Document the Victory

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

  1. realness

    realness Active Member

    Aww man, so cool to be approaching 50 days of no porn! Lots of little moments of happiness along the way. This is also day 3 of some white knuckling to not FMO. The urges are strong, but as I've pushed through the past few days the urges would be completely gone later on in the day. There is some great joy here in the beginning of the Christmas season to be free of the darkness that porn brings to my life.

    @Gil79 , I've been chewing on your comments. It's a big challenge to me (in a good way) and it's exactly the opposite of how I've been addressing PMO as I've actively been in recovery. Character defects is "12 step talk", and I've found it very helpful to be aware of my weaknesses and defects. Not to wallow in shame or defeat, but instead to understand where PMO comes from for me. Inherent weaknesses and defects of character come from unresolved trauma (verbal and some physical abuse from my mom and neglect from my Dad). I dealt with that trauma in a very unhealthy way using PMO for so long that it became an ingrained addiction and bad coping mechanism for years. This forum has also showed me how dopamine was another factor in all of that.

    I don't see any other realistic way to view all of this despite your challenge @Gil79 , but I'd welcome your perspective and feedback. I do agree that I should be kind and good to myself and not dwell in negativity and beating myself up. I'm confident that I'm not doing this when I'm honestly assessing my weaknesses and the things that are wrong about my character that have led me to PMO.
     
  2. badger

    badger Active Member

    Realness,
    in the 4th step we talk about our weaknesses and defects of character but we also talk about positive traits. don't be so hard on yourself. it's a balance sheet. an inventory. what can we keep and what has to go. i am working through all my prior trauma by writing. 1st thing in the morning i just write. what am i feeling? how am i going to react today? i have choices. i look at yesterday, where did i mess up? if same situation or person today how can i act differently, positively. an action that won't give me an excuse to escape into a porn site. baby steps. can't change myself or my personality overnight. i did not get this way in 2 days. going to take time. keep on trudging. hang in there.
     
    realness likes this.
  3. realness

    realness Active Member

    I'm so happy to have crossed over 50 days. I had a close call on that day too, crazy. The wife and kids left and I was home alone for about 45 mins. I had the web address plugged into the browser..... and then walked away. Waffled a bit, FMO'd to take the pressure off. I'd rather not have done any of that, but i was so glad going to bed that night not having PMO'd. Digging down deep now to be self-disciplined and not get that close again. It took a long time to build up this integrity and obedience to not view porn, and now those efforts should be directed at fantasy, FMO and MO. Other than this close call, it really is getting easier to not PMO. The urges are shorter and less intense. It is getting easier to dismiss the urges or thoughts or even just not fuel them and entertain them as long. The counter is a good tool and motivator, showing me how far I've come this time. I'm very grateful for this progress.

    Good times and struggles are on the horizon. Kids activities have been planned in longer blocks over the 2 week holiday break, so I could be home alone for long blocks which is by far the biggest trigger for me- if I'm going to PMO I'm going to do it in a big binge so shorter times aren't as tempting to me. I will need to be proactive and disciplined to be healthy over the holidays. PMO is definitely a great way to ruin Christmas and New Years!

    Not being in the fog of PMO has me on point, prepared to love my wife well with picking out a few Christmas presents, being kind, present and patient with my kids and wife during family times, teaching the younger kids to ski, etc.
     
  4. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Good work @realness there's nothing quite like having a clear conscience. I agree with your strategy about directing your efforts towards eliminating FMO. If cold turkey sounds too daunting, perhaps try a weaning approach to begin with.
     
    realness likes this.
  5. realness

    realness Active Member

    thanks for the encouragement guys! Now approaching 60 days! You're right @forlorn , a cleaner conscience is a blessing. Especially in this season of increased family time. Something as simple as driving the kids around to look at Christmas lights twice a week has been so fun. And to be present with them and enjoying it instead of trying to shrug off guilt or shame from a recent binge.

