Being satisfied with what I already have

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Gil79, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Yesterday I kept feeling down for quite a while, but later in the afternoon I started feeling better. Later in the evening I went to a social event in the village and met some really nice people. This morning I felt a bit off again. Social events always need some time for me to settle and I think I was also still a bit affected from what happened during the meeting last week. Despite that I felt calm and patient. I don't need to do anything with those situations, just let it settle by itself. Also feeling a bit of general anxiety now I think of it. Maybe I should do some meditation later.

    For the upcoming week I want to focus on staying calm and patient, also with myself. Got some busy work days ahead of me but then on Thursday my holidays already start and we go visit my in-laws. Looking forward to that.

    No real updates on the addiction front I think. Yesterday I felt like fantasizing a bit, but somehow the barrier to do so was really high. That was quite an interesting experience. Maybe this means that my hypofrontality starts decreasing now
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Two days ago, while making breakfast, I suddenly felt sad. There was no reason for it, it just descended upon me. Later in the day I felt super pissed off while doing some house work. I thought "why am I so cranky?" I couldn't discover any reason. An hour later I felt depressed, like I couldn't get up off the couch. The thought crossed my mind that I might have a brain tumor. lol Where do these emotions suddenly come from? Is it past trauma? Is it living a life that doesn't suit us or is it simply we are men who pay too much attention to our feelings? I think a lot of it is the latter. Just like we can check our dicks to make sure they are working, we can also do the same thing with our emotions. Hyper-sexual people can, I think, feel hyper-emotional. I'm explaining this clumsily, because I'm basically making it up as I type. lol But, to me, there is an element of truth to what I'm writing. This why I focus less and less on how I feel at any given moment and more and more what the task is at hand.
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  3. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    This is very insightful. There are so many potential "reasons" for feeling the way we do at any given moment, dwelling on either the feelings or the reasons for them is usually a waste of time and energy. Because, as you and Gil say, they don't last. It's just how our brains operate. Getting off our asses and moving around, or if we're focused on a more cerebral task, just staying focused that, is key. I'm saying this as someone who is always ruminating about my past actions (what I may have said to someone that may have had an undesired effect, etc.) Ugh. Yeah, maybe it has something to do with being "hyper-sexual", and therefore hyper-emotional. If that's our lot in life, then we just need to acknowledge that and deal with it.
  4. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Well done Gil79! I’m sorry for the not so pleasant imagery I used, but sometimes it’s needed, isn’t it? ;-)

    Great to hear about the positive time with wife. This doesn’t sound like an addict, but a person living at present a natural and healthy life. May you be able to keep it up!

    You mentioned frequently the problems with socialising and you seem to have a hard time to let go of the incident during a meeting. Not sure if it can interest you (presumably not) but there is a book out there called ‘Quiet’ - it’s all white on the cover and the title ‘quite’ is also in white but is one of those raised titles. The author argues that we live in a society where those who are ‘good’ at socialising, those who are are loud and very confident, seem to be regarded as healthy and functioning beings and yet, according to her studies, most geniuses, famous inventors and thinkers, known poets and writers and so on were all introverted people who struggled with the idea of socialising and kept away from people as much as possible. If I remember correctly, she argues that both groups of people are needed and that based on her interesting data it would be wrong to assume that the ‘quiet’ people are the ‘odd’ ones - in fact she says quite the opposite! You just sound like a rather reflective person who is not too comfortable around other people and from what I am hearing so far, I would assume that you belong to the category of the quiet people. Just wonder if the book could be a confidence booster for you! Sometimes we just want to be able to socialise like others are able to but the author says that some of us are not intended or meant to be like that because of a very different temperament.

    I am just mentioning the book in case you ever come across it, if you haven’t already.
    Gil79 likes this.
  5. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I am not feeling so good: irritable and anxious. Also an overwhelming feeling of 'not being good enough'. I had an online meeting this morning, which was really a great pleasure: I met new people I am going to work with, very interesting project, really nice interaction. But now I am afraid of even opening my work mailbox. Looking up to all the things I have to do. Anxious for what tasks lay ahead of me. This is all highly irrational and the only thing I can think of is that these overwhelming feelings are part of my current reboot. And it makes so much sense: some nerve cells really start starving and disappearing now while others start growing and making new connections. There's a big change going on and things will be unstable for a while.

