Back from death, I need another round of work

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

  1. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you feel so lonely, and I can identify with that. Even though I have a wife and children and a lot of shallow acquaintances, I don't have any really close friends. Online satisfies that somewhat but I still feel lonely even surrounded by people who love or like me.

    It's really good that you can identify that loneliness is fueling PMO for you, and neediness is fueling loneliness, and unworthiness is fueling neediness. So you're tracing it back to its source. So what fuels the sense of unworthiness? Can you go back to the original source and work through that? Something from childhood, maybe.

    Keep at it, you're getting down to the source of the problem. That means success is within reach, maybe more so than ever before.
     
  2. Checking in.

    Like 84% clean. Not quite in flatline. Not quite in monk mode. Maybe that's 88%? or 79%. Doesn't matter. It isn't all clean.

    Reset as of yesterday. I can not seem to completely shut thoughts of sex out of my brain. Touch too often when thinking about sex or stressed. I'm usually always thinking about sex or stressed.

    Porn is dead. Erotica sites are dead. Personal sites are deadish. They creep back in now and again while the others don't.

    Scared I'll never have a real hard on again.
    Scared I'll never have a relationship again because I'll never have a real hard on again.
    Lonely.
    Yet not so lonely that I feel compelled to completely walk away from touching myself when I think about sex or I'm stressed.

    In all honesty I am enjoying my freedom and don't want to have to be in a situation where I have to compromise.

    Am I self sabotaging?

    If I MO enough to keep the recovery from really kicking in and then my performance blocks me mentally am I doing this to myself on purpose? I really don't know.

    Back in the gym. Couldn't get the motivation. Finally this week I started going again. Always gone late in the evening. Last two nights Alicia and her new dude have been there. Thrilled. Last night I squatted my way through it. Tonight we parked at the same time. Cringe. I sat in the car and thought about going home. And then I thought "no, it is my fucking gym!" On some level when I see her it is like seeing someone I've never known. I've moved on from her. But not from missing what was.

    This latest bout of depression has been a weight gainer's paradise. I don't feel attractive. I realize I'm in this space where I'm lonely but I feel bad about myself so I have little confidence interacting with women which makes me more lonely which ... and the cycle perpetuates itself. Bumped into my Rugby coach a week ago. I'm going to play this Spring so that switches the motivation to go to the gym. And gives me a non-relationship reason to get myself fit.

    Got promoted. I'm now in charge of our unit where before I was co-head. That was stressful because he didn't get it. Was terrible to employees on the team. Now I have the tools to end the conflicts (no fighting just lots and lots of wasted time in BS meetings and less than expected performance because of it). I have a 5 month plan and if we hit our numbers a raise will come with it. I have the tools, the power, a clear objective. That all feels good.

    GtG
     
  3. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    I know it doesn't feel good right now, but honestly, as a stranger glimpsing in on what you're doing, it looks to me like it's going great. PMO is at a pretty significant stage of recovery, your plans to play rugby are good for physical and social health. And you're obviously killing it at work, being promoted. That is a clear objective piece of feedback from people who know you that you are a competent, capable leader.

    Loneliness is such an uncomfortable emotion. I'm sorry you are having to go through that right now. But uncomfortable emotions can also be motivators to change, right? If you weren't lonely you might settle down into life alone. But this is going to prod you along to overcome fears and inertia and form a new relationship when the time is right.

    Even knowing that intellectually doesn't make it easier to go through though. Imagine now I am sending you your choice of a handshake, high-five, fistbump, or hug or any combination thereof that makes you feel good and not weirded out. Keep posting, I want to hear how all this turns out for you over the weeks and months ahead.
     
  4. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    Thanks for checking in GtG. (-:
    Here a few of your quotes. They stood out for me so I put them together...

     
  5. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Self sabotage and addiction are one in the same.
     
