Escape from purgatory

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

  1. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    I've traditionally done this, but I don't think it's an adequate explanation.

    I have no idea how you pull this off. I can count the number of times I've gotten 7+ hours of sleep on a night before work on two hands.

    I have to brutalize myself to be functional because I hate living the kind of life I live with a violent passion and am always tempted to get distracted. Distractions for me are long and intense.
     
  2. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 59

    "Long boring day." Socially awkward. Didn't speak well. Been speaking in an unnaturally high, tinny tone recently. Flatline, I think. There was this feeling in my brain that I should be thinking about women like I usually do, but every thought that actually came into my head was either boring or irritating.

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

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 60

    That's two (short) months. 2/3 to the legendary 90-day benchmark. Still going strong.

    "Long boring day." Noticed yesterday that my skin looked a little rougher than usual-maybe it's the sleep deprivation? I still look young (get comments to that effect) but have a day every once in a while where I just look older. Makes me worry about aging too early a bit. Need to take care of myself. Sexual fantasies were back today, focused fairly intensely on a porno girl I used to look up when I was still PMO-ing. The images that came to mind of her were all quite specific. I don't know why this all came to me so suddenly. I haven't encountered any triggers lately. I started to get a boner because of these thoughts at one point but for the most part they were just irritating. I wonder how long it will truly take for these images to fade from my mind.

    I have spoken numerous times here about how I feel on a regular basis, what kinds of things I think about. I have realized that there is one word that sums up the dominant feeling in my life other than boredom:

    DESPAIR

    Mood: 2.5/10
    Libido: 3.5/10
     
  4. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 61

    "Long boring day." Big bags under my eyes after 5th consecutive bad night's sleep. Sexual ideas were still present, same content as yesterday, less frequency/intensity. Clumsy again. Felt a lot of depressive thoughts about loneliness and feeling romantically rejected when I was a young man up until about lunch time. I wish I could totally forget all of those memories.

    I might have mentioned the concept of "two selves" on here before: The distinction between the face a person puts forward to get along with others and the truer, more authentic face that represents his true self. I've had the idea for a while that one of my biggest problems is downplaying my true self for too long while embellishing the mask self, so much so that it's almost unfamiliar to act in accordance with my true self. I tried something new as an exercise: I sat down for 10 minutes to think of a few short-term goals. I thought of how my true self and how my mask self would each spend the weekend. I think the general repetitive and predictable time-wasting routine I do each weekend is part of my mask self. The exercise didn't help much this time (I wasted some hours this evening), but maybe it's something like meditation, where the more you do it the more it works. I plan to try it again tomorrow.

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

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting stuff. I think right here is the core of my problem too.

    When I spend time alone, and it's not unhealthy time alone (escapism or mindless activities), I find myself more. I feel I reconnect with myself.

    Unfortunately, it seems that when I interact with others, the mask(s) often come back on very automatically.

    In PUA they talk about guys not losing "frame" when they are around a girl they are trying to seduce. To not let her take you out of the positive mindset you need to be in in order to be confident. It seems a good analogy with the true self and putting on a mask.

    It seems the solution would be to spend time alone often, but the good kind (reconnecting with self, building back that bridge) - basically being honest with myself first and foremost - and then being conscious of how, when around others, I start being more inauthentic. Try to play a role (the first step is often being conscious of an automatic response, and then slowly changing it). Finally, look for the people I feel more comfortable being myself around. Ideally one should be able to be authentic around everyone, but it's easier to start by being ourselves with people who accept us, are kind and like minded. They will mirror to us, that we are okay as we are. And from there we get the confidence to be more ourselves also around people we are more intimidated by and as a result more inclined to act different.

    I think the essence of 12 step groups are built on the idea that you find a group of people with whom you confess your true self. You are honest about who you are, the good stuff and the less spectacular stuff... And then ... you see the group is like, it's okay man. You're fine. You're human. You are accepted. Slowly, you build back confidence and acceptance in who you are and then start expressing that individual more and more, outside the group as well.