    FMO and MO are still here, every two days it seems. I'm like a heroin addict that hasn't relapsed but is managing with methadone. That's probably too harsh. I wasn't too harsh about my relapses over the summer and have improved by removing porn. So this track of not being too harsh about FMO and MO will eventually result in the elimination of those things. I love my wife, but with 4 little kids, exhaustion and just trying to keep the house manageable, sex is not something reliable or consistent around here. Anyways, yesterday was an interesting example where I briefly FMO'd twice earlier in the day. My wife was out for the evening and I could have PMO'd for 2 hrs after the kids went to bed. But it wasn't even tempting. I got a home workout in and watched some tv. This part of my journey isn't perfect, but it's pretty nice in a lot of ways.

    Onward and upward.
     
    Bilbo Baggins and NewStart19 like this.
  6. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Still I think you shouldn't call it weakness and defect. It suggests there is something wrong with you. There isn't. Not more than with anybody else. We're all human. I really think that you have a beautiful character. Look at your strengths instead of to your weaknesses and get better in the things you want to improve. Negative self-image is a killer.
     
    realness likes this.
  7. realness

    realness Active Member

    A set back today as my MO escalated to bikini and swimsuit pictures. Not porn, safe-search on stuff. I'm turning around from this direction. I'm not happy about it but I'm turning around and will not beat myself up over it.

    Thank you @Gil79 for pushing me on my beliefs. I don't agree that there's nothing wrong with me, but you are right that I need to look at my strengths instead of my weaknesses
     
  8. realness

    realness Active Member

    Again yesterday a set back going to bikini pictures. I feel like I'm losing motivation and determination over the last month. Working alone on a computer is isolating and lonely (triggers), and parenting young kids while couped up in winter is stressful (trigger). What's kept me from porn is some determination and a lot of uncontrollable guard rails. Most significantly, no time home alone.

    I'm trying to break things up by going into the office once or twice a week, working at the coffee shop once or twice a week. I just feel blah. And that boredom is leading to daily FMO.

    I miss the spring when I had a huge outdoor patio project to work on.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Hang in there man. Days are already getting longer, spring is nearby!
     
    realness likes this.
  10. realness

    realness Active Member

    Been slowly crumbling for a few weeks and today was a total PMO relapse. It's like I wanted to do it to feel good, but also to do it and feel bad afterwards to remember why I'm avoiding it. Anyways, I don't feel horrible right now. It'll probably hit me tonight and these evening that I did it after such a long period of abstaining.

    I'm trilled that I had such a long streak that overall wasn't too difficult. I worry that I won't be as motivated going forward.
     
  11. realness

    realness Active Member

    Yesterday made for a full week of off and on PMO. Yikes. I'm here instead of choosing to PMO today. I was tempted to start the cycle again, to indulge, feel good briefly, and then feel lost, disconnected and lonely the rest of the day. Complaining about my responsibilities (kids, grumpy wife, house crap, etc), instead of being grateful for the blessings in my life

    Everyone will wake up from their nap and I'll be a better person to myself and my family. I'll still wish things were a bit easier.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  12. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

  13. realness

    realness Active Member

    Hey @Gil79 , thanks for checking in, it means a lot. Haven't been doing well, PMO binging out every few days for a month now. The momentary thrills aren't worth the times in between where I'm down and depressed. It's only a matter of time before PMO impacts my family and work life. Been trying to find first gear and get going. No time like the present.

    I take advantage of being locked away from the kids in a downstairs bedroom to PMO. It's not an excuse. If there were no Covid and I was working in the office I'd find other ways. Because I haven't been choosing recovery and following up that choice with hard work and action. And then adopting a grateful heart for the good things in my life that I can see more clearly in sobriety.
     
