Document the Victory

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

  1. realness

    realness Active Member

    Ha! Yes, camping. Amazing experience in the mountains. Had a great time. I have some things to think over about how I socialize, fit in and interact with others. I was on the outside of a lot of the group dynamics. Not painfully so but it was noticeable.

    A few more great days of no pmo. I'm ready to start this week decisively and take action on the vision I'm developing and the tools I've identified to get there.
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  2. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Sometimes it's okay to be outside group dynamics - especially if it's a relatively new group. I'm glad you had a good time and are focused to improve.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2020
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  3. realness

    realness Active Member

    Thanks @positivef ! It's great to be here on a Monday, the day I'm home alone for 2.5 hours. I prepared for it last week. I got thrown some extra obstacles this morning. My wife woke up on maximum bitch mode. Sometimes that happens. I have so often cashed in the lack of credit for handling the kids, doing their breakfast, and helping get them all ready for a massive PMO session in times like this. P lies in every possible way, and a big one that suckers me is "you're entitled to indulge now because you've been done wrong" and "you can get back at your wife a bit and go for it". These are lies because P is so destructive to ME. My vision is to improve myself and be good to myself, and the number one most succulent low hanging fruit towards that end is getting PMO out of my life! So I stayed the course, fought off some minor thoughts and urges of how I could spend the alone time. I walked to a great coffee shop two blocks away. They have a small outdoor patio where I can work and use their wifi while the inside is still closed b/c of COVID. I called my buddy Michael on the walk over. Good stuff. Of course, there's a line of hotties walking in and out the shop, and after a week of abstaining they are extremely enticing to look at and notice. Big shout out and thanks to you brothers who have mentioned the practice of "surfing the urge". Acknowledging what is there, letting the wave hit you, carry you a moment, and then pass on by. It's helped me!

    Confrontation with my wife is something I'm pondering. She has expectations that if not met, she gets angry and says she is not being heard or trusted. Two examples, giving the kids sweet cereal in the morning, and opening all windows if we turn off the air conditioning in the morning. Kind of stupid stuff, but if the kids eat a good basic breakfast like unsweetened cereal or eggs/meat, I think it's fine to give them a small bowl of frosted mini-wheats. If it's a cool morning and I turn off the a/c, I open a few windows to let the cool air in. She gets upset that I don't open ALL the windows. In these two instances, I'm thinking it's time for me to assert myself and and say, "I'm up, if you choose to sleep in longer than me and the kids, you have to accept how I am doing things". Yes, you can state how you would do them, but to impose that I do it your way is controlling". I have been tremendously validated by what you guys have shared on your journals about nice guy syndrome, avoiding confrontation, etc. Escaping with PMO just intensifies these specific issues. No PMO means having to engage them and deal with them which is hard, but it must be done. And with PMO fading away you get increasing clarity in how to respond and negotiate inevitable conflict with your wife.

    Keep at it bros. I'm so grateful for this place where I can journal and be a part of your journey by reading yours.
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  4. realness

    realness Active Member

    Yesterday was cool. It was a tough morning as I wrote above. When the wife came home I stood up to a few more critical comments and asserted myself. She was feeling sick and exhausted from nursing the baby and taking all 4 kids on a hot day outting, so her mood was understandable. After asserting myself I took on the task of lunch for the kids so she could rest and regroup. The rest of the day went well and my wife and I warmed up to each other. Some neighbors dropped by in the late afternoon and the kids all had a blast together in the inflatable pools we have. The baby had his first solid foods at 6 months which was a special moment. During all of this I noticed myself feeling so good. My mind usually spins and settles for a bit on my latest PMO failure. But I noticed my mind trying to find it and then realizing that it's been a week and there isn't a fresh memory of shame and disappointment. So my mind just skipped back into being present in the good family stuff that was going on.

    Getting ready for bed, I was affectionate with my wife (as I had done a few times over the afternoon) and made it clear that I wanted love and sex, but knowing that she wasn't feeling good and was tired. It's probably been 2 weeks and over that time I have made similar indications and easily accepted her denial knowing how tired she is at this stage of mothering. As I expected she said no but I was ok with that. Anyways, she woke up at 5 am and initiated sex which was wonderful. My wife is definitely conscience of our sex life and that it is a need for me, so I am confident that if it has been a while she will make it a priority.