    Nuance : we must not be too idealistic either. Everyone puts on a facade more or less. You have to adapt yourself a bit in order to communicate with another person. The problem is that some do it way more then necessary. They truly have learned, sadly, in they're youth, for whatever reason, that they need to totally change who they are. From there comes a great sadness inside.

    We are not ourselves with others because we have rejected ourselves. When we stop rejecting who we are, although this can be incredibly hard, we start being ourselves with others too. We start living for real. Our heart opens up again.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  6. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Why don't you start trying the exercise I mentioned?
     
  7. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 62

    Woke up, went back to the car dealership to have them finish last week's work. Was pissed, but the manager apologized profusely so I didn't yell at anyone. Came home, ate, bullshitted around for a bit, convenience store/haircut/meal+chores/came home and finished "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield. It's a book on procrastination that I've been meaning to finish for over a year. It's a really good book, very relevant to me, I highlighted passages in it and hope to revisit it when bad habits start to creep into my routine.

    It was a Saturday and I didn't get my caffeine fix until I ate out at about 6PM. I realized today that means I had a bad day. (I need to tackle this caffeine habit...again.) I guess I did get a bit more done than I usually do. Baby steps.

    There was supposed to be a thunderstorm today, which the forecast kept pushing back, and eventually the entire day was just light rain. I was disappointed. Thunderstorms are always soothing for me, beautiful in a way. They're rare here.

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

    Ereignis Active Member

    REVIEW OF DAYS 41-60

    Progress has noticeably slowed. The usual day at this point is a lot of slowness and drudgery with brief flashes of vividness and rich emotions/sensations. Most of the things I've experienced fit the descriptions of flatline I've read. The moments where I feel my sexuality in my body more and my head less happen only a few times a week, but are more vivid than before. Clear recollection of dreams has been nonexistent during this period. The feeling of nervousness about how my life is passing by (TICK TOCK) was very vivid at the beginning of this period but started to disappear towards the end.

    Came across serious triggers on days 43 and 44. Can't help but wonder how much this has set me back. I've noticed that if I see a serious trigger, I experience reverberations of it for two or three days afterwards. (The more PMO-type fantasies are reignited, along with brainfog, lack of motivation, etc.) Starting day 45, most of my posts are shorter and less insightful. Whether this is a part of the recovery, something I have to go through, or a setback I experienced because of those triggers, I will never be sure. In my less foggy states, I sometimes feel frustrated because it does not seem like life is keeping up with my desire to grow and move on from this stage of my life. I've slowly come to the conclusion that the substantial pay increase I got when I picked up this work assignment earlier this year does not translate to big changes in the kind of lifestyle I can afford to have.

    On the health front, I am leaner than I have been in quite some time. I'm doing my first cut. Sleep deprivation has been more of a problem than it usually is. Having some trouble with eating enough.

    TICK TOCK
     
  9. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    I just read your posts from day 43 and 44. Doesn't seem to me that you've done anything wrong. It wasn't a conscious decision to look at NSFW stuff and you showed great strength by not acting out after you stumbled on that stuff. So I think you shouldn't make a big deal about it. Even if you felt worse the days after, there's nothing you did wrong. Let your decision to don't look at porn afterwards be a motivator and don't think about it anymore.
     
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I will give it a try. But I think you were saying you were imagining what you would do alone as yourself and as your mask self. My masks are a lot more on when I'm interacting with others.
     
  11. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    So use it for what you are experiencing, obviously. Think about those social situations.
     
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  12. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 63

    Just 5 days short of my all time longest streak.

    Woke up, ate, screwed off for a while, started the grocery store circuit a little earlier than usual, screwed off some more, laundry, went to bed late. Nothing non-routine to report. Sexual feelings are close to nonexistent. For some reason that is not 100% clear to me, I just do not feel much of an urge to do anything on Sundays. Maybe it's just the general depressive state I'm in every Sunday.