    Thelongwayhome27 and Gil79 like this.
  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It's hard to get back into the swing of things after a fall. But the only way to start feeling better about ourselves is to resume our recovery efforts as soon as possible. Choose wisely :)
     
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  15. realness

    realness Active Member

    I hosted a friend over the US holiday last weekend, and that helped a lot to be socially engaged and active during those days of recovery. It's nice to be riding more than a few days of sobriety. Presently I'm in the the midst of stress and triggers. I took the minivan in for service and am working in their waiting room off of wi-fi. Unfortunately I forgot to remove the baby car seat before I left so my wife just called looking for it and must come up with some alternative solution to take care of the 13 month old and also get our kindergartner picked up from school. So I blew it by forgetting that, and now I'm stressed and worrying about how my wife can handle the situation while I'm stuck here, and also worrying about her anger toward me in putting her in this situation. I can't act out here in public, but these are are the times that seeds are sown in my mind. My first emotion was anger at car seats and having to deal with them. Completely unreasonable. So I'll have to process this, why did I forget, how much blame and anger do I deserve, how will I talk with my wife, apologize to her and work with her anger. Sometimes she's very angry in situations like this, sometimes less so. I guess we will see. I'm also angry at myself.

    Anyways, life will go on and we will work through these situations. I am now well aware of my tendency to cope with this type of stuff in an unhealthy way.
     
  16. Cali

    Cali Member

    You cannot control your wife's anger, you can only control how you handle the situation. Driving off with the car seat is a mistake many dads have made, be easy on yourself!
     
    realness likes this.
  17. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    In my case it is often my wife that makes those kinds of mistakes and I often reply with anger. And that is totally unreasonable from my side. Nobody is perfect and especially with so many things going on in your life this stuff just happens. This morning I almost made a miscalculation with something administrative until my wife noticed and told me about it. I first got angry at her, then at myself, then at our government. How ridiculous is that?! When I calmed down I told my wife how good it is that she noticed and told myself the 'no more mister nice guy' mantra: 'I am perfectly imperfect' ;)

    Stay positive man, you're doing great!
     
    realness likes this.
  18. realness

    realness Active Member

    So the whole car seat thing worked out wonderfully. My wife improvised and found a safe solution, and was gracious and kind about the whole thing. So strange how my fear and anxiety spiked so quickly. Despite that I still chose to binge PMO last week on Friday. Back on track this week. I'm tweaking how I work from home by being upstairs in well lighted rooms as much as possible. Finding great podcasts about recovery to listen to. An older guy from church specifically reached out to me about deepening our friendship. It's a big deal to me and I'm excited to take advantage of his kindness and see where that goes.

    Owning my negative thoughts: envy of other dads who get to travel for work and get a break (this shows my lack of gratitude for the extraordinary time I get to spend with my kids). Envy of others who get together and don't invite me and my wife. We both feel overlooked. I've unfollowed a lot of them on Facebook, as they post these gatherings and it sucks to see that they all made fun plans and get togethers while we are drowning in parenting young kids. It's been healthy to talk to my wife about this, and I'm working on channeling these thoughts positively. How can I reach out to others who need friendship and encouragement? How can I find other ways of more lasting validation and security? Envy of others who have deep and consistent friendships. This one is tougher to process. Why can't I make and keep close friendships? What's unlikeable about me that I can't figure out because I have bad self awareness? A big tool in recovery is honest and transparent relationships, and I can't seem to find many of these!

    Anyways, those are some of the thoughts that go through my head. I know they're unhealthy. I'm committed to recovery and learning the tools that will address the underlaying issues that drive me to escape and self medicate with PMO.
     
  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    There was a guy here a few years ago who travelled quite a bit and he envied dads that got to stay home. On the road, in hotels, there was nothing to do BUT jerk off to P, and also the temptation of other women was ever present.

    I love the above post, my friend. It shows real growth. Your journey is an exciting one.
     
    realness likes this.
  20. realness

    realness Active Member

    Thanks @Saville . I need it affirmed that I'm wrong, that my thinking is unhealthy, and encouragement towards the right direction and actions. There's a men's group starting at church and I'm not interested in it. If no one has the courage or desire to talk about real things that are out to hurt us, pornography, masturbation, etc, then it's just a waste of time. I'm tired of being the only one sharing honestly to make it real.

    There's great encouragement and truth in other's journals that they are sharing. I'm going to be plugging into them this week.
     
    Saville likes this.

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