Finding a way forward

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by cjm, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    thanks guys.

    day 2. Started horribly but by the end of the day i felt more human again. little
    "clash" with boss at end but nothing too bad. Got in the gym, was very difficult to shake of the lethargy. Last night i started to M in shower but promptly stopped.

    time to practise piano before bed now


    perhaps i spend too much time alone on my days off too...

    its a unique position for me to actually choose to not be pursuing any women...

    grateful for: my job and the guys at work. Sometimes they cheer me up


    edit: @Fry2 you know what, i think i may be an addict - never really thought that until know because ive always been half decent at controlling the P - but its more than just the P... Also i may not be as "pure" an introvert as i always suspected, because the enegry from other people, their positivity and humour really helps me overcome that horrible bleakness and depression - and by definition this is an extroverted trait. don't know if that works the same for you?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  2. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    Yes I can relate. With the right people my mood soars and I can become really chatty and upbeat for a while but usually I tend to be a bit introvert and to isolate myself. So I definitely need to kick myself in the butt to go socialising.

    I'm not really sure if you are an addict C., to be honest, as hpmof pointed out that's difficult to tell and not our call to make. But your case seems slightly different compared to others here, you appear to be able to handle sex, cams and all the other addictive stuff a bit better, you continue your good habbits, at least for a while, so maybe it's not so compulsive (dopamine driven) but more emotional in your case. When you're feeling good you don't act out at all for long periods of time and I never heard you complaining or batteling with cravings or urges, unlike others who relapse frequently despite having sex. This makes me assume the webcams are more like an easy available emotional/sexual (and problematic/detrimental) secondary crutch for you, when there's no girl around.

    But it doesn't matter how you call it or which label you put on it, if you can't handle something in a healthy way, cannot use in moderation and it has more negatives than positives then it's probably better to quit, which is what we're trying to do here.

    For me alcohol would be a good example. I was never an alcoholic (addicted to alcohol) but my drinking behavior became more and more erratic and problematic and caused a lot of problems for me. So after years of trying to moderate my drinking I decided to quit for good. Although I never "craved" alcohol since then like I crave (and relapse to) stimulants and porn, it was still hard at first because of the social pressure and of course it felt like I was missing something and was uncomfortable being sober. Still do sometimes.... I had to learn to go without it. Maybe it's the same for you with the cams?

    Happy that you feel better by the way. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
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  3. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    indeed its a tough call, id rather not be one of course :) In fact until recenlty i laughed at the term "sex or love addict" thinking that surely only Hollywood stars sleeping with a different beautiful woman each night would be able to call themselves a sex addict! (lol i exaggerate but you get my drift)

    i guess its more that "relationships" or validation from women area of my life that concerns me a little - which is what i was hinting at, which is why ive decided to have a little time off chasing the girls. I get such an enormous "love" and sex high and an equally horrendous crash when it all goes to shit, which it invariably does. I've been chasing it for years (4 years to be exact)

    the cams, seems not toooooo harmful for me in a sense, but then im fapping away all my feelings, hiding from them so that cant work in the long run either, as much as i did enjoy it for a short time. Also i know it will give me ED problems, and other problems when i do eventually meet another girl. So there we have as much evidence as we need that i should stay away. Easier said than doen though, in the long run. I had a LTR for nearly 7 years and most of that i spent fapping away to cams and porn....

    The mild/ moderate depression is an ongoing thing that ive been living with most of my life (as perhaps you have too) so that's just something i hope to slowly deal with, maybe it'll never completely go.

    anyway actions speaks louder than words, so lets see how it goes

    oh, incidentally i found out today i didn't get my transfer request, which had looked very promosing. This is disappointing, and means ill have to continue my decade and a half or so commute into central london, but im trying to make the best of it
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  4. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    day 3 today

    today i felt like a normal, well adjusted human being. Such a stark contrast to how i feel, and behave when im having what i can only call a "minor depressive episode" At least they don't seem to last so long these days - there was a point in time when i live like that for extremely long periods - more or less constantly. It really is the difference between a sane, rational person and insane, irrational, deeply angry person. I guess thats depression. "Depression is anger turned inwards"

    I really have to try an avoid going to that place, and i know other people, friends, colleagues and acquaintances, and maybe even family can help me so i need to make more effort to be social when im not working - hopefully this will stop me falling off the edge. I don't know

    I was reflecting a little bit on ambition and aspiration today - so many of us have that little spark of greatness, some talent or aptitude - but how many of us really follow through? Perhaps a lot of it comes down to personality or temperament. Reading about Shostakovitch - he always found great sanctuary in his work and it never felt like work, he just did it. I wish i could be like that... I know that i feel that little flame of ambition, but I worry that i'm too lazy and unfocused to ever really achieve anything much. Time is ticking, I am trying but not hard enough.