    Today was a more blah, but still a wonderful day of no PMO. Work gets tedious and boring and is more directionless with us all working from home. All subtle triggers for PMO. Taking a break journaling here is a good highlight and motivator. I'm also refocusing on abstinence vrs recovery, and examing how PMO is a symptom of dysfunction and character defects that I need to address in my life. That's an overwhelming fact if you're stuck in PMO, but if you're actively in recovery it's a challenge that you can take on at ANY pace, as long as your moving forward and not PMOing.

    Always so good to be here!
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  5. realness

    realness Active Member

    10 days of no PMO, MO or fantasies. Feels pretty good. Feeling subtle pulls today, mostly to just MO. I'm taking a break from work to post here and will then resume family activities for the evening. I'm doing really well when the kids go to bed. I spend time connecting with the wife a bit, get ready for bed, and then get in bed and read a bit, either the journals here, No More Mister Nice Guy (NMMNG), or a bit of both.So I'm focusing on being where I should be and moving past the urges. I just got to the part in NMMNG about healthy M, which I'll finish reading soon and ponder that. I really want to stick with no MO right now, and probably for good as it has always led to PMO or binging a few days on MO.

    Today some memories came back of watching Benny Hill reruns when I would get home from middle school. My parents were usually not home from work yet, so it was a part of wiring my brain in my youth, plying those shows for the rush of seeing barely clothed women. Strange how these memories come back. I also had a few nights in a row of dreaming of my high school girlfriend. My first love who was very much an infatuation, likely at an unhealthy level. I broke up with her just before college, mainly on the pushing of my mother and her overbearing intervention. And that brings up a huge issue of my unhealthy relationship with my mother. I'm just going to ride the waves of this stuff for now, and unpack it and process it on a slow pace.

    I wanted to write down some of the things that led to some of my more recent PMO relapses and binges. Having a specific P star come to mind, and then talking myself into looking her up and seeing her scenes. This has happened a few times where one will come to mind that I didn't see in my last binge and it can lead to another binge. Same goes for a certain scene or fetish. If I didn't binge on that recently it will push me to go for it again. Anyways, I want to write this stuff down and I want it to lose its power. I am feeling weak as it's been a while. I haven't made it past 2 weeks in a few months now.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  6. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I feel the same about it. Although I think it can be really beneficial and healthy, I find it too risky. And since you have an active sex life with your partner, I think it is not even necessary. You can use the same focus and it is easier to separate from addictive behaviour.

    Btw, how old are you kids?
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  7. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    I think you will be able to push past the urges this time, remember how repulsive porn is and it's damaging effects.
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  8. realness

    realness Active Member

    Thanks for setting me straight man. MO cravings are like a dull thud in the background distracting me a bit. Your reminder is an awesome call to pull away from behavior that is entitled, selfish, and weak. I gotta dig deep and be disciplined and pick up the tools that I have to do so. Hence this post, push ups today, cold shower tonight, etc.

    My kids are 6 (boy), 5 and 3 (girls) and 6 months (boy).

    Yes! thanks bro. Contemplating the dull urges today, my mind does go to the damaging effects. We have some friends coming tonight, and I know I'll have no confidence, I'll be withdrawn and not myself. And then with more time with the family over the weekend, I won't be present, I won't be able to enjoy or even see and savor the small pleasures of the kids and what they're doing.

    Day 11 for me, thanks guys!
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  9. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Keep going @realness - i hope you have awesome weekend.
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  10. realness

    realness Active Member

    thanks @Lowdo ! It was a good weekend. I MO'd on Sat morning though. Over time the urges seem to build on each other. Fight one off and the next one the next day is stronger. And so on. I hate to admit this, but my wife had a friend and her husband over the night before, and it was a battle at times to keep my eyes off of her and focused. I did pretty well, but having to battle the urges to look at her figure unnerved me. So the MO the next morning was one of those rationalized, blow of steam things. Minimized F to almost nothing. It did make the rest of the day challenging with low self confidence in social situations with family friends. I have to work on this stuff as I need MO to be limited to none in my life. I'm still thrilled to be at 13 days with no PMO, tomorrow is 2 weeks. And it's Monday with time alone at home on the computer, so I have to exercise discipline. Some urges and thoughts have come, about using the time to see my favorite P scenes and see where the links to those will lead. But I have a good awareness of the crash that will come afterwards.