    On the positive side, I feel calm and with more space between stimulus and action. I can clearly see, with more distance, how I use fantasy and porn to 'not feel' certain things. The thoughts and images just cover all that 'uncomfortable' energy and even numb it. But in the process also the positive counterpart of those feelings and the functions that those feelings have are numbed out. Slowly the color is coming is coming back right now, but all that color is also overwhelming and just uncomfortable. But I should also not see it as more than that: 'uncomfortable'. It is not going to kill me or affect me in any way. As @Saville en @Mozenjo are saying it is quite useless to dwell on those feelings. They are just a byproduct of whatever is going on. The only useful thing I can do with them is to keep doing what I am supposed to do that is congruent with my mission in life, with what gives meaning to my life.

    Yes, I think so. Feelings are often a byproduct of thought, so it is better to break the cycle and not feed the system even more with more thoughts about it

    And I also do think that when we have really dealt with our addiction ,things are really a lot calmer. I have always been a quite nervous and impatient person, but at some point in 2019 (at least pre-covid) I think I managed to abstain from porn for almost 4 months. At a certain moment my wife and I were in a huge line of people waiting for a long time to get into an amusement park with our son and my wife was really stunned with how calm and patient I was, while she was getting quite annoyed. She had never seen me like that before. I really want to go back to that state of mind

    Thanks @rabotaz, I am indeed a more introverted person. You'll never see me at a soccer game or huge party going all wild, haha. And actually the last couple of years i really started accepting that from myself and daring to be myself. This week i have noticed that actually I am a very social person. I am genuinely interested in others and I like the interaction, but yes, it really depends on the kind of setting. One part of it is that I am quite sensitive and easily overstimulated by my inner- and outer world. But knowing myself in this really helps a lot. The book you recommend sounds very interesting. I am going to check it out, it seems like an nice read for the christmas holidays
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  6. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Even though you don’t feel too good right now, it sounds like you are generally on the right track and you clearly know where you want to get!

    Well done!

    I forgot to say last time (when you managed to not give in to the temptations) that your victory is a victory for all of us! It’s probably a cliché phrase used many times on this forum, but it is true: if I see someone conquering heavy temptations, it will serve as an encouragement to me too and therefore becomes my victory too. Conversely I do also think that if I relapse, I do give out the wrong example. Sounds like pressure but it is a good pressure as it is encouraging us on!

    Also, you seem to have very good insight as to why of particular fantasies. Hope that the knowledge you have will help you find ways to conquer those fantasies fully.
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  7. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    The intense feelings of yesterday persisted until this morning. Last night I had an urge to fantasize. I think that this urge was not really that sexual, but really more a need to 'turn off' those feelings. This morning still very anxious and insecure. But I went to the office and had a really great day. Good interactions, with a lot of humor, met 2 great colleagues from another department and had drinks with some colleagues of my own department in the afternoon. Also a good chat with my boss. Now I am in the train back home and I feel normal again. Calm might be a better word. That intense energy has dissipated.

    I am fantasy and porn free for about 5 weeks now and besides the withdrawal effects I also notice some benefits already. One of the main experiences is that the interaction with others is greatly improved. I like the company of others better, I don't feel I have to hide away (or something from myself) anymore, I smile more, i look people longer in the eyes and I am more spontaneous. Believe it or not, but in these 5 weeks I have been invited to a wine tasting and to a birthday party by guys I hardly knew before. These things do normally not happen to me. Also the interaction with my wife is better. We become more polar in our interaction: more man vs. woman instead of just parents or partners. I can enjoy my wife more: how she looks, what she has to say.
    Cognitively I am also better. I notice that in conversations, but also in my work. 2 weeks ago I had to finish a report and eventhough I had fever of covid, I just kept on typing for a couple of hours in the evening and early morning to meet a deadline and my colleague was impressed with the results. I was just wondering where all that inspiration came from, but I guess that's just normal brain function, but porn normally slows down the machine.
    A more physical effect is that the red rims on my eyelids disappeared. I have noticed this before during reboot. Also my face just has more color in general.
    Lastly (for now) is that I experience things more intensely. With the negative emotions that was quite tough-going, but the way I experience things in general, how I appreciate little things, how I appreciate the kids, activity, food, just sitting and being there, all of that is also more intense and colorful.

