Escape from purgatory

Discussion in 'Ages 25-29' started by Ereignis, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 48 continued

    A few more scattered thoughts.

    I was watching an old Chris Rock skit on the web during a meal recently. He was talking about before he was successful, how he was working a normal job, and occasionally he would go into the bathroom stalls just to sit there and pass time while he was on the clock. To him, doing this a few times was evidence of how much he utterly hated his job. But here's the thing: I do that 3+ times a day, every day. FML

    One of my sexual hangups is stomachs: The look, the shape, the feel. I've never heard of someone else with this precise experience so I will try to explain. I've always been fairly slim. Everyone in my family is. We'd eat healthy, be fairly active, and having a big fat gut would never be an issue. We've all always found overweight/obese people to be unsightly. It was the one thing that my parents were open about mocking people for. Things changed in January 2014; I was abroad in Asia and had some mystery soup. The soup gave me severe food poisoning, and I have IBS now as a result of that. IBS symptoms vary between individuals; for me, the primary symptoms are pain and stomach distension (which in turn can cause lower back pain). Distended guts actually look worse on someone with low body fat: Do an image search for "roid gut" and "growth hormone gut" for examples. So basically, I associate the stomach with pain and a repulsive appearance, both on myself and others. Sometimes when I see a girl with a midriff-exposing top I feel a surge of disgust. I've been taking LDN (low-dose Naltrexone) for about 18 months now (IIRC), which has helped with symptoms immensely, but the negative associations remain in my mind.

    The road leading to my childhood neighborhood, which I would get on when I was about 10 minutes from arriving at the house, is a source of depression for me. Leaving the home, I'd be happy, but coming home would always mean a dark mood coming over me. I just associated that road with home enough that it caused me to feel bad. I've noticed that the highway leading to my current place is starting to take the same connotation. It is time to leave this place.
     
  2. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 49

    Today was really rough. Woke up, ate a big meal, and a few hours later, did some household cleaning (shower+drain). By about 7:30PM, I started very late on the usual tasks (grocery store, dinner, etc.) I do on Sunday afternoons/evenings. My brain was fogged to a level I can't remember experiencing in months, at least. Nearly everything I was planning on getting done didn't happen. I suddenly feel like a complete zombie and don't know how to cope with. Caffeine doensn't help. Hope things will clear up enough tomorrow to start catching up on the important things. I don't know how well I could function if I stay at this level for long.

    I would like to submit some TICK TOCK lines here but that's not something I feel under heavy brainfog states. I would wonder if I was not in a flatline, but I do have some connection to sexual thoughts (in my head but not my body).

    Mood: 2/10
    Libido: 2/10
     
  3. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 50

    "Long boring day." Pissed off all day long. First was a meeting with the higher-ups, where they explained the new responsibilities I would have. They delivered it in a kind of friendly, almost too-friendly way; was it sadism? Surely they understand that I'm not excited about doing more work for the same pay? Fuck that shit. At the gym, I couldn't do any clean reps on the deadlift due to my grip giving out (my wrists have been fucked up for months now). My entire body could do the movements easily, except for my hands, which led to some goofy asshole walking over to try and give completely useless tips on form. That pissed me off too, but I was already pissed off, so I acted friendly and whatever. When I got home I wanted to smash some stuff up, which seemed to only end up destroying a bottle of body wash, thankfully, but whatever. I think I'm in a flatline.

    TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK TICK TOCK

    Mood: 2/10
    Libido: 1.5/10
     
  4. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 51

    Early in the day for this but I've got some free time so I'll just enter it now. Went to a seminar in a nearby town for work instead of going to the usual HQ today. It's day one of two, and generally much more pleasant than doing actual work. Unfortunately, the beeyotch that was primarily responsible for dumping a bunch of new responsibilities on me yesterday decided to show up as well. What a pain. Now whenever we have breaks and lunch breaks, someone will be up my ass about work bullshit. Is a 30 mile offsite, out-of-town seminar not enough for some peace and quiet? At least I wasn't at work though. I took a can of Red Bull in the car, and ended up chugging most of it accidentally. I meant to have a few sips, but it's just a reflex to chug drinks instead of sipping them. That caused a violent buzz for an hour or two, then a kind of upbeat feeling that lasted much of the day. I've been increasing and decreasing caffeine addiction cyclically for maybe a year and a half now. I need to think of a way to moderate my usage. I also had an interest in sexuality that might have been fueled by the stimulant, despite flatline-esque feelings I've felt for a few days. I guess I'll see tomorrow.