    I've begun to miss having dreams. I had a really vivid dream before day 16. I think I've had a faint recollection of dreams 1-2 times since then but nothing very clear. I really want my dreams to come back. I've read a lot of people say that NoFap has done this for them. I've never had a good dream in my life, but that's no reason not to have them. Dreams are grounding, meaningful. They link us to a realm of symbolism and meaning that "normal" life doesn't [can't?] really do. I see two basic reasons for the "missing dreams":
    1) Normal part of a slow recovery, and they'll come back eventually
    2) Something I'm doing apart from PMO has a similar effect on my dreams (likely culprits: Sleep deprivation, spending too much time in front of screens, too much routine, escapism/general lack of IRL stimulation)

    Mood: 3/10
    Libido: 1.25/10

    WE'RE GONNA TAKE BACK OUR DREAMS
    WE'RE GONNA HAVE DREAMS EVERY NIGHT
    WE'RE ALL GONNA MAKE IT
     
  13. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 63 continued

    Forgot to do my 10 minute exercise today. Will try to tomorrow
     
  14. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 64

    "Boring day." It was as boring as ever, but it felt less long than it usually does. Slept through many of my alarms and had to run out the door without a shower to avoid being late. Sexual thoughts close to nonexistent, but general loneliness is present. I'm starting to realize there's a shift in my priorities the longer I'm on this streak: I prioritize having a normal sex life less and just having a normal brain more. A brain that dreams and aspires how I know it should, and has normal dopamine circuits. I know there is a whole lot of stuff that I need to do right now (years ago, really) but the emotional pressure to do these things just isn't there. I feel like I'm sitting on a massive pile of debt that growing at an exponential rate but I just can't motivate myself to stop that growth.

    Still thinking about having dreams again. Can't wait.

    Mood: 3.5/10
    Libido: 1.25/10
     
  15. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 65

    Woke up at 4:10ish and couldn't get back to sleep. I had some kind of somewhat negative dream that I could only remember right after waking up; the fact that I had some brief memory of it made more of an impression than the actual events in the dream. "Long boring day." Work available was more sparse than ever. I had about half of a Monster Energy can, which would be ~80mg of caffeine, maybe a little less, and my body and brain had a severe overreaction. Felt terrible for most of the day: Nervous, spastic, cramping wrists and forearms, lack of focus, headaches, speaking in a weak voice. There were a lot of nervous sexual ideas throughout the day, mostly of a fetishistic variety. I don't know why I reacted so strongly, this is the same amount of caffeine that I had yesterday. The whole speaking in a unnaturally high/weak voice thing is becoming a habit over the past few weeks. It's a habit I had for a very long time, maybe ages 8-24ish, and I'm pissed to see it start to come back.

    Intermittent rage towards the end of the day. Talked to a lady offering a cheap studio apartment today, think she might be pulling a scam. Will find out tomorrow.

    Mood: 2/10
    Libido: 4.25/10
     
  16. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 66

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

    Woke up very groggy again (6 hours of sleep). It's unfortunate, but I seem to have lost the habit of getting a little more sleep than usual that I had towards the beginning of this streak and am now doing the opposite. Like Monday and Tuesday, today was as boring as ever, but felt a little less long than usual. Work is still slow-paced (I've been told it's a seasonal dip). Started off the day very depressed and lonely. Thinking of the past constantly, and wondering if there is any potential future self that can be complete after having wasted so much of my life already. These vivid feelings started to fade away by lunch time; is that even normal? I've been abnormal for so long I don't know. Despite it not being a positive feeling, I get bothered when it fades so fast, because I know that the authentic feeling is associated with moving forward and the numbness is stagnation. Felt zero sexual feelings today.

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

    There were two things that happened today that made me feel like there was some potential for my life to move forward. First, I was told by someone in a position higher than mine that I could be officially hired (currently still a temp) in four weeks, about a month before I expected. It will be a marginal pay increase, from what I can gather from my coworkers. Don't honestly know if there will be any concrete improvements to my life, but it might look better on housing applications. Secondly, I visited a studio apartment, and am apparently the first, which will be an advantage if I want to rent. It looks like shit, the neighborhood is depressing, it's in a weirdly located place that will probably contribute to me not having a social life, and has no advantages other than a decent location and price. I guess I'll decide by tomorrow afternoon. It sucks but so does everything else right now and I'm not sure if I can expect any better.