    At the moment I feel it is totally worth it to continue this journey. I must make a good plan to make this happen. I will work on that in the upcoming days. Most important is that I stay proactive, especially for dealing well with situations that trigger me (not avoiding them, but confronting them and act differently).

    Thanks @rabotaz. I agree that we need to keep inspiring eachother. You did that recently by showing your resilience and perseverance a couple of days ago. I hope to do that by keeping the momentum in these early stages of my journey and I am grateful to people like @Saville and @Mad Dog who are physically recovered but still willing to share their experiences, advice and difficulties here on YBR
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  8. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Crazy intense moodswings again today. Everything came by: happiness or even euforia, sadness, sorrow, anxiety and now at the end of the day I am really angry and irritable. So intense this. Thoughts pop up that a bit of fantasy MO here and there to cope with these things is not that bad. That is no option for me though
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  9. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    This happens to me when it's been weeks since a relapse. The feelings and emotions, whether positive or negative, are stronger without the dulling of PMO. I found that the negative feelings don't last very long. I think these mood swings are a great sign of our brains rebalancing
  10. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    The last 2 days have been way better. Had a long trip with wife and kids for a family visit. The day before, my wife and I snapped a bit at eachother (bit of stress on both sides), but otherwise everything went really well. We worked as a team and I was really calm, patient and focused. This also reflected well on the kids. This is the kind of father I like to be (instead of that nervous guy that gets so easily anxious and irritated and needs to fantasize and fap his tensions away - creating even more tension).

    Now for 2 weeks in Southern Europe. I am going to focus on having a good time with the family spending quality time with wofe and kids, intimacy with my wife, running, breathing exercises and being out in nature.

    Thanks @realness, it is good to hear that all of that is part of rebalancing (I also see it like that) and that it shows that this effort is worth it.
  11. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I have the feeling that I have largely passed the withdrawal phase. I feel more balanced now and it feels that I am better able to process information. My long-term memory is improving and my dreams are more vivid. I think that taking away porn really allows your brain to work on a deeper level again.

    I have to be careful for specific triggers though. At the moment particularly the christmas lunch and dinners with the accompanying alcohol. They are kind of dopamine feasts and I should be careful to not let that escalate to the use of fantasies and worse. Anyway I will only use alcohol in moderation. Antother trigger may be the anxiety in the days before we start traveling back in the new year.

    I feel that I have to give this second phase of recovery a specific meaning and aim and decided to describe a value every day. I will just see what comes up every day. The reason I choose for this is that it can give direction to my journey without having to focus on the things that I try to move away from.

    Value 1: Nature

    I have always felt attracted to nature. The first years of my life I grew up on the border of an agricultural area and an marsh area with beautiful lakes. I remember as a little boy feeling powerful and energized by the wond blowing from the lakes. It felt very magical. Throughout my life I have always been going back to nature, especially when I felt lonely or anxious, and I have been in beautiful places: mountains, deserts, (rain)forest, ocean, beaches and dunes. I am grateful to have had the chance to visit those places. When I am in nature or exposed to the elements I feel connected to myself and life in general. I get inspiration in nature, become creative and make beautiful long term plans. Nature makes me feel balanced. It has all the amswers for me and is for me connected to physical and mental health. Nature definitely gives meaning to my life and I want to put effort in staying connected to nature. This is also what I want to convey to my children. Recently we decided to stay where we live in a more rural area close to the sea (instead of moving to a city). This was a great choice that came naturally, I think from a deep desire to stay connected to nature.
  12. Dr. Jekyll

    Dr. Jekyll Member

    I also think nature has good healing effects. For those people who at the beginning really struggle to abstain from porn or have continuous strong porn cravings, spending a lot of time in the nature, away from screens and the digital world, can be really helpful.
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  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I second Jekyll's remarks.

