Caoimhín's Way

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Caoimhín, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. nofapado

    nofapado Guest

    One of my long term goal is to reconcile myself with my past. , not forgetting my past but to look at it without bitterness, to be able to look forward in a happy and motivate way.

    Now that I have a little time sober I'm not bitter about the PMO days. I don't ever want to go back there. But I learned a lot about addiction, the brain, human frailty, sexuality, greed, manipulation, and fraud. And now I am learning a lot about redemption, recovery, goodness, kindness, emotions, the brain, sexuality and love.
  2. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    I've been reading "The Pocket Thomas Merton" that I found at a flee market.

    First entry, ironically:

    If we take our vulnerable shell to be our true identity, if we think our mask is our true face, we will protect it with fabrications even at the cost of violating our own truth. This seems to be the collective endeavour of society: the more busily men dedicate themselves to it, the more certainly it becomes a collective illusion, until in the end we have the enormous, obsessive, uncontrollable dynamic of fabrications designed to protect mere fictitious identities -- "selves," that is to say, regarded as objects. Selves that can stand back and see themselves having fun (an illusion which reassures them that they are real).
  3. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Now that I have a little time sober I'm not bitter about the PMO days. I don't ever want to go back there. But I learned a lot about addiction, the brain, human frailty, sexuality, greed, manipulation, and fraud. And now I am learning a lot about redemption, recovery, goodness, kindness, emotions, the brain, sexuality and love.

    To be honest, I feel a bit bitter about the choices that I've made in the past. Maybe I'm too close to it yet. It is good to read what you've written Nofapado, because I am beginning to see that this is the message that I need to keep on repeating to myself in order to rewire my brain and not continuously return into the horrible cycle of feeling bad about myself.

    Today, I have done 2 things that make me feel good about myself.
    1. I had a conversation with a (female) co-worker and good friend. (I actually, briefly dated her years ago and am attracted to her, but that is not the story). She suddenly started to open up to me and talk about something she has been struggling with at work. I thought that I won't do my usual thing with women and immediately take charge, solve, fix, etc. but just tried to listen. But really listen. I tried to quiet my internal voice which is usally going on like musak and focus on what she was saying. At the end, she thanked me for the chat. It felt good to achieve the steadying of my internal voice and to actually, actively connect with a person. Real people, real connections! Alleluia!
    2. I set to work in the kitchen, listening to my favourite footy podcast, and prepared a great healthy meal. Feeling good about myself means also taking care of my body: eating well, exercise.

    We are also having a great storm here, with over 100 mm of rain forecast and winds gusting up to 120. The house is rocking.

    Thanks for the great comments above from Libertad and Nofapado!
  4. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Ain't it the truth?

    Attached Files:

  5. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

  6. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    On paper, today has been a good day. Even more, this week has been a good week. No PMO. Nor any real urges. I've been making a point of turning towards social occasions as opposed to turning away from them. I've been trying to be mindful of the good periods of life and try and reprogramme my overly depressive brain. I've continued to work away at all of those little jobs that my past obsession with P and wasting time has left me surrounded by a sea of unfinished chaos. On paper.

    In my head, I am feeling down. I guess that I am feeling alot what I have read on the forums about guys being a bit lost in between the excitement of starting to reboot and the doldrums of being somewhere in between my goal. Other things could be playing in, such as the fact that most of my work out opportunities in the last 2 weeks have either been cancelled, postponed, or missed. I have not had a good bit of exercise in a while.

    I have had periods like this in the past where I can't really peg what is wrong. I feel out of sorts. My approach today has been to keep busy even though I wanted to get really drunk. Interesting: I am not understanding how I feel. Instead of looking at that square in the face, I am looking for ways to self-medicate.

    What is the best way to deal with this kind of funk? It feels like nothing that I choose would be effective because I don't feel like doing anything.
  7. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Forgot this: part of my reprogramming has been to remember to stand tall, straighten my back and neck, take a deep breath, and tell myself that I feel good, I feel physically strong and healthy, I am doing well.

    Feels funny. Awkward, like trying to speak another language, or speak in the dialect of the next village.
  8. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Another strange realisation:

    Sitting at the computer, for any reason, has a strong controle over my behaviour. For example, I am so entranced by the computer that instead of getting up to go to the washroom, I will hold it. Often, I'll litterally hold "it" as a way to hold on even longer. Holding "it" can often lead to M...O....P...

    It is embarassing to reveal this to myself.

