Farewell happy place

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

  1. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Active Member

    I very much relate to your words.
    Living likes this.
  2. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I agree so much with everything you wrote.

    Slowly, I'm starting to see my "PMO issue" more and more in such a way.

    Whereas before (a couple of years ago but I fall back into it every now and then) I was seing it as a big fight, a big battle in me. It was an honest approach and effort but it wasn't yet skillful enough. My old journal on here was called "Me vs Me".

    The 2 parts "in me" are clearly in there.

    And it's not about destroying the "bad part".

    It's about a reconciliation.

    It's about empowering the "good part" and then reconciling the "bad part" (for lack of a better term...) with it.

    And I like the pizza analogy. I've thought this about P as well. As long as you're a dude, and porn exists, and especially if you've tasted it ... well you're gonna have a curiosity towards it. A part in you will have a curiosity. Best thing to be honest about it and then deal with it from there.
    Living likes this.
  3. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Thanx @TrueSelf and @Thelongwayhome27! I'm still doing fine. Had a little bit more fantasies, but that is due to circumstances (holiday). I have decided that I could do with a little bit more active dealing with my issues though. I started doing some guided meditations on self-compassion from UCLA MARC. I have been doing those in the past and I really like them. I'm still dealing with a low self image and still find it hard to accept some of my negative traits and therefore myself. This is definitely something I like to work on. Besides the meditations I also wrote a self-compassion letter today based on an exercise from Greater Good In Action (https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/self_compassionate_letter). This felt really good and is something I would like to be doing a few more times in the near future.

    Three good things:
    -The Self-Compassion letter. It felt really good to be compassionate to myself in a very honest way. Kind of like I would be to a friend when he would be dealing with issues. I sure hope it helps me a bit!
    -I went out with my girlfriend to this Asian fusion restaurant with a nice touch. They had some really great stuff. I like going to restaurants that can really surprise my taste buds:)
    -After giving away books and giving books to charity for the 100th time I have decided that it's about time to find a more sustainable way to read. My first idea was getting an e-reader, but I like real books way too much and I doubt if that is really all that sustainable. My GF came up with joining the library and that sounded like a great plan, so that's what I'm going to do. And I'm going to borrow books from friends more often. I'm a bit of a book hoarder, so I always used to just buy a book when I saw something I liked in a friends bookcase. Not the most sustainable way of dealing with books...and a pity really. So this weekend I borrowed three books from my brother in law:) Learning things like these and changing my live in a direction I like really makes me happy.
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  4. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I've been properly sick for the past two days. I will spare you guys the details, but I have felt completely miserable and I can't remember feeling like this since I was a child. One thing that happened is that instead of accepting my misery I'd tried to get to my happy place. Sick as I was I endulged in fantasies. I didn't do anything with it besides a bit of masturbating in the shower, but as fantasies go I probably haven't gone this far since the start of my current streak. Of course part of me also wanted to get online and search for images, but that part was overruled quite easily. So in the end it mainly showed that I was able to not let things go too far, but still. It kind of reminded me of the end of my last serious streak (which was well over 200 days). At that time I was doing fine, but than I got some serious issues with my wisdom teeth. I woke up in what I can only describe as agony and although I had some pretty damn good painkillers I had to wait for at least an hour before they would set in. At that point PMO-ing seemed like a proper solution to escape from the pain. Looking back it was rather foolish, because I wouldn't have died in that one hour, but it shows what effect feeling really bad can have on a reboot. What happened after that shouldn't have happened though, because I went back to porn for a long while. I guess it would have been better if I picked myself up after that slip and just went on the momentum. Anyway, that didn't happen this time, so it doesn't really worry me. It was more like an observation:)
  5. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Being sick sucks. Glad that I am feeling a lot better. One thing that I have been struggling with and which I have mentioned a few times in my journal the last couple of months is having less sex than I would like and my relationship with masturbation. While I should also work on having a bit more sex with GF I also really want a better and healthier relationship with masturbation. Masturbation is not a substitute for the intimacy I feel when I have sex with GF, but it does release some sexual tension every now and then. And it simply feels good. I no longer want to be bombarded by negative feelings and guilt when I only think of masturbation and I don't want these negative feelings to linger into the rest of my life anymore. I just want to enjoy having self-sex again and looking back with a smile on my face.

