Farewell happy place

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Living, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Okay, so I didn't PMO yesterday, but I did today. I should stop doing that:) I'm in a bit of bad place right now. Had a panic attack yesterday which certainly didn't help. It wasn't due to the previous slip, but more a result of the issues that led to the slip. The more rational part of me isn't that worried about the two slips, but more about the things behind the slips. However there is also part of me that sees what happened as a very, very dark cloud gliding towards me. I'm pretty scared of getting back to where I was a year ago. Obviously that's not helpful. I guess I have to accept that that's going on right now while I'm working on more structural things. Anyway, I have decided I'm going into therapy again and so I have set that plan in motion.

    Three good things:
    -I called my doctor for the psychologist. That was a pretty big step.
    -I did a lot of things in the house yesterday that needed to be done.
    -Our garden is still pretty damn beautiful:)
    Gil79 likes this.
  2. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear you have slipped off man. Sounds like we both lost some decent periods of abstinence in the same time. Maybe we can help each other out through this period. It's hard not to feel a sense of loss. Though best thing is to try not to feel ashamed of this and completely accept what happened. It's easier said then done but it's about truly accepting oneself including the part of us that has these cravings and goes for them. In my experience this acceptance will lower the cravings. You've done great work for yourself and I'm sure you will manage to keep going in the right direction. I'm also thinking of calling my therapist to set some new meetings ;) I think I'm going to try to see with him why I have compulsive sexual urges and what to do about it. Or at least what's the best way to put all this into some kind of context. Take care man !
    Living and Gil79 like this.
  3. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Awesome 3 good things! How is the shortening of the days affecting you?
    Living likes this.
  4. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27: thanx! I guess I'm kind of having trouble with accepting things on a larger scale. I agree that accepting the cravings lowers the craving, but on the other hand I should not forget that I do have cravings. I mean, I think my latest streak was my most healthy one in terms of dealing with my problems, but I still need to find out where I'm at and where I want to be. Like I tried to accept masturbation and I actually found that pretty hard. I've only done it a couple of times and I believe it did help me, but before this streak I had a couple years where I have cultivated negative feelings towards masturbation. And I have come to realize that I've actually become (mildly) anxious about masturbating. I have just surpressed too many things and I don't think that's good. That is something I'm really struggling with these days.

    @Gil79: right now I'm fine on that front. I spend a lot of time outside, so that definitly helps. My winter depression often starts in januari or februari. The current issues are a combination of different things including my job, a lunatic in our building, probably having to move, not being able to run, my girlfriend being a bit stressed and so on and so on. Sometimes you just fuck up because the stars aren't in your favour. Plus I guess I have been ignoring that I have let some of the working towards my values slip a bit. That's unfortunate, but it happens:)
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  5. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Been making the wrong decissions for the past two weeks. I didn't watch porn everyday, but I've been feeding fantasies and anticipating on watching porn on a daily base. After my last two slips it didn't make sense to me to come here. I knew that this was going to take a bit of time and coming here to journal about things going the wrong way would have probably made me feel worse. Also, my entry after my last slip almost felt like an excuse, as if slipping would be perfectly fine as long as journalled right afterwards. Now it's about time to set things straight again. One of the things I should I do is taking my problems serious again. While porn isn't bigger than me and I know I can get through this, I should not underestimate what's going on right now. What's happening is serious and something that I don't want in my life. The past weeks I saw how it effected me and my girlfriend and I strongly disliked that. This is not what I want.