    Mood: 5.5/10
    Libido: 6/10
     
  5. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    REVIEW OF DAYS 21-40

    I think the further you go along this journey, the more gradual the changes are. I've seen a shift during this time period, but not quite as drastic as my first 20 days. I didn't have any huge cases of triggers/urges to look at PMO material during this period. There was a low-level of sexuality here, but it waned a bit, overall. I did feel some of that sexual energy more in my body than in my head, which is probably a sign of recovery. The content of my sexual fixations was mostly "vanilla" (in other words, closer to my natural sexuality). The biggest changes to my brain overall seemed to be with my general dopamine reactions; some of my old habits, especially surfing the internet, are getting weaker, but I haven't yet succeeded in replacing them with positive habits/restructuring. During this period, I started to make a regular effort at fixing my housing situation. It was a big step at really making a meaningful difference in my life, a way that I could adopt new habits and routines, and I am a little disappointed in myself for not having retained that effort.

    GOING FORWARD I need to work on replacing those waning habits with positive ones, and being more persistent with the kinds of steps that will help me move forward in life, especially finding a new apartment.
     
  6. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 51 continued

    I guess I should mention something here that I have been very slowly realizing over the past few weeks. I've mentioned a few times that I have started feeling sexuality in my body more and more, and less in my head. I said this is probably a sign of recovery, and still believe this. What I've started to see develop is this feeling kind of expanding a bit over more areas of my life. I'm feeling more connected, more "present," in my life and the things I do. I'm more passionate, more irritable, grounded. I noticed today at the gym the feeling of seeing cute girls and feeling like I could talk to them; my usual instinct is "looks nice, girls are something that will be a bigger part of my life in the future." I've spent so much time feeling like a drugged-scientist looking at an ant colony of my own life and not liking it. I wonder if this is the beginning of the end of that.
     
  7. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 52

    Day 2 of the 2-day seminar. Easy, got out a little early and didn't have to go back to work. Easy, didn't get distracted too much on my phone. Can't find accurate nutritional info so the calorie count for this week will be off. Didn't talk to anyone much for most of the day. Overall vibe was kind of relaxed, but unmotivated. After I got home (early) I didn't accomplish much else for the rest of the day. I really didn't feel much of anything today, which is a distinct improvement over nearly the entire rest of my life. Most things would be better off if I had never existed, I think. I usually feel bad but no one notices.

    After everything, I rwatched a few of the opening animations for the Monogatari series on Youtube to relax. This one is mesmerizing:



    Mood: 5/10
    Libido: 2/10

    NOTE TO SELF: DON'T FORGET CAR APPOINTMENT ON SATURDAY
     
  8. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 53

    "Long boring day." After that two-day seminar, going back to the old routine felt really jarring. Just walking from place to place was irritating to a degree beyond what it normally is. One symptom of PMO withdrawal that I've noticed before, that has really shown up in the past few days, is clumsiness. I was very clumsy today, and even made another stupid safety mistake that I could get in trouble for. My brain and my body just feel more distanced than they usually are. For the past two days, I've noticed something particularly strange about sexual urges: I didn't really feel them much, but I felt a space in my head where they should be. I almost wanted them to be there, in a strange way, but didn't feel inspired. I think I am in flatline mode right now.

    On the productivity route again, today was similar to yesterday: A fair amount of time was there to do something productive with (especially in the evening), but I slowed down so much that I didn't take advantage of it. I might need to figure out some new way to "force" myself to get things done.

    Mood: 2/10
    Libido: 1.5/10
     
  9. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 54

    "Long boring day." Given my general feeling + the lack of work at work, it felt like it proceeded at an almost incredibly slow pace. Sleepy, a little less clumsy than yesterday. I was surprised by how many people realized I was gone for two days this week. The day started off with my mind feeling like there was a sex-shaped empty hole in my thoughts; it gradually began to suggest more and more of sexual images/ideas/situations to me, which I was indifferent to at first but slowly started to arouse me. After I got home in the evening, I experienced my usual Friday crash and ended up getting ready for bed fairly late (but not quite as late as usual for this time of the week).

    Despite some occasional interest in sex today, could I still be on a flatline? I hope so, because it seems to be a necessary part of recovery for some people. If that's the case for me, I want to go through this process ASAP. My journal entries have been shorter recently. I feel less insightful, less aware, like I'm making less progress.

    In the following few weeks, I need to
    1) Rededicate myself to long-term life improvement (see last 20-day review),
    2) force myself to be more efficient with how I spend time/not zone out,
    3) pay a little more attention to sleep (especially getting to bed earlier), and
    4) be especially careful with coming across any triggers (triggering images, behaviors, etc.).


    I think (hope) those will contribute a bit to getting the momentum I had earlier in the streak back.