    Three good things:
    -I'm (almost) healthy again. Being sick was pretty harsh and made me realize how good it feels to not be sick. I really can't wait til I'm fully recovered and can do a proper run in the park.
    -A couple of months ago I bought this boardgame called Mage Knight which is supposed to be awesome and one of the best games to play solo. Because it's a quite complicated game you really need take a couple of hours to sit down and play. A while back I tried that and after 2,5 hours I had only set up the game for the first campaign and did one turn (a game is 6 rounds consisting of several turns). This time I had some proper time so I sat down again and after 3 hours or so I managed to do one full round:) I'm gonna try again today. Most of the time I spend yesterday was trying to understand the game and that's tough. It's really fun to play though. Looking forward to finishing the full campaign.
    -Despite not feeling well I really had a nice couple of evenings with my girlfriend.
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  6. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    Of all the people here I might relate to you the most, Living. Maybe because we're countrymen? I think you're on the right track with M&O without P. If it feels good, helps release tension and doesn't lead to P bingeing, I think you'd be wise to enjoy it with a smile.

    Mage Knight looks like a really fun solo board game. Might have to put it on my Sinterklaas list...

    It's very nice reading these three good things in your journal. Your kindness towards yourself is an example for me. Hope you'll have recovered from your illness by now!
    Living likes this.
  7. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Thank you @Bezoechow. And welcome! Right now the masturbation to me is mainly about getting a more healthy relationship with self-sex again. The last couple of years, ever since I started 'rebooting', I have fuelled myself with guilt about a whole lot of things. As you can imagine that didn't have a very positive effect on me and in fact made certain things worse. I really want to find a better way of dealing with some things I have been struggling with and this is one of them. The good feeling and release of tensions are mere bonuses right now;)

    And do try out Mage Knight! They have released an ultimate edition last year which includes all the expansions for a reasonable price (compared to everything seperate that is).
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  8. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Oh, and sorry for not being be very active on the forum a lot. There are some people I would really like to respond to, but at the moment I find it hard to find the time. It sounds kind of selfish, but I guess I'm too busy doing things I enjoy:)
  9. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Putting yourself first. I think that's good and healthy.

    One thing I sometimes struggle with is finding my right level of involvement in here. If I go too far it can actually become a new source of stress. And when I outreach myself in such a way the quality of my input suffers anyways. Never good to force posts I guess.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  10. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Okay, so it's been over 5 months since I last masturbated to porn and that's probably my second longest streaks. I don't know, what can I say? During this streak staying away from porn has pretty much been a walk in the park. There have been fantasies, there have been urges and there was this one occasion where I did a google search after reading about DeepNude. A year ago I might have seen that last occasion as a failure, but right now I'm like "Isn't that where I want to be? To get your curiosity spiked, look into it and simply move on?" I think that difference in thinking is a really good example of the (gradual) shift in mindset that brought me this far.

    But since this mindset includes the idea that learning to deal with porn is not about single streaks and slips, but rather about the larger proces I will say that while this streak might have been a walk in the park the entire proces has ofcourse been a struggle. Things wouldn't have gone so smooth wasn't it for everything that happened before that. That includes the other streak, the many times I fucked up, but mainly the things I've learned from all that and in fact am still learning from that. After all, I'm not there yet, I'm just going in the right direction. I hope I will continue this and that by focussing on going after my values it will remain going this smoothly:)