    You made some great strides!
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  14. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Value 2: Challenge

    I really believe that without a goal in life we are just vegetating and desintegrating. We need something at the horizon to reach for and and it should not be easily reached. We need a challenge, a mission, only then we thrive. It is this challenge, or these challenges that give life meaning. Challenges are part of life and part of our nature.

    At the moment I have several challenges going on that came to be sponteneously:

    Fatherhood: it is my challenge to be the best father I can be and be aware of the needs of my children

    Career: I want to keep developing in my career, which means that I have to keep stepping out of my comfort zone, be disciplined in getting the work done in the best way I can, be open to learn new things and take my chances on new opportunities, eventhough they might be scary.

    Friends and social life: I am (finally) slowly making some more friends and building my social network. I want to maintain this and further expand this, but that means that I have to keep putting effort, eventhough it feels easier and safer to stay in my comfort zone and spend most time with my family or alone.

    Our own house: for many years I, and later me and my wife, have been renting a house. Our finances and just the practical situation have just never been good to take a step to buy a house. Things are slowly moving in the right direction though and with a good strategy I think we will be able to really get what we want on that front and get the kind of place I have dreamed off for whole my life. A solid family house with a large garden in a beautiful area.

    But as I said, these and other challenges came to be naturally, by dreaming about what I want I guess. But I feel I also need a challenge really for myself, for my mind and body. A physical challenge in which I can really get the best out of myself, reach a clear goal and enjoy the path towards reaching that goal. So I have decided to start training for a marathon in June 2023 and a 60km run in March 2024. I have always enjoyed running, and I am running once or twice a week now. I haven't done long distances for a while now, but have always liked that and now with the kids a bit older that is also manageable again timewise. I am really excited about this.
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  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I agree with you, but always make space for yourself.

    I'm probably coming from this at a different angle than you. I think the job I did was useless. What I worked at contributed nothing to society, it was just more busy work by busy people. I wasn't brave enough to ditch the job, tell my wife to shut up, and make the kids aware they would have to sacrifice something in order to create lives that are interesting and worthy. I opted for safety. I made quite a bit of money but the cost to me personally was huge. You may be talking about something completely different, but putting my two cents worth in. :)

    Friendship takes effort. I have two, possibly three, good friends. The rest of the people I know I really don't care if I ever see them again. I like them, but they don't ignite any fire within me. In fact, I would say most of my relationships cost me energy. Most people are energy vampires and all they know how to do is suck...and they do suck! lol

    This sounds awesome!
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  16. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I went for a run in the mountains this morning. I decided to do a 12 km run After 3km or so uphill I was thinking that I'd better go back, otherwise I would feel so tired tomorrow. Then I thought 'no I am not training my body here, I do all of this to train my mind'. So I continued. When I was at the top of a mountain at 800m or so (started at 300m) I had the most beautiful view over the woods with in the back the Mediterrenean Sea. I greeted some people there, also runners and cyclists and felt connected. To them, to myself and to the beautiful place I was. I continued, running on the mountain ridge and then downhill over a beautiful trail. There I was just all alone and I felt really powerful. Then another hill and then back home. I ran the route I planned to in 90 minutes. Now my body is exhausted, but this was really a great victory for me.

    Yes, that is something I have not been doing enough in the last couple of years. That was also okay for a while, but now it is indeed important again to feel like an individual and do things on my own and for myself. I guess that that is necessary as wel to be able to be a good father.

    I do like my current job. It took a while to find something that really suits me (changed jobs twice in the last year), but I am on my place here. I do have the feeling that in maybe 10 years or so I would want something completely different, but for now it is a piece of a puzzle that fits perfectly in my life.
    Haha, I know what you mean. I guess that is why I also find it difficult to start new friendships. I am also more the kind of person to have few trusted friends raher than a large circle of superficial friends. But since I moved to where I live now I have just not been able to develop something like that. I feel more hopeful about that now.