    Mood: 2.5/10
    Libido: 4.5/10
     
  10. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 54 continued

    Something I need to mention here is that over the past few weeks, and with increasing frequency, the idea that I am on the track for relapse has occurred to me. It scares me. I know that I have had long streaks before (one longer than this, so far) and have gone back to binging regularly for long periods after that. I've been watching a few "Universal Man" Youtube videos as background noise over the past few days. Something he discusses a lot is the difference between temporary motivation/drive and long-term discipline/lifestyle changes, and that the latter is the only thing that could be relied on for true recovery. Have I really made long-term changes? Am I more disciplined than when I began (outside of avoiding PMO itself)? I cannot answer those questions with a definitive "yes." Not yet.
     
  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    I know that precise fear you described (on the track to relapse). It sometimes even feels like a first symptom of relapse. On the other hand, perhaps every one on the recovery path has to deal with that thought. So it's not necessarily a symptom of a relapse to come. But rather a thought, an emotion, to manage.

    All I can say is that you've done some great work, some great effort and that it's inspiring. There is no question that you are more disciplined then if you compare with alternate version of you that would have gone on PMOing this whole time and not really caring what happens. You're here. You're fighting.

    Just the fact that you're here posting every day shows you're commitment and your discipline.
     
  12. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    I forgot to mention my tendency towards general distraction has been reduced significantly, maybe 20-40%, over the course of this period. Since distractions are an enormous part of my life, this is a big improvement in discipline. The sources of distractions (i.e. what websites I visit every day, the meaningless information rabbitholes I go down) have decreased in number as well. There are other areas of my life that haven't seen the same improvements, yet.

    One process that occurs in my thoughts, which I haven't seen described very well around these parts, is the following: I'll start off on a streak. I'll start experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and I'll handle them well. Then a thought occurs to me: I'll want to relapse, or do some behavior that inevitably results in relapse. There will be thoughts in my head about why doing such a thing is not such a bad idea. I won't know if those excuses are coming from my rational, decision-making capacity, or from my "scumbag brain," as they call it. So then I have this idea in my head that I've already made the excuses, that I've crossed the threshold, and I'm already in the middle of a relapse. That's why I wrote this paragraph on day 8's post:

    "Something I noticed when I was having intense cravings on Saturday is the precise moment when a relapse happens. It is not when you actually begin the act of PMO. It is not when you have these intense sexual thoughts that you can't get out of your head, either. The moment the relapse starts is when you make the decision to look at the triggers you've been avoiding. That's when the process of PMO starts. It's that simple. I have beat myself up way too many times for not being able to police the contents of my brain like a monk; this is all folly. Just don't make the bad decisions. That's all."
     
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  13. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 55

    I had to take the car in at 10:30AM to get a few repairs, and it was due for a tune-up anyway. The whole thing ended up costing me about a full week's paycheck. Fuck this car, it's still fairly new and I am beginning to really hate it. I really miss my old car that didn't require this expensive, time-consuming service. To think I got this ugly piece of shit for its supposed reliability is depressing. I want to rearrange it with a crowbar.

    After a few hours of waiting in a nearby fast food restaurant, they called me back to pick up the POS. I drove home, and decide to spend most of the rest of the day watching stuff on my computer, worried about spending another cent of my money doing anything outside of the house over the weekend. What hurt the most about it was picturing myself on Monday morning, hating my job, hating that I have another 40+ hours of repetitive bullshit to put up with, and hating the fact that I "wasted" my weekend instead of doing something better. But even when I try to do something better, it makes little difference. There is a black hole of indeterminable origin in my life, hidden in some extradimensional pocket of space, that absorbs all of my efforts to change things and move forward over the weekends.

    Something I have been considering, just for the past few hours, is that I need to connect more with my goals, with my younger self (from when I was less troubled in terms of meeting goals, and to a certain extent being authentic), and try and emulate a mindset that hasn't been so bogged down by...whatever is bogging me down, I guess. It's something that I think will need more time than a single Saturday or the downtime of a single evening. I'm thinking about a week long exploration, somewhat structured, to try and reconnect with my younger self. That includes things that remind me of those times (music, photos), as well as meditation, partial or total removal of recent interests for the time being, etc. If this is something that I think is doable, I'd make daily plans for a week, starting Monday. Or maybe this falls apart the more I think about it. We'll see.

    Mood: 2/10
    Libido: 2.5/10
     
  14. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 56

    Approaching the 2 months point. Feel like I'm in a flatline, despite some sexual thoughts (especially when waking up). One development I just noticed typing this is that I don't really have sexual fantasies as I'm going to bed lately, but they're still there when I'm waking up (especially when I'm sleeping in).

    Today sucked. Woke up and ate a big meal. Had diarrhea, despite not eating anything out of the ordinary recently. Sluggish all day, as is usually the case when I'm dealing with digestive issues. Spent most of the day going through clutter in my laptop files as well as a little bit in my room as well. (Room still looks filthy.) Left for the grocery store/dinner loop around 19:00-19:30 and stayed up late, as usual.