    Squire likes this.
  6. Another check in. Streaks are getting longer. I'm becoming more aware of how often my mind turns to sex, thinks about PMO'ing even when I'm not doing it. And I'm having night time -- but not morning -- wood. Last night I woke up to it. I know I'm cursed with PIED but it is a relief to know that the damn plumbing system works. I have sleeping pills which I don't usually take. Took one last night because I've been home sick in bed for 2 days and knew I would sleep without it. A few other nights I've had great sleep I've woken up to great wood. I'm thinking that totally relaxed things work. PIED and all the brain shenanigans that cause it is the definition of not being relaxed. I've had ED issues even early on in life that were caused by stress. My issue isn't all porn. But it is a relief to know that it isn't a physical issue.

    My depression is worse with the low light in Winter. Can sense the days getting a little longer. Feel like I'm slowly making progress.

    I keep thinking that last year was last year but my real fight was in '16. Last year was a wash, a waste. After a rushed fix in '16 last year was a slow descent. I'm now making a slow climb, a real fix I hope in the end.
     
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  7. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    I feel like I am in a slow descent sometimes. I am not looking after myself as well as I did last year. No PMO nor MO as the memory of the self loathing is too strong for me. But time for me to join you in the slow climb.

    I understand your relief at knowing the plumbing is working, it was big relief for me too. Men and their cocks, lol, so frickin true.

    :)
     
  8. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    The low light of winter, my nemesis too.
     
    Squire likes this.
  9. Been 3 weeks since I've been here. Been a dark 3 weeks.

    Threw myself 120% into work. Department hit record numbers. I hit a wall.

    I've caught myself. Performing above goal AND taking care of myself. But not before visiting several abysses. Porn, drink, work.

    Realized I was getting all wobbly trying to be superhuman. Then met a girl (uh oh).

    Younger. Swear she's here on a time travel from the 60s. Been out a couple of times. She's from Hawaii visiting family. Actually, a significant family member is dying and she's back until that happens.

    We would never work as a couple. But she was the perfect distraction at the right time.

    No sex. Lots of playful (non sexual) talk. One sleep over. Morning wood made an appearance as part of the cuddlefest but no sex.

    Lots of lessons learned.

    I'm 95% Wall Street workaholic and 5% hippy (around here that means I'm 5% @bobjes). Serious side note ... met the girl and inside of 20 minutes of talking I couldn't get @bobjes out of my mind. Anyway I digress.
    I do not feed the hippy. Gotta feed the hippy.
    Connecting doesn't have to be about sex. I like this girl. It's never going to amount to anything. Deep conversation, cuddling, some kissing, lots of laughter are quite fulfilling. Sex proves nothing. Giggles at my jokes proves everything.
    I may or may not have sex with her. It will not define the connection. We are slowly sharing our demons. I'm going to share all of mine. Sometimes the most significant people in our lives are those that are fleeting and not permanent.

    I feel no desire to post or socially network. We don't talk all the time. But there is someone I connect with. Interesting.

    It will end. But the lessons learned will not.

    And maybe I'll get to visit Hawaii.

    GtG (RD)
     
  10. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    Sounds like it is all my fault, roflol.:D
    Happy for you mate, connections come along when the time is right...
    A word of caution though...Share from the heart but do not over-share. Women tend to like mystery in a man, oversharing is like kryptonite.
    I talk about the experience of dealing with my demons, how it was painful, how i grieved for months. I talk about addiction to the internet etc. but rarely show the demon's PMO face... It is too much for people to deal with... They cannot relate unless they are in the same boat. Hence us on here for support as we cannot get it in the general community like an alcoholic can!
    Wishing you the best time! Enjoy the rewiring which is soooo much more than the sex.
    And if you ever come across a nice woman that is too hippie feel free send her my way. ;)
    It's great to read your smile between the lines.
     
    Squire likes this.
  11. Things not perfect but improving.

    I logged on today to catch up and reset. Broke the streak several days in; just now have the courage to account for it.