    I'll go back tomorrow and look at my earlier posts, to remind myself of the vision for my life. Already I am enjoying subtle moments and pleasures. Something funny the kids do, something beautiful in nature, a treasured memory that comes into my head. These are the pleasures and real life I want to live, instead of numbing them into oblivion with P binges.
  11. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Congrats on the progress. This line of thought, of ever stronger urges, seems to be the work of a craving mind trying to trick you back to porn. Like it's a ready made excuse that the urges become stronger and stronger until you have no choice. But you always have a choice.
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  12. realness

    realness Active Member

    thank you @positivef . You are right. This morning I made the wrong choice and binged, PMO'd for two hours. I did buy into the thinking that the urges had built up, and if I didn't give in this morning it just would have been stronger later and I'd give in eventually. I do always have a choice. I don't want to live this way with this stuff in my life. I'm thankful that my streaks are starting to get longer and that there is more joy and clarity in between these relapses. That's why I'm back here ready to work again.

    Right now I'm not willing to fight hard around 14 days, and I have to process that and work on it. Others have commented on their journals that the first two weeks are the hardest and then the urges subside a bit or get less intense. I'm not really believing that's true for myself right now. But I should prove it to myself and get on the other side of 14 days, make a goal of 3 weeks. I've proven to myself that I can focus on a day (last monday), and fight and plan and push through. So I'm gonna do it. Three weeks from now is 17 AUG. I'm going to focus on that goal. Of course I'm not ruling out progress beyond that and giving myself license to PMO on that day. I want this stuff gone and out of my life. I'm going to work on an interim goal towards that end. Mentally focusing on that goal is a whole lot healthier than focusing on excuses like "the urges are getting stronger".
  13. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Great that you came straight back here, like you said you are making progress. The first two weeks are hard, I always find the first couple of day after a relapse especially tricky. I've found that as the habit recedes it does get easier - not necessarily at two weeks, but that urge can rise up again unexpectedly. I guess we just have to keep vigilant and keep working on the positive.
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  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Shame you made a wrong choice but you have correctly recognized that your streaks are getting longer (by your own admission, "PMO used to be a daily event until Jan 2019"). Overall, you're still progressing. Sounds like you're the kind of person who prefers a pruning / de-escalation approach to PMO/MO behaviours, which is fine - as it can seem less daunting than going cold turkey. Crucially, you're experiencing more joy/clarity in between relapses and hopefully you can build upon that impetus. Keep going :)
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  15. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    Hi Realness,

    I lost track a long time ago about how many times I relapsed around the 10 - 14 day mark. It eventually became a big issue for me during a reboot, as I’d get to around that point almost knowing what was about to happen next. You could start preparing for it in advance. For example, if there are certain triggers that seem to come up at that point, what could be done to elimate or reduce them? Could you have certain counter-measures in place, such as going for a walk, cold shower, turning off computer etc.

    For me, joining this forum was a huge thing. Even though it’s completely anonymous, and I don’t know much about anyone here, I feel a sense of accountability and commitment to the group which helps me keep to my reboot.

    Although I’m using a counter, I find it more helpful to focus on how I am feeling on a day to day basis, rather than keep noticing the number of days that have passed.
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  16. realness

    realness Active Member

    last week sucked as monday and wednesday I took advantage of time alone at home and binged out. And I felt the consequences over the weekend. Awkwardness and lack of self confidence in social settings. This place is a positive, safe place to turn to. So it was refreshing to read journals here and get back into recovery.

    Thanks gents for commenting here and encouraging me on my journey.

    Today on day 5, it was a mix of some urges here and there, and a few feelings of peace/joy/elation. The good feelings were random, or maybe a reaction to a great family moment. But I also knew they were rekindling feelings coming out of sobriety.

    Some of the journals I read mentioned having long streaks of abstaining, but still having a conscious or subconscious plot to return back to PMO. I'm examining that in my heart right now. Do I really want this? Do I just want to enjoy the perks of sobriety for a few days? Am I then willing to pay the price to indulge again. I really like P at the time of consuming. I love the rush, the abandonment of being good, the embrace of what's forbidden. Of course the journals here are real life and also detail the crashing reality of P and PMO. The emptiness afterward, the lost trust, broken marriages, ages of wasted time. There was a news story this weekend of a top officer at the Naval War college who mistakenly sent a P link in an official email. He'll almost surely be fired and his reputation ruined. Some how some way P will kill things that are dear to us.

    Besides No More Mister Nice Guy other's here have mentioned the Porn Myth, which I just got done reading. It ends with a realistic road map of strategy to stop P use. One thing that stood out to me was highlighting your decision making in your frontal cortex (the part of our brain that we've weakened to almost nothing in our addictions) by verbally stating what is happening and verbally stating what you want to do. I tried it today and it was pretty cool.