    Three good things with a free two extra bonus good things!:
    -I wanted to built up my speed a bit with the running, so this morning I tried to do my first extensive interval training. I normally run between 4:45 and 5:00 minutes per kilometer, but now did three five minute intervals where I would run between 4:15 and 4:30 minutes per kilometer. Man, that was tough! I have to say that perhaps I went even a bit faster than that which probably wasn't the best thing to do. The first interval went pretty good, the second one was really tough and with the third I needed to slow down again after 2 minutes. It felt really good though and I hope it will affect my speed if I do it regularly. I also decided that I'm going to go to a sport medical advice centre. My hearth rate is rather high compared to what the rules of thumb say for a guy my age. Since I don't feel like I exhaust myself when I do my normal runs I'm not really worried about it, but I don't want to damage myself either. So I'm going to make an appointment and get my maximum heart rate measured and stuff like that to know where I stand.
    -Our tomatoes are doing awesome. We have been trying to grow tomatoes for three years now. The first year we had two races, one pretty plain cherry tomato and one really fancy zebra tomato. The fancy ones didn't get ripe (we could still make a couple of jars of great chutney out of them) and the plain ones just didn't taste very well. Last year we only had the fancy ones and once again they didn't get ripe. This year we tried a couple of different races and they are doing pretty well. They are just starting to get ripe, but we already taste some and they are delicious! Also tried bell peppers and other peppers for the first time and they seem to do okay too.
    -Since I finally finished my thesis last year I really wanted to get my parents something as a thank you for all the support they have given me through the years. It wasn't alway the best support, but they tried and I really appreciate that. We have some great landscapes by this artist my girlfriend and I really like. The last time we were at his studio with my parents they saw some really nice works with chickens (for some reason my parents love art involving chickens) and were discussing wether they should get one of those. By then I had decided I would one of those as a thank you:) It took some time because the guy lives a bit far off, but two weeks ago I went there and bought this really cool piece. The next day I went to my parents and gave it to them. It felt really nice to be able to give something back which they like so much and luckily it fitted their sitting room. My parents 'interior design' is kind of eclectic (mainly because my dad likes a lot of things, but isn't the most gifted when it comes to taste and putting things together), but they had this spot where it really came out very nice. So yeah, I'm really happy with that:)
    -Last we week my girlfriend and I were at a birthday party of a friend and a former colleague of mine lived in the same village so we decided to hop by there too. His wife showed us around there house and my girlfriend complimented them on one of their clocks and she was like: "Do you want it?" It was this really cool mantle piece clock from the around the 1940's or 1950's and it was actually something we had been considering buying ourselves a while ago. We are like "Are you sure?", but she said it was fine. She had mixed emotions about it. So we got this really cool clock! She wanted nothing in return, but I'm going to see if we can get like a nice wine as a sign of appreciation. Oh, and the former colleague also gave me bottle of Westvleteren 12 which I have been dying to try for years now. He had mentioned he had bought some when he was working near the abbey and I was getting really enthousiastic about that back then. He said he had wanted to give me a bottle for a while now, but since we were there he could hand it to me right there. So that was really an unexpected great day!
    -Yesterday my girlfriend and I had a really great grown-up talk about marriage, getting kids and such. It aren't things we talk about a lot and we both were really happy that we had a good talk about that:)
  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing these positive things.

    I'm happy I have a similar perspective (at least these days) to what you write regarding how this current effort of yours is built upon previous efforts (both good and bad) and especially learning from past mistakes (and as such improving the approach). I've come, more and more, to realize (I hope it's not just an illusion) how it's the quality of my commitment that needed (and still needs) fine tuning and not so much the quantity of it (so to speak). The urges are still here, every now and then, but the better my acceptance and my understanding of why they come (often right on cue), what they're function is (instead of beating myself up), and a clearer recognition of why it's a better choice not to give in to them (what I have to win - this has to be as realistic as possible), the better I seem to be able to choose to disengage from them when they show up, until they subside ("urge surfing") - with less of that deprivation feeling that the sheer will power method of saying no seems to leave me with (that building deprivation is what makes me relapse when I say NO to urges for a few days in a row but have lost the clarity of why I'm actually saying NO...) and resume walking the better path instead of setting myself back again (back where I would have to dust up and once again, sooner or later, and engage back in the better and happier direction).

    If you really want it (to recover) it's all about learning and learning and learning until the effort is more and more skillful. Often times relapses are not a result of not having wanted it enough but an accumulation of mistakes. At times even well intentionned mistakes. With the skillful approach not only do you actually have less urges (cause you identify where they come from and work on those parts of your life) but when they inevitably do still come, you can also handle them better. And if you do find yourself having slipped, you do know you tried hard, and you focus on what needs to be further corrected.

    I liked the part about giving the gift to your parents. I was touched by it. I really hope I can get to that place one day.

    The fact the gift had to do with artistic representation of chickens ... well that part was funny :D
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  12. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    I really agree with what you said about slips @Thelongwayhome27. From the ones with months under their belts to the ones that have trouble making a single day I think we all try, we all do are best. We all know how our troubles are fucking up part of our lives, so of course we all try to do the best we can. Like you I also think that slips aren't caused by not wanting it enough, but rather by not knowing how to do it yet, changing circumstances and sometimes just bad luck. I think it's great you pointed that out, because it's yet another reason why we shouldn't fire negative selftalk at ourselves when we slip.

    About the gift: it was an awesome thing to do. While I'm a romantic, I'm also a realist. I don't believe in pure altruism. What I do believe in is that life gets a whole lot better when you positively change your surroundings. By making other people feel good and appreciated or by making the world just a bit better, you positively influence your own life. This can be big things (that gift was pretty big for me), but might as well be smaller things. It can be as simple as saying hello to your neighbour with a smile or complimenting someone. This is something that I really try to cultivate, because to me it makes quite a difference:)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  13. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    That consistent positivity is my goal too. Like the Beatles sing at the end of Abbey Road: "The love you take is equal to the love you give". It has been my experience crawling out of deep depression that it's really upon you whether or not you see the light side or the dark side of things. Taking the bright route, even if it might not always be perfectly realistic, often has the best outcomes for all involved.