    Last time out of bounds was a few days ago.

    Thoughts:

    1. @bobjes, yes, I've learned about the poison that can be oversharing. Not going to be an issue with this girl. She's back on the mainland for family reasons and heading back to Hawaii in mid-April. I've been invited to visit, but this isn't "the one". She has her own demons so we've both shared ... more and more as the trust is built ... I enjoy her but do not have feelings for her .. she's spent the night several nights and it's been quite relaxed ... she was over last night ... how do I say this ... I could have had sex if I had initiated it but I didn't initiate it. I didn't feel pressured to do anything. I didn't initiate it because I'm certain that things wouldn't have worked. But that was ok because I didn't feel like she went away disappointed. And even as I sit here typing knowing I didn't try to have sex I don't feel ashamed that I didn't or that I couldn't. Those sentences likely need an editor. Anyway I hope it makes sense.
    2. Not having sex though has put me into a mindful phase. And she's just drummed into me the need for me to relax. So yesterday was the first day this year I haven't done something for work. Today I am so relaxed it is amazing. Today has been a highly productive day. She worked last night so from 5 pm on and into today I've been cleaning the apartment, redoing my routine, planning my meals (including a 3-day detox smoothie fast that I've thought about for months but not done). Tomrrow starts a new routine with workouts in the morning, better eating, more walking and purposely more life balance.
    3. Winning at work. Two months in a row we've hit numbers. If we are on or beyond numbers by May's end I'll be promoted to Department Head (I'm the "department lead" at the moment which from a cynic's view is a bullshit "responsible for the numbers but no raise or added bells and whistles" and from which the optimists view is a positive "no one else is in a position to be promoted" .... I'm all optimist). We will hit numbers. Even if the raise is minimal it will be life changing because the ex can't touch any of it. Just a little bit will give breathing room.
    4. Went back to church today .. mostly because of my commitment to get some balance. Walked into a sermon on singles. Hate it went that happens! Don't go to church for months (I had not been since before Christmas) and the first one I go to I get my several doses of bible thinking on my porn and sexual behavior. The essential non-theological message was we play like we practice and if was going to practice by being non-committal and open to sleeping with anything that moved OR filling in with what I can find on a screen when I find "the one" I'd be non-committal, willing to sleep around and still not totally committed to staying off the screens. So I went back because that was part of my routine that had fallen down ... and I get some religion on how my routine is even more important than I give it credit. Great timing. Went away refreshed and even more committed rather than shameful.

    Going to try to do a better job of journaling here as things progress.
     
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  12. Worked out at 5 today. Ran a pretty clean day. Still not in monk mode but I'm edging closer to it.

    About to go to bed.

    Yesterdays sermon included a comment about how being single is a blessing because it allows us time to prepare for when we aren't. I didn't paraphrase that quite right, but I am slowly warming to the idea that 2018 is the year I perfect being me with me and not worrying about having anyone else in my life. Hard as fuck for me to grasp. But if I can get there mentally everything else will fall into place.

    GtG
     
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  13. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    My mind went "wooaw" reading this. And a bit of a "phew" too. The words "Yes!" and "finally" popped up too!:)
    Huge change brother.

    May the force be with you. ;)
     
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  14. @bobjes, is "wooaw" Aboriginal? I'm not familiar with that exact word!

    One of my biggest struggles is that I often feel the shame of being a fraud.

    I am an executive at the top of my profession. I am much more active athletically than others my age. I play Rugby. I backpack. I lift heavy things. I have a lot of friends. And so on.

    I am an executive at the top of my profession who doesn't own a couch, brings home in cash about 40% of my pay because right now most of it goes other places. I often can't eat from a street food truck let alone a fancy restaurant. More often than not my date choices are freebies. I feel cheap and fraudulent. I am more active but I'm not fit, I'm fit - fat. I'm not consistent in my working out. I play 2 Rugby games a year because at my age it just fucking hurts. I feel fraudulent. I backpack maybe twice a year. I feel fraudulent. I lift heavy things but not nearly as heavy as I used to lift. I feel fake. I have a lot of acquaintances but no real deep steady friendship, male or female. I feel fraudulent and alone. And so on.