    I'm ready for another day of recovery and another and another. Strengthening actions, thoughts and behaviors that I've neglected.

    My best to all you brothers claiming victory here
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  17. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi @realness - it sounds like you're making some really important discoveries about yourself. I know you've had a rough patch but this is still progress. As you rightly point out, P will ruin things - but the important thing to remember (for me anyway) is that it doesn't bring the benefits it promises. It doesn't relax me, it actually makes me more stressed. I need to keep that at the front of my mind when I feel entitled to a binge session...

    Keep going :)
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  18. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    I think one of the tricks of PMO is that the rushes we get from it feel so much better than anything else. I find the rushes I get from healthy life are lot more subtle and sometimes not so obvious. I know full well when I’m getting a massive surge of dopamine from PMO, whereas when I’m having a clear, good day It doens’t grab my attention in the same way. I think this is where meditation/mindfulness can help us to be more aware of ourselves and this notice and appreciate when we are having a good day.
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  19. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="realness, post: 710373, member: 26515"

    One thing that stood out to me was highlighting your decision making in your frontal cortex (the part of our brain that we've weakened to almost nothing in our addictions) by verbally stating what is happening and verbally stating what you want to do. I tried it today and it was pretty cool.

    I'm ready for another day of recovery and another and another. Strengthening actions, thoughts and behaviors that I've neglected.

    My best to all you brothers claiming victory here[/QUOTE]

    When I learned about the effects of PMO on the frontal cortex, that was a major ‘A-ha!’ moment for me. I’ve been working on a side business for a while now and dragging my feet over things/making bad decisions/procrastination. When I combine that with lifelong poor organizational skills, it explains why I haven’t made as much progress as I wanted and why my life planning in general is not so good.

    Keep going!
  20. realness

    realness Active Member

    thanks @Lowdo and @Clovis6 ! I'm doing pretty good and it's so good to be pushing well past one week of no PMO or MO. It would be great to make a run at a no PMO August! You guys are spot on in highlighting how repulsive P is after the rush is over, the lousy state it will leave me in, that it will increase the stress after a few moments of escape, etc. And I'm still practicing saying these things out loud to exercise that part of the brain that needs to be seriously exercised!

    I'm feeling the triggers today, mostly from working from home. The boredom and mundane nature of my job (P is exciting!), the tiring demands of my children and my wife's exhaustion in trying to manage it all (P will help me escape for a while!). It gets overwhelming. But I'm hear to document it, I don't feel as if I'm about to fall off the wagon and go binge. There isn't a good opportunity to do so and now is the time to plan for when there will be, on Monday when the wife and kids will be out on an activity. So I'll prepare for that now. And today, after the kids nap, we have some activities planned that will no doubt get us rolling into some fun family time. I'm thankful for this place to come to. I'll sign out here and finish my work, and then get out of solitude in the basement and into real life!

    I grew up and endured some moderate abuse from my mom. A few instances of physical abuse that left bruises, and a whole lot of verbal abuse. Every foul word I know I learned from my mom in her rages, mostly aimed at my dad who was compliant and never fought back,and plenty of time aimed at us 3 kids. Sometimes on Sunday nights, or stressful times before a holiday or vacation, she would go off. I remember we wouldn't have dinner those nights, and I'd have to scrounge for stuff. One thing I remember is eating bacon bits out of a container! Kind of sad. Anyways, one connection I've made is that I'm drawn to dirty talk themed P from this previous abuse. It doesn't take away my liking of it or pursuit of it when I PMO, but when I'm in a better state of mind it does help to explain things and acknowledge that it is a past hurt that leads to unhealthy behavior now.

    My go-to when I PMO is/was Pornhub. And that site is having quite a moment right now in being held more accountable for hosting abuse, trafficking and criminal activity. Thankfully I didn't escalate to that content. But I was escalating beyond vanilla to femdom, religious themed, blasphemy. It sucks to have to write that. Mainstream news and publications are starting to bring up Pornhub. I like to read those posts, especially on Facebook. I also follow Fight the New Drug. I'm pretty active in reading the comments, especially the wives and partners who have been traumatized by P use in their relationships. Reading this stuff helps highlight how terrible P is. There are also comments from guys who are fighting it and overcoming it. It's great to see their profiles and put faces to people like us who have been there are ditching P use in their lives.

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