Document the Victory

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by realness, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Feeling good.

    This morning I thought I was experiencing urges to PMO. That wasn't true though. My sexual energy happened to be peaking and I was feeling the grove. So no, it was not an urge to PMO, but more accurately, sexual energy that I can choose to expend doing PMO. It sounds like it's not a big difference but it IS the difference between a truth and a lie. I'm learning how to use healthy tools with my sexual energy. Number one of course is to use it pursue my wife in a tactful, healthy way. For legit and BS reasons, that hasn't worked out in the short term, so..... on to the other tools. I had a great bike ride during lunch time and here I am on this forum. How else can I work on me? What's something that I can accomplish in the short term and get a good boost? I'll do those things, and sure enough, I'll soon be in a time where the wife is putting out, the beers are flowing, the sun shining, and the unicorns farting.
    Saville likes this.
  2. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    There's all this stuff I want to escape through MO, FMO or PMO. It's hard to be a husband and a father. There's very little dialog or validation about that. Times like this when the wife is sick, then has her period, and before/after/in between she is just exhausted from motherhood, it all starts to feel like this shitty grind. The kids are gonna fight, whine and even just require a lot of effort even in the best of times. And at the end of each day the wife is just sucked to the couch and her shows and scrolling on her phone. Sometimes I don't even want to be with her, because it means me moving towards her and addressing her needs while mine aren't addressed. It feels like the husband just gets the scraps of what's left of her. Do you bring this stuff up to your wife? How do you lead her, encourage her, and also make your needs known? How do I exercise my manhood, leadership, and role in this family?

    For so long PMO just numbed all of that. And of course it just solidified my passivity. It took away my awareness and ability to respond in ANY way.

    So, no PMO for me. This week I've gotten in two bike rides. I'm banging out pushups. I went to a recovery group on Tues night (there were a few really young guys there stepping up to face their PMO and abuse of alcohol, awesome!). I prioritized time with a friend, and had a good lunch with a group of men where I treated myself to a glutenous amount of chicken wings. These aren't magic pills to solve problems or make me feel better. But they are magical for keeping me away from PMO while I do them and often for some time afterward until I do the next thing that is healthy and good for me in some way.

    And without the fog of PMO I have to face the fact that I'm being ungrateful for the good things, selfish things that are geared toward my health and are a response to some of the problems I have to deal with. It's pretty damn greedy to be stuck on the hardships I'm facing and not be grateful for these good things.
    Saville and TrueSelf like this.
  3. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I am loving this life of recovery. Not just this current journey of over 5 weeks without PMO, P or any racy pixels, but the cumulative fruits of previous stretches. The urges are less frequent and not as strong. My reaction to them by taking action like doing a a chore, going on a bike ride, or texting a friend is becoming a stronger habit. I have a stronger drive to connect with people and am setting up frequent lunches with buddies. My extroversion is writing checks my calendar can't cash hahaha. My sexual drive is much more solidly aimed at my wife, to my great frustration sometimes. I enjoyed a one night getaway with her last weekend that was just awesome, and the fruit of my sober-mindedness months ago when I set it up.

    I've M'd a few times over the last few weeks, but less than once a week. This is a pretty big change as my previous streaks were fueled by lots of FMO. I feel the urge to M more than I do to PMO. It's becoming a stronger habit to ask myself, "am I really horny?" Most of the time the answer is "no" and I can see clearly that I have an engrained M response to stress and boredom. I believe that as I advance in recovery my M's will be even less frequent as I learn more and develop better self-discipline.
    Mozenjo likes this.
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is the biggest obstacle to keeping a streak going. I've asked myself this same question many times: "am I actually horny?" The answer is almost always a resounding no. So why then would I MO? Firstly, as you point out, it's an engrained response. Secondly, it's a way to escape that moment of discomfort. We also think of MO/PMO when we feel elated and this again is to avoid dealing with where this elation might go.

    I am not free of these thoughts, but the longer we stave off M'ing, the better the answers that come to us. @realness you are doing so well!
    Mozenjo and realness like this.
  5. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Yes, realness, you are doing great! Thank you for showing how it's done. Proud of you, man.
    realness likes this.
  6. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Thanks Moz and Saville! Distance from PMO gives some great clarity to see that we MO or PMO out of engrained habit or a habitual response to ANY discomfort. I had to play the "are you really horny" game yesterday, as it was a long day of having the kids at home while us parents chipped away at the never ending tasks of decluttering and laundry. I wanted to escape! And I did a little bit, with some beers as I worked along. I got sets up push-ups in that totaled up to 140 push ups!

