf, may you have a great year!

    I love the way you are going about this. Purposeful, I read solid confident strides towards health. Acknowledging the doubts and being honest with yourself. Your son sounds like an amazing human being, great job there mate. (-:
  14. @bobjes, it is just frustrating that it is happening so slowly. Last year when I was under the gun to change I had to change. Now I have to want to change. It is a totally different dynamic.

    I am seeing improvements. I don't feel like I have a drinking problem though the way I use alcohol to self medicate my depression, stress, lonliness, etc. is just as bad as my turning to dating sites, porn and MO. I cleared the alcohol out of the house last week. Haven't felt tempted to go buy any. I did NYE sober. I felt great waking up this morning because of it. In a social setting where there is alcohol I am confident I can be appropriate because it'll be about cheer and not about self medicating. I've been such a flailing mess the last half of this year I'm not sure this small victory would have been won 6 weeks ago, for instance.

    I've fallen into a hole and it feels harder to climb out this time than last. Last time I had rocket fuel in my climb b/c I thought I was going to get the girl and I was at the same time making so many advances.

    Now there is no girl to get and that compounds the feelings of lonliness. It is a fucking twisted thing. I don't feel confident enough in myself to have a woman in my life. I do not feel sexually or financially available. So I self medicate in ways that impacts my sexual and financial availability. Fucked up. I am aware of it and improving the situation. That I need to get on the wagon in hard mode and stay on it for 12 months is right now too hard to comprehend. I've been 12+ months without a relationship. Another 12 -- and I'm being a drama queen here -- feels like a death sentence.

    I feel things are improving but at a slow pace. Money is tight but will loosen up over time. I don't know if I'll get a raise in January or how much it will be. Child support has 2.6 more years to go. And so on. There's this old guy dread that the improvements aren't happening fast enough. I am fully aware that you can't taper off the addiction and fix the PIED. This last week represents a taper. I'm resetting today NOT because I stepped out of bounds but because I realize that the taper has been valuable in way but it isn't going to get me where I want to be.

    I want to be physically (I am), mentally (I am), spiritually (I am), emotionally (debatable), financially (nope) and sexually (depends on what we are doing but joking aside, nope) available for a relationship. I'm clearly not.

    I know what I have to do. Follow my routine. Workout. Eat right. NO PMO and no P substitutes. Wait. Be patient.

    95% .. 98%? A high percentage of my life is just that. It is when I feel enveloped by the darkness of stress, loneliness and depression that it unravels. It is unraveling less day to day which is a great trend. But it still unravels. I'm learning when that darkness washes over me how to combat it. That's really all I focused on this week. I slept A LOT. I feel rested. Being exhausted doesn't help the cause. Resting is healing. I've got more time in my routine to rest. I'm excited to go back to work tomorrow. I'm excited about the entire week.

    I realize that I have at minimum 90 days to get my PMO/PIED shit together. I realize on day 90 things don't just magically work. I've done this before so I realize 90 days isn't magical. That is just the reboot period. Then there is the rewire period. In all reality I'm looking at 12 months just for the reboot/rewire? How the fuck do I rewire without a woman in my life? How do I feel confident enough to have a woman in my lift until I rewire?

    And then there's money. I pay out in support and debt repayments for the failed business almost 75% of my pay. I'm making, on paper, more than I've ever made in life but I'm bringing home less than I made when I was in my 20s. And trying to be Dad. And trying to keep an expense account active. There's nothing left over for any real kind of dating. My counselor and I jousted over this a bit. His take is that a woman that has an interest in a relationship won't worry about how much money I have to bring to the table or how early on in the rebuild cycle I am. I called bullshit! Women want a man who can provide and protect. I can protect as long as it is a Zombie apocalypse but not if it requires any spending of any sort. Oh, look honey! With the last client I took out for coffee I got another free Starbucks drink. Coffee date this weekend?! UGH. I'm being a drama queen and totally negative but that is how I feel.