    I've heard of people addicted to slot machines wearing adult diapers so that they don't have to leave their machine.

    Note to self: if you need to pee, for fuck sake, get up and pee!
  9. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    Everything you wrote above jibes with experiences I have had. The good news is that breaking your addiction will help all of these other things too. I'm far from perfect, but I'm a lot better than I was a year ago.
  10. bright_eyes

    bright_eyes Master of My Own Mind?

    Agree, 100 percent. And don't forget my dumbass recommendation to pee sitting down so that you can avoid touching yourself. (And, more importantly, avoid splashback.)
  11. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Reading an old post on someone's journal (can't figure out if there is a way to quote something like that directly. It is from Imout in Boddisatva's journal):

    Resolve is what gets you through. NO PORN NEVER EVER. No M. sex with your wife is contested here but abstaing for a while and then infrequent for another while seems to be the way to go.
    If you have failed before, the urges and substitutes for them is one thing. The other is not to enter into any bargaining with yourself. There is no porn in your life anymore. Not a little bit , not a glimpse , not a little rewards for being a good boy, not a weeny weeny test to see if you get aroused.

    Repeat and repeat and repeat. I see you there, hiding in the back of my mind, that little back door. Offering me a bargain back into mindlessness.
  12. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Hi Caoimhín,
    good post.
    About to post something in your own journal, I figured it out a few days ago.
    Click on the quote bottom in the journal witch is the source. When the message witch you want to qoute appears in the text field, copy it, go to your journal, click on response and paste it into the text field. then it appears as a dirrect qoute in your journal.
    I´m glad you are doing well and have a lot of good insides.
  13. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Thanks for the tech advice Libertad.

    This post has been linked to in a few places, including Libertad and Omega Man. Thanks, it has been very enlightening.

    Within the post is a quote from Recovery Nation that struck a really strong cord with me, particularly describing the emptiness that can be felt when quitting an addiction; a void that needs filling:

    "The second common trap that people fall into when transitioning from compulsions to recovery (or from any emotionally intense behavior to another) is their perception involving the emptiness phase of a healthy transition. To understand this, let's take a brief look at the broader addictive process in a person's life. In most addictions, the person has come to depend on their addictive behavior to manage their emotional state. The longer this person relies on such patterns, the more intense and ingrained this pattern becomes. Now, this is an extremely brief synopsis, with many additional issues to be discussed later in the workshop, but the point is: without the ingrained addiction, they are left with an emotional void that is very real. And very uncomfortable. The trap is in seeing this void as proof that their addiction was a natural, necessary entity in their life. They begin to feel an emotional anything. And they assume that something is wrong. That they need their addiction in order to feel normal. And here comes the porn, or the masturbation, or the affairs. And then, right on comes the excitement and pleasure and passion. Along with the guilt and shame and depression. But it doesn't matter. They would rather feel all of the emotions, than to feel nothing at all. And so, relapse occurs.

    I remember thinking many times throughout my own struggles that I would rather experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows than to ever take a medication that would dim my emotions. I never feared feeling bad. I never feared the chaos that was my life. Not the misery, nor the pain. I cherished my emotional extremes as I believed that it was my ability to experience such extremes that made me who I was. My only fear was to feel nothing at all. This is common with many people who struggle with addictive behavior. Even those who state that they drink or use drugs or otherwise act out in an effort to "numb the pain" of past abuse, overwhelming stress, etc., are not completely accurate. They drink, use or otherwise act out to shift the emotions that they are experiencing — not to dull them.

    The point to this is simple. To someone used to experiencing the extremes of the emotional experience — and suffering from true compulsive behavior is to experience emotions to their extreme — the emptiness that comes with a transitional ending can be overwhelming. The blandness, the void that is created when eliminating the behavioral patterns that managed the majority of your emotions is like removing your soul. You no longer feel "normal". You feel as if there is something wrong inside of you; like you are broken somehow. You might even feel that, without these compulsive behaviors, life isn't even worth living. That it is these behaviors that made you special. So, inevitably, you go back to acting out because even the potential negative emotional consequences of your behavior (guilt, shame, failure, loneliness, etc.) are better than to have no emotions at all."