    Because the kids were sick and the weather was bad over the weekend, this morning I felt the buildup and frustration and fatigue from all of it. It was the strongest PMO urge since I last PMO'd on March 22nd. I wanted to set up a bed of lies, that I have work calls, and wank away in isolation while I was "working". The lure of endless videos, previews, old favorites and new discoveries were pulling on my brain. But thankfully the clarity was there too. The grudging truth that I'd have to run through all the work of my rituals and that I would end up wasted this evening, may brain wrung out from it all. Of course the depression too. Self loathing, anger at being swindled at the same old game. And the shame I would feel as I engage my wife, kids and friends. It's also a beautiful spring day here. Interestingly, the last time I recently urged to PMO was on a beautiful sunny day. The PMO master is cruel. Deliberately robbing us of sunshine on top of everything else. That master can go fuck off.

    It hasn't been easy to flip the switch but here I am working at the coffee shop. Clear thinking and sobriety are helping me to see why I feel this way on a Monday morning. It was a difficult weekend. Not horrible. It held some great moments. But I'm feeling what I'm feeling and those things are telling me that I have to cope and take care of myself in some ways to get my energy and perspective back to healthy places. Step One is complete, I'm being a good employee (or about to be one when I log off of here) and getting some good coffee.
    Libertad, Saville and Mozenjo like this.
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    @realness your journal is important reading!
    realness and Mozenjo like this.
  8. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I had a great six weeks of no P or PMO and very little M. I chose to go back to PMO once last week and on Monday this week. Yeah, it's not worth it. Those six weeks and my stretches of sobriety before were so wonderful and enriching. So I'm excited to launch back into living in recovery. One big encouragement and help to me is warm, sunny weather. We're getting a lot of that and it's helping with the urges. The juxtaposition between PMO'ing in isolation in my basement verses being out and active in sunny weather is such a huge encouragement for me to resist the urges and watch them pass away.

    My wife has had another stretch of feeling unwell for various reasons and I can now see how even unconsciously I slipped back to my unhealthy coping mechanisms. It feels like it's all on me to get the kids going in the morning, keep the family active, pick up the slack on a cluttered and messy house, laundry, my job, etc. But as we all know PMO just makes everything worse, and blinds us to the good things we still have even in challenging times. It's robbed me of gratitude. So, back to bike rides, push ups, lattes, and being the man of this house. I'm the leader. I always have the opportunity to set the emotional tone of our home.
    Saville and Mozenjo like this.
  9. breath

    breath Active Member

    whenever i'm w/o computer I'm porn
    realness and Mozenjo like this.
  10. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    realness, "wonderful and enriching" is a great way of describing the feeling of staying away from PMO. Let's keep on that path.
    Saville and realness like this.
  11. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I've had some relapses but also good stretches of sobriety over the last month. Like clock-work, issues with anxiety and depression increase with PMO use, and become MUCH easier to deal with when I'm sober. Like others here, when I'm doing better with PMO other things have crept up and become problematic. For me, it's getting sucked into social media. I'm specifically drawn towards endless scrolling of accounts that are opposite of my moral/social/political views. There is some draw towards challenging my held beliefs. But truthfully, I use social media in this way for dopamine hits in some ways. This looks like a replacement issue that thankfully I'm aware of, and need to address with action.

    I'm focusing on healthy reminders, such as this recovery is for ME and doing what's best for me. I'm not solely abstaining from PMO to benefit my wife or others around me. I'm abstaining because it's freaking bad for me and spikes mental issues. I also love the "wonderful and enriching" life of actively choosing health and action.
    Gil79, Libertad, Saville and 2 others like this.
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I absolutely this paragraph! :)
  13. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Last week I had an interview for an overseas Government job in Europe that I applied for casually in May. The next day they asked for references. Through the process so far my wife has been open to the idea of an international move. The opportunity to expose our young kids to so much culture is outstanding, and we're on the same page about how in many ways, this is a good time to make such a decision. Our oldest is going into 3rd grade, so we're not breaking any major lifetime friendships in possibly doing this. We know a few others over there at different places that we can visit. We would plan on returning in 3 to 5 years, and there are some great families who would be interested in renting our house, so we are leaning towards going this way if I'm offered a position.

    Despite the excitement, there's a weight of anxiety and worry that go with such a big change. Our bigger family is addicted to bulk qtys from Costco, free refills, and our garbage disposal! Our house is still cluttered and in desperate need of a purge which we have too slowly been chipping away at. Leading our family through such a challenge would be a huge undertaking, and to be honest I get apprehensive about the challenge. So, thankfully, there's a peace and an order to living life that has been flushed out here and in other safe places. Be transparent, acknowledge our shortcomings, and pick up the tools and actions that make us healthy. The rest just falls in place, doesn't it? The burdens of a big move, or even just daily life, get much lighter when we are healthy.