    I want to feel proud again. Proud about doing the things that really matter to me. If pride means making it a day without watching porn, than I will be proud of that. While I'm not the biggest fan of goals and streaks I'm going to set a 10 day goal just to get things going again. In these 10 days porn is completely out of the question and so is masturbation. Day 1: here we go:)

    Three good things:
    -I've got a really nice assignment I can work on for month or so.
    -I love watching the birds in my garden.
    -I've been reading a new book I like really well. If you are into fantasy and haven't read it yet, do try Mistborn!
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  6. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I have a day off and that's always tricky when I haven't been making the right decissions for a while. But this morning I woke up and had breakfast with my girlfriend, did tai chi and took a shower. I opened the curtains straight away (which is always a big deal to me) and now I'm ready to get some shit done. Getting past the first hurdles of the morning is always the biggest step for me, so I'm pretty confident that I can at least make it through this day:) I guess deciding that porn is out of the question is a big help right now. It's doesn't seem that much of a decission and we can all see that it makes sense, but it is something I need right now. Last year I spoke of building a metaphorical pyre in my backyard and that's what I have been doing for the last two weeks. I've been building a great big pyre. Yesterday I cleaned it up and that gives me something to get going again.

    Three good things:
    -I made some calls to be to do the assignment I mentioned yesterday and I think it can go through. The assignment is something I really really like, but it also means that I will have to become an independent contracter. This is something I worried about a bit yesterday. I don't think that's really my thing, but I still have my other work on the side so it's not that much of a risk.
    -Wednesday during D&D I was kinda assertive. It's not that I'm not assertive at all, but I just don't like conflicts a lot (especially not while doing something fun) and we have this one person in our group that is a huge control freak. There have been times when I thought about stepping out of the group, but I do like our adventures a whole lot. Anyway, wednesday I was like 'Fuck it' and 'rebelled' a couple of times and even had one of the other players 'rebel' with me and that was nice.
    -I really had a great talk with my girlfriend yesterday about her research. She is a bit stressed right now and so she doesn't always take these talks about it well. She needs the talks, but since I know a lot about the things she researches it sometimes leads to criticism she doesn't want to handle while at home. But yesterday we did have a really nice talk and exchanged some ideas and so on. That was really awesome:)
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  7. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    The difference between this weekend and the weeks before is like a difference between night and day. Being aware of how I feel when I'm in a bad period and when I'm in a good period and how quickly that can change makes me feel like a pretty big fool for giving in to PMO. When I have a period like the last two weeks I'm under constant stress. I feel bad about myself and I'm worried about being found out. I get really worried that I'm fucking up my life or even that I might some day die because of watching porn. While I don't think that's a healthy reaction to porn (and something I should work on) it is what I have to deal with right now. When it comes to physical reactions I mainly have a headache after hours of edging. I think that's part stress, but probably also due to dehydration (the headache feels very similar to a proper hangover. So that's the bad part:)

    The good part is that when I decide to make healthy choices again all of this pretty much dissolves. Sure, I still feel guilt and I do worry about my (future) behaviour, but I don't seem to be troubled all that much by withdrawal symptoms. Perhaps I am a bit less focused, but that was already the case before I slipped (being stressed and having too little meditation). So after two weeks of feeling really bad I had this wonderful weekend that was not unlike the weekends a month or so ago. I did some things that needed to be done, had a great time with my girlfriend and laughed a lot actually. And yes, that made me feel like a giant fool:) It's like I have this rather simple choice between feeling stressed out and miserable and feeling content and somehow I still make the choice to feel stressed out and miserable every now and then. On the one hand I do I get that I do that, but on the other hand it's just so hard to grasp. I know that I make that choice because I have made that choice too often in the past, but when I look at it in the way I see it today I just can't understand why the hell I would chose to PMO. It's just bonkers.