    So, in preparing your road to recovery, you will need to prepare yourself for a time when you might feel empty inside. It will come after the euphoria of beginning your recovery, and it will come after you have put an end to your desire to continue your life the way that it is. This period may last a few days, it may last a few weeks. Rarely, will it ever last longer than that. And in those few weeks, your goal will be to recognize this emptiness, and begin to fill it with the values and the dreams that you believe in."
  14. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    I dreamt last night that I had just MO'd and was just at that moment when, the glow fading, I realised that I had made a terrible mistake. Funny old dream: not erotic or anything. Did not contain the O at all, just immediately afterwards.
  15. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    I think that a lot of us have had that dream.
  16. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    I'm navigating the obstacle course today.

    Having tech issues, bills, and a few other things that overwhelm me. I feel completely incompetant today: a grown man who can't fight his way out of a wet paper bag. When I get overwhelmed, I mostly just want to retreat into whatever mindless activity I can find. It is a vicious circle of anxiety, self-doubt, negativity. It leads to me turning away from things that I need to do and feeling really bad about myself. Money issues are a real brain and life sucking thing for me and even looking at my accounts makes me pannick.

    So what have I been doing about it:

    1. Take a deep breath. The feeling of panic will pass.
    2. Start with one problem. Deal with it. It is one problem less. Deal with one thing at a time and accept that you cannot do everything today.
    3. Told myself that I will not have a drink to relax. PMO is thankfully not an urge. But I do have some kind of urge to self-medicate myself out of this funk.
    4. Luckily, I was able to take the day off work to sort some stuff out.
  17. nofapado

    nofapado Guest

    Must be the new moon. I feel the same way.
  18. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    The world is a mystical place.

    Feeling that I was unable to cope, but trying to follow a "de-escalation" plan for my tension and bad feelings, I decided to do 2 things. Go to the post office and then town hall to pay my big, urgent bill.

    At the post office, my pay stub was in. In my morning panic, I thought that my pay would only be in next week, and therefore I was freaking out about paying my big bill. It would have left me without a penny for a whole week. First, what a relief! Second, I am amazed at how blind my panic made me.

    Ultimately, the Universe smiled upon me today but also, I do feel a certain level of satisfaction with my "game plan". Reading other journals, I am going to incorporate more meditation into my daily routine. Part of what when on today was the out-of-control chatter that was going on in my head. I want to silence these voices that serve only to weaken my soul and in the past have fed my vices.
  19. Omega Man

    Omega Man Everything counts.

    I'm not caught up on your journal, but I will say that one thing you can always do that always helps is to take a walk. Even just down the street and back.

    As far as the other stuff, I too have those days. I'm not sure if you deal with any serious depression or not, but it sounds like it may play a factor. I sure hope not, it's some evil stuff.
  20. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Yup, I've been suffering from depression and anxiety, probably my whole life, but in an accute way, for at least the last 10 years. I have taken medication but weaned myself off of this last year. One reason why, amongst many, was that I decided that I was stronger and more capable of dealing with life from the outside of the cloud of pleasant dullness that the medication put me in. It is really only in writing this very paragraph that I see the link with my journey begun last year and the the no PMO journey began 44 days ago: the more that I try and avoid pain, the more I avoid life.

    It is striking how clear it is to me now. PMO, booze, depression - all self-medication strategies to stop from getting "hurt" again. Except that my threshhold of "hurt" kept on getting lower and lower. I saw it at one point that I was becoming so fragile that I would reach the real "breaking point"

    So, it appears that I've been on the campaign for a real life for Caoimhín since two July's ago. Never would I have connected the PMO. It is like I've discovered the unversal equation. Or,perhaps for you Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: I've discovered the universal Answer, now I just need to meditate on the Question!

    Spurred on by a very useful discussion about meditation, I have decided to amp up my efforts in meditation. I have been doing sporadic meditations but I want to focus more on this and increase the number of times per week. So I am aiming for twice a day. Having come through the past couple of days where my anxiety level was and is quite high, I am noticing that the meditation is at least reminding me that the incessant chatter of internal doubt and fear can be toned down. There are occasional moments of quiet. It simply seems to give me a bit of a break, as if I was running a marathon of anxiety. Slow down, catch my breath, and unfortunately continue. But the break is good.

    I noticed last year, and still struggle with it now, that when I read, I need to calm my internal chatter in the same way. I often read and am so caught up in thoughts that I can't even remember what I read. So, I think that stopping the competition in my head and listening to the voice of the author will produce a similar effect to meditation. I used to read alot but gradually my reading stopped. Of course it is hard to hold a book with one hand on the mouse and the other hand on your dick.

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