    And add the PIED in to it and the whole fake, fraudulent feeling just magnifies. Sometimes even when I'm on top of the world with everything going my way inside I feel empty because it doesn't feel real. Every single positive in my life I find a connecting negative. And I feel fake and empty and alone.

    PMO sure makes the feelings of fraud go away. And loneliness. And the emptiness.

    And that folks is it.

    Even as I type this out I feel the tug to PMO. But I know that while the emptiness will fill up as soon as I'm done it will come back and be dripping with shame. So that isn't a choice I am going to make today. Or if I get my shit together any day.

    A ways back on this journey I did some work on the "authentic" me.

    I don't think or feel like I finished that work.

    I got to this after 7,452 failed online "connections", realizing that I've got to put the chase up on the shelf because I have to be me to attract her. And I'm not feeling like I'm really me.

    I'm not going to define me today ... but I have started living like me ... I'm on day 4 of my workout / move everyday objective because athletes move they don't talk about moving ... I'm on week 1 of my return to church because Christians don't profess to believe but then not act on their beliefs ... and so on.

    I feel like I have some things on my list that are too lofty ... I AM a backpacker ... and I get out twice a year on big trips that are bucket list adventures NOT just small trips ... my skills are fairly high level ... why isn't that enough to feel ok about that part of me? Would I feel different if it was 4 trips? Can I do 4 trips? 3? 22? Or is two trips just right given schedule, responsibilities and other activities? and if it just right then why am I not ok with that? And why when I meet another outdoors person and I lay down Alaska, Rockies, UP, etc and they lay down car camping, back yard camping and maybe their longest trip is an 8 mile 2-day backpacker, I feel fake?

    I realize that is a shallow one. But it is a great example of my pattern.

    I'll be in a social setting meet someone and share me .... and then come home and feel the shame of being fake even if I have been 100% honest. It is such a drain.

    And I use PMO to fill back up.

    This next week I'm going to spend my energy on figuring this out.
     
  15. Shitty 18 hours. It’s like naming the authenticity issue poked the bear a little bit. Actually, as I think about it it’s really been a bad 36 hours. And it started positive. Had a long day of driving which I enjoy because it gives me quiet time behind the wind shield.

    Came into work yesterday behind because I spent so much time on the road. Never got settled in. My son like himself out so I had to leave early. For some reason it made sense to have a drink at 3:30 in the afternoon. One turned into three in a nap. Then I switch drugs and started eating like The cookie monster.

    Went to bed unsettled. Woke up this morning and broke my streak.

    Bummed out. Sad.
     
  16. I lived for nearly 20 years with a woman I did not like.

    I was in a relationship for just under 3 years with a woman that fit me in nearly every way. She walked. She walked in part because she wasn't loyal. She walked in part because I wasn't totally healthy. She gave me a glimpse of what life could be with a woman that fits me.

    So I know good and I know bad.

    At some level I should know that women that don't fit are not the women I should chase. I should know that women on screen -- from porn to personals to stories -- are among the bad. I should know that if I found one that fit me there are others. I should know that it is ok to live as a monk until "she" crosses my life. I should .... but don't.

    So I end up wasting time chasing women that don't fit the template for good. Screen girls.

    That chase is my cross. I do not look at porn anymore. I am a regular on dating apps and erotica sites. I'm like the alcoholic that drinks low ABV beer. I tell myself its ok but its not. So I signup, swipe right, maybe connect and converse, maybe not, get disgusted, kill the account ... go a few days ... signup ...

    If living authentically is my objective then the first major roadblock is to turn the dating apps off for good.