    Three good things:
    -Yes, I had a great weekend. Did a lot of reading, did some work in the garden, set some things straight and just had a great time with my girlfriend. We watched the rugby WC finals on saturday. I remember a couple of years ago we had this long walk in nature and halfway it started to snow. When we got back to the city we decided it was a good time for a hot chocolate with whipped cream. We went to this bar we sometimes go to (they have a great selection of beers), sat down and had our drink. Meanwhile there was some rugby game on (it might have been the finale of last WC) and we found out we both really really liked that. Rugby isn't really a big thing in the Netherlands, but I live in a city with lots of international students and the vibe in the bar was just really awesome. So we had a couple of beers and watched the entire game. Since then we watch rugby every now and then:)
    -Did a really nice meditation this morning. I think that one of the reasons I started skipping (serious)meditations more and more is that Headspace really works for me, but that I switched to UCLA's MARC meditations a couple of months ago and that I have a bit more trouble to keep up with that. I started doing those because I like their loving-kindness meditations, but perhaps I need to focus on the mindfulness meditations from Headspace if I find those easier to hang on to. They are a bit shorter and the entire app encourages you to do your daily meditations. Perhaps I should use headspace as my daily basis and add a bit of loving-kindness every now and then.
    -I posted 'I wandered lonely as a cloud' a month or so ago and I've decided to 'spread' another one of my favorite poems. It's 'The Road not Taken' by Robert Frost. I have know it for years now and it has appeared in several collections of poetry that I have bought. The last one I bought was 'Poems to live your life by' by Chris Riddell who is one of my favourite illustrators. You might know him from his work with Neil Gaiman. Anyway, if there is one poem that I would consider a poem to live my life by it's 'The road not taken'. Enjoy!

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
  8. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Day 5: I'm glad I made it through yesterday. I have a couple of days off and being home alone has always been the most tricky thing for me. Yesterday I had some urges to watch porn, but nothing too serious. Last night I did have some more serious fantasies and it actually made me sleep a bit less well. During the night I was awake for almost an hour struggling with fantasies and they returned this morning. Although I didn't have a serious intention to give in, part of me thought it would be a good plan to do some stuff that fringes on unwanted behaviour. It's pretty innocent in itself, but it's something that only makes sense as a step towards unwanted behaviour. While part of me still wants to do that, I opened the curtains, had breakfast and already did some productive stuff. Next stop: tai chi and shower:)

    Three good things:
    -I handed in the proposition for the assignment as an independent contracter. It's something that I had been kind of insecure about, so it's a good thing that I emailed it first thing in the morning.
    -My foot seems to get better and better. I still feel a bit of discomfort, but it seems a lot less than a few weeks ago. In the meantime I started going to the gym again instead of running (which increases the pain) and that seems to go very fine. It doesn't give me that feeling running gives me, but at least I can drain away part of my energy.
    -One of the things I like about myself is the satisfaction I can get from just watching the small things in my garden. I always paid great attention to the birds that constantly visited the garden for food and stuff, but somehow I started doing that less and less. I decided I should get back into that and really start enjoying it again. Currently we have sparrows, finches, green finches, blue tits, great tits, robins, turtle doves, jackdaws, Eurisian jay and the occasional nuthatch, short-toed treecreeper and great spotted woodpecker. There is just so much out there when you really pay attention to things. I'm really hoping to get some interesting birds again this autumn and winter. Hoping for long-tailed tit (one of my favourites), siskins, bull finches and bramblings. Sometimes there are gold finches in the park in front of house too so I'm secretly hoping they will find our garden too:)
  9. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    Hey Living,

    since you are playing board games (Mage Knight) and like birds, have you heard of or even played Wingspan?
    Living likes this.
  10. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    It's a pity there is no 'Superlike'-button:) Just watched a How to play-video on Boardgamegeeks and Wingspan just made the number one position on my wishlist. The game seems really cool! Huge thanx for that @Pete McVries.
    Pete McVries likes this.
  11. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    Haha, anytime ;)