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

    Mood: 2/10
    Libido: 1/10
     
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  17. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 67

    "Long boring day." Wore my boots to work since it was raining, so I was especially aware of how tedious walking around the building was as I was developing a new blister. I was the only person in the office for the first time, until the end of the day, so I took things at a very slow pace and spent a fair amount of time looking at real estate listings. It is depressing to see how much more flexible I could be if I could afford only an addition $200-300 a month for rent. I have always tried to avoid material greed as much as possible, but what I do in my day-to-day life is truly influenced by my lack of money to a great extent. I was planning on giving in and renting the shitty apartment I visited yesterday. Near the end of the day, someone requested I come in at 3AM (!) tomorrow (I did a double-take when reading the email), so I skipped the gym, rushed home, and tried to go to bed as early as possible. (We all know how the latter goes.) This detour effectively cancelled me renting that apartment, which I'm kind of relieved about.

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

    General depressive/lonely feelings were similar to yesterday, but less intense. I feel like I need to find ways to reconnect with these feelings and figure out how to resolve them. Some sexual/pornographic thoughts occurred to me, but they weren't accompanied by any significant feelings.

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

    Mood: 3/10
    Libido: 1.5/10

    Tomorrow's gonna suck
     
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  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Good luck tomorrow man with the early (!) punch in. You got this.
     
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  19. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Day 68

    68 days is the longest streak I have ever had. By the time I post my next daily update, it will have been the longest period of no orgasm/no MO/no PMO that I have had since I was 16 years old.

    Went in at 3AM for some extra training. I got about 6 hours of sleep and was surprised about how easy it was to be alert and energetic at that time of day. The first four hours flew by; it was boring but it did not drag on like my work days usually do. The second half of the day sucked, as I was bounced between superiors who told me to do conflicting instructions. Really stupid like most of work is, but at least I have the weekend now.

    After getting out of work 4 hours early, I had a rigorous gym session and then did what came natural: Wasted my life away with a vague feeling of despair present, urging me not to. I don't know what I'm going to do for the weekend, which makes me worry that nothing good will get done.

    Mood: 4/10
    Libido: 2/10
     
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  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Major congrats man. Much, much respect.

    Have you ever tried consistently going to bed early and waking up early everyday, including weekends ? At the exact same hour ? For example, going to bed at 9h PM and waking up at 5h AM ? This may boost your energy and also help with the sleeping issues you describe sometimes.

    As I noted on my own journal lately, I've experienced this kind of restless anxious boredom when I have free time and I feel like I'm wasting it. Even if I do a lot of positive things, once I'm home and have time on my hands there is this feeling of anxious despair that doesn't let me relax. But I've also gone out to socialize lately and it's been a so so experience. I often come back feeling empty and not really satisfied. I rely to much on the drinking to socialize and it's also messing up my overall routine which is important for an addict prone individual like me to hold in control.

    The good thing though is that if I socialize I always keep in my mind, fresh, the (more or less subtle) mistakes I make when I do that (ex : drinking too much, going out with people I don't have much in common with, going out with too many expectations) ; and by keeping at it, I correct the path. Whereas if I stay home for a long time, don't socialize anymore (except work), I seem to forget these notions, and then need to sort of restart. Also, the more often I go out, the more calm I am about it and less overexcited and with too many unrealistic expectations.

    So, I still think, though, the solution is in the right balance of time alone and time connecting with others, but to find that nourishing for the soul type of connection.

    You once mentioned, a few weeks ago, that at one point you tried doing meetup and various social stuff but it wasn't all that great. Did it feel forced or was it something else ? I'm thinking of trying something like this.

    Anyways and again ... much respect for your current progress man.
     
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