    Actually ... just hit 3 apps on the phone and one site ... done. I was about to type a moaning dialogue about how I can't quit the sites and decided "bullshit! I sure as hell can". And did.

    So one step closer. Trick is to stay off of them.

    It is 330 in the morning. I couldn't sleep this was bugging me so much.

    Dealt with it.

    On to authenticity.
     
  17. OK. So dealing with it didn't put me to sleep. Still up.

    Reading and thinking on authenticity.

    “To be authentic, we must cultivate the courage to be imperfect — and vulnerable. We have to believe that we are fundamentally worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are. I’ve learned that there is no better way to invite more grace, gratitude and joy into our lives than by mindfully practicing authenticity.”— Brené Brown

    I've got a Brene' Brown thing. Love her stuff on relationships and vulnerability. An article with that quote popped up in my googling about authenticty. I'm safely online reading about that.

    So I've read that authentic is defined as:

    “not false or copied; genuine; real.” And, my favorite definition, “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.”

    Interesting. I'm an addict. Kind of a mind fuck to think about it like this but ... if I am being authentic do I just live as an addict and be ok with it? No. Of course not. But some of this crunchy granola "find yourself" self help crap is exactly that. Live as you are! I don't want to live as I am. I want to live as I want to be! I want to have the conviction and the self discipline to be who I am and not the addict that is hiding me.

    Sigh.

    I think I've covered some of this ground before. I am going to have to dive into Rugger's writings to see if I can find it.
     
  18. Dove into Rugger's world. My world.

    Changing journals didn't change much.

    Read this from Rugger's journal: "There is a dark lonliness I need to cross before I can welcome a woman in my life. I need to get me together. But I have to do that alone. With just Sully and not my hand or my fantasies. I have been living ok but I've not been living the life I desire because I've put off the desert I know I have to cross to get to at least a place to start."

    That was August '17. I've been struggling with this exact thing since Alicia left, if not before.

    Who the fuck am I really? Its not the perfect man I want to project. And it isn't the fallen man I am. It is someone in between.

    I was talking then about going to Rugby practice on Tuesday. I didn't go. I'm planning on going to Rugby practice on Tuesday. I'm at the same spot in my life.

    This next Tuesday I'm going to really go.

    Logging out. Going to sit and think.
     
  19. My fascination on "routine" is both self help and crutch. What I think I really mean is that you are what you do .... and how I live is different than who I want to be ... so I talk about routine as a crutch. No time in the routine for dating apps. If I live the routine I'm healthy. Right? No. Because I'm still empty. And then at some point I break the routine to PMO to dating sites to "fill up". Routine that presents me as a facade isn't going to fill me up and ease the emptiness. Neither is PMO.
     
  20. It is 4:46 am. My alarm is set for 5. I am now ready to go back to bed. Rats!

    I'm going to reset the alarm for 530, get a little bit of rest and then get up and take on the world.

    Today will be a different day.

    No dating apps.
    No drinking.
    Intense workout.
    Hard productive day at work.
    No online interactions with women.
    Monk mode.

    I've come to the realization that I need to follow @bobjes's lead. No, I am not going to work in the bush with the Aborigines ... but I need to just set my sexuality on the shelf for a long time.

    I have a cycle that I need to break. I have been stuck trying to break the dating apps as my porn cycle for over a year. Yes, that needs to be broken. But even more so I have a macro cycle where I ignore my needs and eventually feel emotionally empty and act out to "fill up". I need to identify and live healty ways that keep me full. That means taking some risks that I'm scared to take. Like actually going back to Rugby practice rather than just showing up for a pick up game here and there. It means actually getting involved in some of the outreach work of my church rather than just going intermittently. It means balancing my check book instead of living in financial chaos because I kind of enjoy the buzz of the risk.

    I know who I want to be.
    I know what I need to do.
    I need to have the emotion strength to do it.

    Rugger
     
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