    Didn't really brainstorm the one-week project to reconnect with my goals. In the grocery store parking lot, I opened my trunk to find a panel unscrewed and laying there with the tools and screws underneath. The people at the car dealership ripped me a new asshole for the repairs and didn't even finish the job. I didn't get anything done this weekend.

    Mood: 2.75/10
    Libido: 3.5/10
     
  15. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Well you brought the car to the repair shop. Even if those guys didn't work properly you still did something. And you're doing a lot everyday man.

    I know people who, when they bring the car to the mechanic, they stay near the guy working to make sure he does what he has to. I always hated doing that and much rather get out of there and let him work. Unfortunately you can see how some don't deserve this type of trust.

    Bring your car someplace else next time.

    You are nearing day 58. That's the day I fell on on my longest streak.

    Keep it up man.
     
  16. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    I saw this post the other day:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/bxvbtf/what_is_the_longest_period_of_time_you_have_gone/

    I'm assuming the audience is skewed towards the younger set, who has MO'd and PMO'd a lot more than older generations. Nonetheless, the number of people who haven't gone a week (or two or three weeks) without orgasm is stunning. Don't beat yourself up for ending that "streak." You have a lot more discipline than most men.
     
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  17. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 57

    "Long boring day." Got the usual sparse Sunday night/Monday morning sleep, but felt more energized throughout the day despite that. Don't have any idea why. Everything I did at work felt especially pointless today. Weight cut has basically stalled. Looked at some apartment listings this evening and felt really discouraged about what I could afford.

    I think I meant to say something else here but forgot. A danger of updating this journal too late.

    Mood: 3/10
    Libido: 1.5/10
     
  18. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Edit: If I'm going to do the 1-week project, I'll need more time for brainstorming/planning. So not this week. I like the idea of trying a new 1-week project every week, though, if I can generate enough ideas.
     
  19. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 58

    "Long boring day." Sleepy again, but more alert than I would expect to be based on the sleep I got. That's something I've been experiencing a lot recently. Looks like tomorrow is heading towards another sleepy day. What I've noticed over the past few years, but especially since the beginning of this year, is the brutal turnaround for time management and habits in general: It feels like if I falter even for one moment, have one moment of imperfection when it comes to managing my schedule, if I eat dinner or brush my teeth a bit too slowly, every little incremental gain I've accomplished drops off. Get up early, ahead of schedule by about five minutes, somehow I manage to leave the apartment the exact same time, to the minute, that I usually do. Hesitate while stuffing dinner in my mouth, forget to spend that 60 seconds sending an email out during the ideal time to do so, all the sudden I'm going to bed at the exact same time, to the minute, that I did last night (which is to say, way too late). All the little things I do-the showers, the fumbling around my pockets for keys, making sure the door is locked behind me, wiping off the stovetop after a meal, organizing my room to the minimal degree necessary to lay out my sleeping bag before bed, it all manages to put me back in the same position, every day, despite any efforts I make to the contrary. Often down to the minute.

    Why? How?

    I said all day that I would go to bed early tonight. I really meant to. (Obviously typing this update takes time, but I type fast so it isn't a big deal. Plus it is a part of my schedule anyway.)

    I think I'm going insane. Is this real? I feel like I'm going insane sometimes. I increasingly just want to smash all my possessions up because that's one of the only things I can do that has some kind of lingering effect on the following days. (I smashed my windshield a bit today by throwing things. I don't think the cracks went all the way through the glass so they shouldn't spread.)

    Am I trapped in purgatory?

    Mood: 3/10
    Libido: 2/10
     
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    (This may be slightly off topic) but ... I don't know if this applies to you or not but it reminds me of my own issues with a type of "OCD discipline" I have at times.

    I seem to alternate between periods of no discipline at all or too much of it. It's like all or nothing.

    When I try to make progress with my life/personal problems it often starts with more discipline (good habits, routine). And it usually helps. But the problem is I think I become too OCD about it. Too attached to it. At some point the discipline itself becomes counter productive. It can become a source of self fulfilling prophecy ; for example if one day I don't work out, then it means everything is messed up. If one day I don't sleep more then 7 hours it means it's finished.

    Now I may be wrong about this, but I feel it's almost as if, a stepping stone in progress is, at one point, to become more relaxed about the discipline (less mentally attached to it) yet to not fall off completely either. Somehow to show ourselves we can handle things even if we are not fully OCD disciplned. To find more of a middle ground.

    I often noticed that when I get on a noPMO streak, after a while, I become very mentally obsessed with the discipline. To the point that I have to go back in my mind, often times, to convince and reassure myself I've checked all the things to do. I don't know, even this can help at first, I can't feel this is healthy.
     

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