    Thanks @Saville for your post. I really appreciate it
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  17. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Very lively dreams the last couple of nights. Especially last night I had 6 dreams or so, waking up after each of them, after every sleep cycle I think. But it didn't feel bad. It felt more like my brain was doing some necessary tasks, maybe even part of my recovery. I feel balanced and rested now.
    Saville likes this.
  18. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Value 3: Connectedness

    When I watch porn I am strongly connected to my laptop or phone. I feed the images to my brain to squeeze out as much dopine as possible. I am hardly aware of anything and besides clicking on the mouse and jerking off, I am hardly able to do anything else. It is almost like a physical connection whereby I stick a plug directly in my head.

    During the act I completely loose the connection to myself. There may be a tiny voice in the shrunken forebrain saying that I am hurting myself by doing that, but I am not listening because the voice of the images on my screen are way stronger. There may be a feeling of disappointment and sadness deep down in my belly, but I just turn the dopamine tap a bit further open with some newer images, so I don't feel it.

    Another voice in my head tells me that I could be in bed with my wife. Having sex, talking, cuddling, being intimate, or just being together, feeling eachothers warmth and presence. Witnessing the bond we have together, living life together, being aware of our shared mission of raising our kids together.

    And that is just during the act itself, but also 'in between' sessions, even when there's 2 weeks in between, the connection with porn is very strong and the connection with myself and others is strongly reduced. In those periods I am occupied with fantasies, occupied with my next high, eventhough I tell myself I am not using and I am already clean for a week. I am irritable, which creates distance with my wife, kids and others. I am afraid of looking people in the eyes, I am avoiding contact and intimacy. My sensitized brain is just really interested in one thing and all the other things and interests that are so human just can't compete with that. My brain is under stress in these periods.

    Porn just hijacks your brain and takes you out of life, even when you think you function well. Porn cuts your connectedness with yourself, with your human functions, with the people you love and with your fellow human beings. At this moment, having a bit more distance from porn again, I am strongly confronted with that.

    Porn and connectedness are opposites. When you take out porn this connectedness increases. You become part again of the network of life. At the same time, the best way to beat porn is to become connected (again). You need to invest in the relations and intmiacy with your partner, you need to invest in quality time with your kids, you need to make friends, you need to find that partner. That is what you need to beat porn.

    I am early in recovery. The progress I made in previous attempts is completely undone, so I am going through the process of revovery again. But I really want to beat this for good now. I want to heal and then continue with my life and focus on my goals and challenges, develop myself on so many fronts, be there for my children, help them reach their goals.

    The most valuable and beautiful result of quitting porn is that I feel (and am) more connected to people, especially my wife, kids and family. Besides, a key strategy to stay away from porn is to stay connected to them. I must keep feeling their warmth, so that I don't need to burn myself on fantasy and porn.

    But I feel that the connectedness is even more than that. It is on how I interact with people in general. With people I just cross for seconds and where I can be a positive influence in life rather than a negative. You can ruin someones day by yelling at them in traffic or you can make someone's day by doing something nice for them. I want to be that second person. I want to be of positive influence in the life's of people I know, I want to be a good friend, I want to play a role in society, join others and be connected. So yeah, my 3rd value here is connectedness.

    If you read all of this, than thanks a lot. It has become a bit of a ramble in not al to good English. But this is helping me to get hold of something now that I have burned down my old 'safe place'.

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  19. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Gil. A lot of great insights to absorb! and great work to articulate. Especially in a second language! Keep up the great work! Inspires us all!
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  20. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You're climbing the mountain. Your pack is 80lbs, your legs are heavy and weary. The sun is too hot or it's cold and rainy. It would be easier, we think sometimes, to just sit down by a big rock and be okay with a lesser view. You're making great choices now. You are embracing your manhood. Keep walking, my friend.
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