    Saville made a comment in Gil's journal about the habit of PMO and MO being a response to life becoming dull, boring and predictable. This possible change would be a massive relief from all of that as I've been in my current job for 8 years now and things are just, the same old. However, there's a good chance they don't select me. So I'm starting on the work of making my daily life enjoyable and challenging. I've scheduled a coffee and a lunch with two good buddies, and committed to join a group on an overnight backpacking trip this weekend.
    Gil79, Rudolf Geyse and Saville like this.
  14. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Interesting things going on @realness! I haven't followed your journal for a while, but I remember things were quite difficult for a while with a busy family life and career. are things a bit easier now?
    realness likes this.
  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I love these sentences!
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  16. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Thanks Saville! And Gil, it's wonderful to see you back here! Yes, things have gotten better. In this journey I have seen how I use PMO to be passive and abdicate leadership in my family. Since SEP/OCT last year I've leaned in and strived to lead my family well. That has even included conflict and confrontation with my wife, which despite my fears has always worked out well, never blown up like I feared, and usually works out with an agreed-up new normal where our processes improve. She's not perfect, and it's certainly not loving of me to avoid any constructive criticism and help when it comes to her role in my family. Shit, she doesn't hold back in confronting me hahahaha! October was also when I actively worked to set up dates for us, usually at least once a month. Man, it's work, and man, babysitters are really flakey and hard to pin down. Sadly we had some older empty nester friends move away who were very empathetic and we could count on to help when we really needed a date night.

    It's tremendous too that our kids are getting old enough to help with chores. Just one left in diapers! I will always have empathy and encouragement towards parents, and especially fathers, who are in the drowning stages of parenting. They will need encouragement, guidance, and even direct and challenging questions about how they are coping. I have a testimony of using very negative coping skills that have set me back. Thankfully there is healing, learning and improvement.

    I'm currently beat down with the negative effects of a PMO binge on Wednesday. There's only one way out. The way of growth and challenge and self discipline.

    No news on the job opportunity.
    Gil79 and Saville like this.
  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    It's incredible how we never imagined things working out, isn't it? When we're in the throes of P we are all fears.

    Yes, it's work, but wonderful work. You are tending a part of your beautiful garden.

    In your previous post you mentioned acknowledging our shortcomings. In this last post you mention "growth and challenge and self discipline." I know what you're saying, but these words can also be defeating. For a moment it can lift us, but after that moment passes it can, through the back door, defeat us a little. The flip side of saying these things is a rebuke. It might not feel like a rebuke, but the old wiring knows how to drag us back down. So, instead of acknowledging our shortcomings, how about we embrace them? Embracing who we are does not take discipline, nor acknowledging the things we aren't good at. We must lean into what we are, what we have, because that is the most beautiful thing we can ever do.

    Anyway, just a few thoughts. Your energy is on-point!
    realness and Gil79 like this.
  18. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    yeah, Saville, you're right that I parrot those words in working recovery but they carry subtle weight and condemnation. I gave further thought to what you said and it feels good to poke and prod about how my short comings have born fruit, led to positive changes, and continually help me to be empathetic and to look out for those who need a friend and encouragement. Aren't the people who have it all together insufferable anyways?!

    "tending a part of your beautiful garden" is a great way to phrase the work that goes into marriage. It takes maturity to see things that way and avoid the common pitfalls of selfishness. I'm making progress!

    It's been a rough week of sickness, probably my second bout of COVID. The physical symptoms are pretty tough but not as bad as my first infection which required antibodies and steroids to treat double pneumonia. The mental symptoms of brain fog and feeling down are really tough. Thankfully I've had no major urges to PMO. That would just mentally wreck me. So I'm reaching out to some friends and doing some small actions and chores that help me stay grounded and ping my brain in a positive way.

    My wife has been slammed with all the challenges of managing the kids over summer break. There's lots of activities to keep them active and enriched but it exhausts her. It costs us in our intimacy and time together. I'm working on navigating that well in a healthy way without ignoring it or choosing bad coping mechanisms.
    Gil79 and Saville like this.
  19. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I'm going to be coming here more often.

    So I lost my sense of smell so it's definitely COVID. Besides the coughing and phlegm, the brain fog and mental struggle is tough right now. I'm also a bit down as I've heard nothing back about the oversees job interview so it is looking unlikely I'll be selected. Despite all of that, I'm thankful and grateful that the COVID is not worse, that today makes a week of no PMO, and that I have great clarity and awareness of what's going on. It powers me up (despite how down I am) to grab on to some healthy activities, no matter how small. Even just sitting outside in the shade and teleworking a bit is a pick-me-up after working alone in the basement for a while. I also have the energy to do a bit around the house and manage the kids here and there.
    Gil79 likes this.
  20. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I felt so much worse and went to the doctor yesterday. Shockingly tested negative for flu and COVID. A nice relief, but makes me wonder what awful bug I have that is just like COVID. Thankfully I got some good meds like a steroid to clear out my lungs. But now my brain fog and strange feelings are from the steroid instead of the sickness. Most of the family has some symptoms too so we're just in rest and lay around mode, as fun as that can be with 4 young kids.

    It's good to get back out and working in public places like the coffee shop and they library. No strong urges to PMO but being in a convenient place to do that would be enough of a trigger. I don't feel very good mentally right now so it is crystal clear how destructive PMO will be. In the meantime, I gotta fix my brakes on my bike so I can get active again when I'm feeling better.

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