    I have to say, I'm in awe with how well you can put it sometimes, @Living! I thought your posts on @Merton's journal on the subject of blockers were very good. Learning to deal with P and triggers for P in a more healthy manner seems very important. Actually my thesis for my child psychology study was to be about ACT, but I never finished it. :oops: Now that I think of it quite a bit of my thinking seems to have taken some influence from ACT. Almost make me regret leaving that field behind... :D
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  14. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    We tend to have a whole lot more negative thought than we have positive ones. I assume even the most positive people have that. Not sure where I've read that or if it's even a straight-up fact, but I remember something about 90% of our thoughts being negative ones. All I know is that I do have a whole lot of negative thoughts myself:) With that in mind: perhaps we are not the best judges of what's perfectly realistic. I mean when we are in our 'normal' state of being way more negative than we should hardly anyone would say that perhaps we aren't really that realistic, but when we are too positive that suddenly becomes a problem. That's kinda strange, isn't it?

    On top of that, sometimes we can look at things in different ways that are all true, without the other ways not being untrue. A good example of that is the perspective of the half-empty versus the half-full glass. Both are true, but taking the positive perspective will likely have a better outcome and makes you enjoy the glass a whole lot more. And when we're talking about positivity that kind of thing particularly what appeals to me. I'm not going to lie to myself and say I'm taking the bright route when in fact I'm in the dark (to pick up on the metaphores you used). Some people call that positivity too, but to me that's mainly kidding yourself. However, I do think there are other ways to deal with the dark that are both positive and true.

    Thank you:) And cool you were going to do your thesis on ACT. I think elements like values, defusion and mindfulness are great tools to manage ourselves in these complex societies. When it comes to kids I would even say these are things that they need to be taught before they go and see a therapist. I can imagine that you sometimes regret leaving the field, after all, the brain is quite an interesting little thing!
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  15. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Inspired by @Gil79's woodcarving I'm going to pick up drawing up. I have always loved that ever since I was little kid and I just love creating things wether it's drawing, writing or in fact wood carving. At elementary school I always was the kid who was really good at creative stuff and at university I actually had a couple of drawing jobs. For someone who got paid for it, it's perhaps strange to say that I really don't know how to draw. I'm creative, I have a good eye for detail and I'm a perfectionist (which in this case helps me), but I have absolutely no technique at all. So I decided I want to learn how to draw. Ah yes, I want to learn how to fail:) Being a perfectionist has a couple of merits, but very often it's a plain hindrance. I want to learn to let go, I want to learn to fuck up. For some reason learning how to sketch seems like a very good way to learn all those things. After all, sketching is all about creating something imperfect:) I'm slightly worried that I will start this and give it up again after a week or two, so I will try to make this part of my journals. And if you haven't seen me mentioning it, do ask me how things are going!

    Three good things:
    -Had a day off and picked up my girlfriend in her lunch break for a nice lunch. Nothing over the top, just good food and a nice conversation.
    -This morning when I did a guided meditation, I had this thing I have more often, especially when I haven't done longer meditations in a while. What happens is that after a while I start to get unsettled and wonder how long it will take for the meditation to finish. I noticed I have been giving in to that a few times in the last couple weeks and turned to my watch or phone. This morning I felt the same way and then I was like: "It does not matter. The meditation takes half an hour. Looking at your phone will not make a difference. " That was a small victory:) Also I started picking up the UCLA's MARC meditation's again. I used Headspace for a long while now, but currently I wanted to work on loving kindness and got back to MARC. I almost forgot how nice those meditations were.
    -Hey, I've decided to pick up drawing again:)
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  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I've had this myself. I imagine many people who meditate have it. Have you tried just being mindful of the actual impatience ? For me, the impatience manifests as a strong energy in the body. When I "look" at it (be present with it), it actually calms down. It's interesting how that way it's like the sensation was "processed". I've had times when the impatience lead to deeper calm and focus. On the other hand, a few times it got so strong that I opened my eyes and stopped the meditation. It this happens very strongly I also see it as a sign that I am pushing the time too fare and should go back to a smaller time frame.