    I have a copy at home but haven't played it yet because I'm still waiting on my sleeves. The components of the game are really of high quality. The rulebook is made out of linen instead of regular paper (and the cards too, if I'm not mistaken) o_O. I don't know if your gf shares your boardgame enthusiasm but wingspan is a game that appeals to non gamers as well, I think. They are fooled by the stunning visual design that in truth they have an accessible engine builder in front of them :D.
    Living likes this.
  12. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    That sounds awesome! My girlfriend doesn't like games that much, but I was already curious if she might like Wingspan. It doesn't seem too competitive (which is not her thing), so who knows:)
    Pete McVries likes this.
  13. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    My gf likes Sagrada very much (me too). It is competetive because you draft dice from the same pool but rarely are you able to "hate draft" because you are so focused on building your own window as best as possible that this has never happened so far or only happens by accident. High quality components and beatiful dice included. Thanks to all the different contracts there is high replayability and different difficulties. Higly recommended!
    Living likes this.
  14. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Just paid another visit to Boardgamegeek. Seems cool! Thing is, she also likes simple games, as in games where you don't have to use complex strategies and such. She likes Memory:) And she likes Pick-a-pig (which is actually a fun game). Now I on the other hand do like strategy a lot. I have accepted that me and my girlfriend are not a perfect match when it comes to games. We tried tons of stuff, but it just doesn't go well. I even suggested some co-op games, but she just isn't that much into games. I am going to try to make her play Wingspan with me though:)
    Pete McVries likes this.
  15. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    I'd call Sagrada a simple game (the rules are explained within 2 minutes) but it offers a rich experience because the situations you are facing are never the same and depending on the contracts it can be quite the brain burner. The color and the value of the dice always represent a challenge within the simple ruleset. Everyone who I have been playing with has liked it so far.

    I'm also very much looking forward to playing Wingspan but as I said, I have to wait for the sleeves first. Moreover, I'm very interested in your verdict of Wingspan once you've played it a few times. I'm not much of a solo gamer but apparently, the solo variant of Wingspan is really good. Maybe worth a try to play a game before teaching it to others?! That's how I'm going to do it, I think.
  16. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I was actually very skeptical about solo games at first. I started doing it as a substitute to D&D which to me is the ultimate game. To me D&D offers a kind of freedom that even modern day RPG's on a computer can't compete with. However, I could not play it as often as I wanted and so I went looking for alternatives that had a bit of a similar feel (adventure/fantasy/RPG), but that I could play on my own. Ofcourse I ended up with Mage Knight, but the thing was, the game is pretty damn expensive. And I was like "Yeah, but what if I'm buying that 100 Euro game and I'm going to cheat just a little bit when things go the wrong way because nobody is looking anyway. I would totally ruin the game!". That was my major concern for playing solo. So I decided to go for an afforable option first: Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords. I tried it, never cheated once and it's just a great game. In certain ways it's a lot more limited than Mage Knight, but the thing I really like is that you build your character and your deck not just for one game, but also for the games beyond. In that way it's kinda like D&D. And then I got Mage Knight. And in several ways that game is just so fucking awesome even when playing solo. I haven't played it a lot yet, because it takes quite some time, but it's just plain awesome. I'm not sure I like all solo games though. I also have Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on Cursed Island and I haven't really got the hang of that yet. I don't know. The game seems cool enough, but there is just something that doesn't appeal to me. I should give it another try though. I also heard there is this variant of Agricola that you can play solo and which is supposed to be really cool. If you have the base game you can just download the solo game rule book. Although it wasn't intended as such, I've heard it's actually one of the best solo games there is.

    Anyway, long story short: when I have played Wingspan solo I will let you know:)
  17. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Day 0: Made it seven days and then I slipped today (although I already lost grip a bit yesterday). I did clean up the pyre though. Even a couple of leftovers of the pyre I didn't really clean last week.