    I struggle so much to shake that feeling. I found my last girlfriend when I was somewhat personally powerful even if it was a facade to both me and the real world. The business was slowly failing but I flush with cash. My plumbing worked. I feel no personal power now even though what I do have is more real. When I feel weak I PMO to regain the feeling of power.
  15. What do you know if I didn't stumble into day 7.

    I didn't make it to 7 days in monk mode or at least in the mode of a monk that would be allowed to stay at the monastery. I ended up tapering more than I planned. It has been miserable. Each day I've done a little less M, some peeking at porn, some erotica .... today I had about a 10 minute window of bad before I got out of bed and moving ...

    I am now fully in flatline with no desire at all to touch or tug or peak ... things will get easier from here on out ... I know that because I've been here before ... I just need to keep reminding myself of that fact and not get concerned with the flat line ... it will pass ...

    I still have this terrible feeling I'll never have a hard on again. I think of the last real one that I had. It was almost two years ago. Ugh.

    I feel great about my day today. I worked my routine. I got a lot done. I ate right. I worked out. I feel like I've been wading in a swamp and finally found my way to dry ground.

    Day 1 on dry ground. On to day 2.
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  16. Reset. As much an attitude reset as a reset for PMO.

    Back on the anti depressants. My first reaction to them is increased anxiety. Last time I dealt with it not knowing what it was. That was a weekend last September where I quite literally had my crash and burn low point.

    Anyway I'm back on them. First day to take them was Wednesday. Thursday was my birthday. Woke up super early totally anxious. Some girl I had texted with eons ago just happened to decide to send me naughty vid clips of herself. And boom! Killer binge. Twelve hours of hell on my birthday. I didn't binge for 12 hours. I had sales calls all day. The hell was from the anxiety which was amped up because I was in that binging vortex. Ended up having my last sales call end early. Found an out of the way parking lot and took a 45 minute power nap. Woke up solid.

    Had a smaller repeat performance on Saturday. Had client work to do and was productive at about 25%.

    Yesterday was good. Was busy managing a wrestling tournament. No temptation. No issues at all.

    We got bombed with snow so we are working from home today. Woke up and started to walk down Saturday's path. I am .. I started the day in the wrong state of mind .... the reset was tripped on Thursday ... but the logical time for it is just now as even though yesterday was clean I started down the wrong path this morning.

    I'm doing better now.
  17. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Hey Gandalf, just started reading your journal and wanted to say congratulations for making it through so many storms. I think a guy who could go through all that and not give up but keep on trying to be a better man is someone very admirable. Your sons are fortunate to have you for an example.
  18. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    It is a big one starting the day with the wrong state of mind. Get out of bed, flick open the screen of the computer, check the news app on my iphone while having a crap, what happened in the sporting events all over the world... What has Trump done today... What a fucked way of starting the day, but that's what I do most of the time. Distraction straight away. Covering up the anxiety of the workday ahead?
    Last year I forced myself to start the day doing 5bx exercises, did it for a couple of months, and they were good months! I was relaxed, I felt in charge of my destiny... Then my knee blew up, still gotta go for a scan, and the good routine went out the window.
    I will pick it up again.

    Be well brother.
  19. OK, sleep last night. Woke up on a good note. Actually I feel this is the best 24 hour period I've had since I recommitted to this thing.

    We are in the midst of wrestling season. I have a match to watch or tournament to coach between my son and the team I run everyday from tonight until Monday.

    Good thing is time is going to fly. And I am at my best when I'm positively busy. It is the downtime that provides the ingredients for slippage and failure.

    Bad thing is that I need to find some time to reflect. Focusing on no PMO is focusing on the effect; I feel extremely needy, lonely, depressed. I have little energy to fuel my ambition. I feel stuck in life. Some of it is the depression. Some of it is outlook. I need some time to gather myself.

    In a nutshell this is how this all feels:

    I know I am acting out because I'm so lonely. But my loneliness is fed by a raging neediness. I don't feel worthy of the kind of woman I want. To fill myself up, even temporarily, is to make bad decisions. I need to get back to a point I feel good about myself.

    This last 24 hours is a start.

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