    Nice ! I'm also really interested in trying to build up drawing as a habit. I have a lot more responsibilities coming this fall so I'm worried I won't do it. I also don't wanna push myself too far with a lot of habits at once (since I want to read as well).

    What do you plan to do in order to build the drawing habit ? Are you gonna set a time every day ? Or take a more laid back approach to it ? Right now I'm thinking of aiming for 15 mins every evening and not beat myself up if I miss one.

    Well said ! A very important life skill actually :)
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  17. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    Thanx @Thelongwayhome27! The meditation thing I don't really consider a problem. Like you said: many, if not all, people have this every now and then. It are things like these that enable you to grow and develop your meditation practice. My own meditations don't really push things too far. I do like a 5 minute minimum, but I try to do 20 or 30 minutes. I'm kinda used to that, but when I had a real busy week I sometimes did a whole week of 5 minute meditations. Those are the instances when this mainly occurs. It's something I need to go through every now and then:) Becoming aware of and noticing it are indeed great ways to deal with it.

    With the drawing I try to do at least a bit of drawing every day. I don't set a time, because I don't want to make it too strict either. I don't want to turn this into another thing that I need to do. And so far I really enjoy it, so I don't really need to set a time. I'll just sketch one or two trees or a rock or so and that will take me like 15 minutes anyway. Plus I sometimes have to do some waiting for my job, so instead of checking my phone, I will get out my sketchbook and sketch. Or sometimes in my lunchbreaks.

    Three good things:
    -The drawing is awesome! I watched two tutorials on how to sketch and I learned some very simple things that can make a huge difference. For example, in the past when I drew leaves, that's what I would do: I would draw individual leaves. Now I just draw a lot of curvy lines and in a minute you got some pretty damn goodlooking folliage. I never really worked with texture in that way and with just some scrabbling you get something that actually works. And that's just so cool! It just makes drawing a whole lot more fun. Another nice thing is that with sketching something that might not look good at first can be turned into something a whole lot better in minutes. That's something that I really wanted to learn: to not go for perfection, but just see where things take you:)
    -Sunday my GF and I were going for a walk, but the day didn't start well and so I suggested to do something that would be a bit less taxing. So we baked cookies and ordered bulbs:) The cookies were pretty good. We first made a batch of wholemeal-almand meal cookies with cinnamon and sugar (the dough was sooooo good) and then, since we had some eggwhite left my girlfriend made coconut macaroons. Now, I have only tasted those from the shop and I have never been a fan of them, but these were pretty damn tasty. I might even like them better than the cinnamon cookies. Selecting the bulbs was fun too. I love bulbs because the give the garden flowers when the perennials still need to wake up. The last couple of years we tried what works for our garden and now we just add a bit to that. Ordered some early daffodils, some muscari and some tulips. I never was a fan of tulips, but I start to love them more and more.
    -Talking of daffodils, one of my favourite poems:

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host of golden daffodils
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Continuous as the stars that shine
    and twinkle on the Milky Way,
    They stretched in never-ending line
    along the margin of a bay
    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
    tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    The waves beside them danced, but they
    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee
    A poet could not but be gay,
    in such a jocund company
    I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
    what wealth the show to me had brought

    For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
    They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils.
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  18. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    Glad to hear the drawing is working out. I need to get the hang of sketching! We had a class on giving art lessons to children and I found I was very insecure about my painting ability. Our teacher mentioned sketching as well while I was struggling.

    Also what a lovely poem. Where did you find it and who wrote it? I've been trying to get into poetry but I have no idea where to start. A volume of Hendrik Marsman's poetry is all I got but it's tough going outside the classic Herinnering aan Holland.
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  19. Living

    Living Well-Known Member

    It's Wordsworth:) Not sure how I found it. I have known it a long time. It's quite a famous poem and I guess because I like flowers and simple things it really hit me. If you want to get into poetry I guess the best way to do so is finding a selection on a topic you really like. For example I like nature and I got this book called 'I am the seed that grew the tree' for my birthday and that has become my favorite poetry book by far. I also bought 'Poems to live by' by Chris Riddell because I really like his artwork and his collaborations with Neil Gaiman, so I thought poems selected by him might be interesting too. But those are things that I like a lot personally. I think a good selection to start with is 'A thing of beauty' by Menno Wigman and Rob Schouten. It's a selection of some of the most well known poems in their original language and pretty solid Dutch translations.
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  20. Bezoechow

    Bezoechow Member

    Thanks, A thing of beauty goes straight on my verlanglijst!

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