    What I really like about myself is my optimism and the way I can see beauty in the smallest of things. That's something I really value. Without that I would have been thoroughly depressed. I do start to realize more and more though how my low self worth is a serious issue and is something I need to work on. It's not always there in the same magnitude, but it's something that constantly lingers and every now and then gets out of control. Yesterday was one of those days. I had to this big event with a whole lot of succesful people and there was I with my social anxiety and my low self worth. I was pretty much crushed or perhaps I should say that I crushed myself with my beliefs. I felt like someone that didn't matter in any way and that's not a nice feeling to have. After the event I tried to talk about it with my girlfriend, but although she tried to help I just don't think she understands how I bad feel at those moments. I'm not going to blame her for that, but I would have liked some proper support. Her not helping me made me feel even worse. I just felt alone and abandoned. Oh yes, and thoroughly miserable:) I'm not going to say that that made me turn to porn, but I guess not knowing how to deal with these feelings properly makes it a rather big temptation to want to escape.

    Anyway, I'm going to try and go for 10 days again.
  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    These feelings are difficult to process. I know them all too well. I would suppose that it's our inner critical voice that we become quite identified with under such stressful events. The big events with a lot of "successful" people, it's hard to remember who we actually are sometimes. And in that state the inner critical voice becomes convincing.

    I've been "wounded" for days after such events.

    What can we do with such feelings ? I suppose the same old ; observe them, let them be. Especially after the fact (when back home). But it can be challenging when it really was a "storm of low self worth".

    A first step is not to beat ourselves up (I used to do this before, literally insulting myself in my head after such events, I guess I was fused with my inner critic) - then the second step is how to accept feeling down (this I still have a long way to go with).

    I'm convinced you will get back to 10 days and more quite soon !
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  19. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    It's so interesting how we always compare ourselves to other people, isn't it? We alway say to ourselves, that we should only compare ourselves to our past selves but that rarely applies in real life.

    I made an interesting observation last week. I was waiting for the bus while a young homeless guy walked by the waiting people asking them for money. Nobody gave him anything and when he came to me, I gave him a Euro. I had more Euro coins in my pocket so he was asking for more which I denied. He got angry and and told me, that I was a whoreson. I was really staggered and asked him while he was walking away, that he has the chutzpah to insult me even though I was the only person giving him some change. He replied 'your mother' and walked away while nervously looking backwards.

    Interestingly, it really didn't faze me longer than a minute. I think, I treat everybody the same and many people would claim that, but in reality this is not true at all. If in Germany you tell a stranger that he is a whoreson, there is a high chance that fists will fly eventually. The homeless dude for me was wearing an invisible duncecap so to speak. His life is far worse than mine, so why should it faze me what he says? But isn't that discriminating? Realistically, wouldn't it have been more appropriate to fuck him up right on the spot? How would I have reacted, if somebody who I hold in high regard had said the above mentioned things to me? I guess it would have really agitated me... I honestly don't know.

    My point is, we are often so easily fazed by people who we put above ourselves. Women (we are attracted to), seemingly more succesful people than us, e.g. and so on and so forth and in turn devaluate ourselves. But at the same time, aren't we also passing this 'behaviour' on downwards?! Just something to ponder about.
    Gil79, -Luke- and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I think to some extent it's in our human DNA to compare ourselves. It makes sense that in prehistoric times humans had to make sure where they stand in they're group and always be careful not to be outcast, since that would mean death. This natural innate tendency is probably also highly reinforced by society even today. Our whole society is programmed to appeal to our need for status. And since we are kids we are programmed that way. Unfortunately, while this can often be the source of a lot of suffering.

    An utopic ideal society would actually work to lessen this tendency in children in my opinion.

    But this is to say I guess we can be more self compassionate on ourselves when we feel bad after an event where we felt like we weren't "high status". It's like by understanding why we feel like this (okay I'm feeling really down now because my natural drive to compare myself has kicked in) we take a step back and we are more capable of accepting that bad emotion, and that way it goes away sooner. Instead of putting more fuel to the fire.

    But sure, ideally we should only compare ourselves to ourselves. It's just that maybe it's a bit idealistic ? Though we can still, as we age and become wiser and more experienced, strive towards this and break free of the innate need to compare ourselves to others.

    Gil79, -Luke- and Pete McVries like this.

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