    Heres a great quote from a book im reading,

    “But time...how time first grounds us and then confounds us. We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them. Time...give us enough time and our best-supported decisions will seem wobbly, our certainties whimsical.”

    I have to say that this break from women feels really good so far. To add to that my phone is broken, so i'm no only not texting women, but no one. No checking emails or facebook or anything apart from when i get home. Feels great and i wont rush to get my phone fixed. Now i just feel focused on myself. I went to visit my grandma the other day who lives in a care home, when she asked me about my love life, I told her I was having a break, and that although I've had some great experiences over the last few years, it was starting to weigh a little heavily on me, She said something like

    "Well that's better than how you used to be, always thinking there was something missing". I think there is some wisdom in what she says

    I have a day to myself tomorrow, this is where i struggle and i often fall at the first hurdle, getting out of bed at a reasonable time and getting on with it.

    Talk is cheap, action counts. Walk the walk.



     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  5. Londoner

    Londoner Active Member

    I've never heard it put that way before - it seems to match how I feel most of the time, but there's obviously the sadness and hopelessness aspects which a lot of people have too.
     
  6. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    yes thats true. I first heard it described in that way in the book "reasons to stay alive" which i would highly recommend. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reasons-Stay-Alive-Matt-Haig/dp/1782115080
     
  7. 100DaysMission

    100DaysMission Active Member

    Sorry to hear things are rough cjm.
    I have been very lucky with my mental health, so probably can't offer much advice.

    But from reading your journal - it certainly seems like these down periods are generally in the minority. Even though things feel tough at the minute, I have every confidence you will have your mojo back soon, it always seems to be the case. Though that doesn't diminish the validity of your lowness at all!

    I know you'll come good, there's no shame in taking small steps, and you said yourself you managed a few hours productivity in the morning:) It's hard to go from zero to hero, so don't heap too much pressure on your shoulders.
     
  8. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    thanks mate. I deleted my post as it came across as whiny and may sound like im fishing for sympathy. Sometimes i feel like a bit of a loon reading back these pages :)

    anyway, day 0
     
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  9. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    One of my best mates used to be into rapping but during his study also was all over the place, smoking a lot of weed. He was only focused when it came to his breakdancing practice. What worked for him was doing the Avatar courses (which are very expensive), and as he got more into that he was able to pretty much take on a project and do it.

    So one time he and I were sharing a house, and he told me he wanted to make one last full album, because he always wanted to do that. He made an elaborate plan. I think he reserved a year for writing and recording and I think he spent every weekend doing something for his album. It was impressive. He just kept going, even when things were hard and he wasn't feeling like it. In the end he made his album, made a few video clips for some of the songs, and made an entire show to launch his album. I respect his way of working.
     
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  10. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    Hello mate. I'm going to get off the fence and say that yes, you are an addict (saying as you asked for my opinion a while back).

    With regard to what @Fry2 said about dopamine vs. emotion, using a behaviour to manage emotions is what makes you a real addict. I think it's easier to put down a dopamine rush, whereas the emotional hole will always be there when you stop filling it with P (or whatever substance). Glad to read you're going to get to a meeting, it will help you fill that hole with something else. I was actually at a recovery weekend this weekend when I had my slip. Part of me is resentful that my life has led me to sit in a room in a monastery with a bunch of sex addicts, talking about God, but do you know what? Who's happier? That guy, or the guy waking to numb his emotions? I don't think I need to answer that.

    When you go to a meeting you'll see that it's full of normal, broken people just like me and you, not a bunch of freaks. I remember when I went to my first meeting I thought the room would be full or lady-killers in sharp suits and femmes fatales in cocktail dresses. It wasn't of course, just lots of normal people who shared a common problem.

    The cams aren't toooooo harmful at the moment, when you've just started using them again, but you said yourself you just went up to 4 times a day. This only goes in one direction. The way I read it in the above quote, up to the second comma is the addiction talking, then the rest of it is you.

    As you can see from my counter, I'm not perfect, but my emotional hole is smaller. Given the wrong circumstances and an opportunity I will act out, but I have so many days filled with hope and happiness now, which I never had before.
     
  11. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    If you have the time, check out this video. The speaker was of great help to me in my recovery. He's a member of AA, but all addicts have the same underlying issues. He talks about the 12 Steps, and only the first step is about your substance, the rest are about living life a different way.

    The thing that convinced me that I was a real addict, which I found to be true after six months of abstinence but not recovery, is that a real addict gets worse when they aren't using, not better, because all of a sudden we have to deal with life and our emotions, and we just aren't equipped for it.

     
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  12. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    thanks guys

    @Hello Penis My Old Friend thanks for the posts, and the video too. I listen to the whole thing last night on my night shift, and another one of his this morning. The guy is an excellent and charismatic speaker I thought, I can relate to a lot of what he's talking about. I said to my therapist some months back something like "without some new project, woman or interest to be excited about i seem to revert to this default state of emptiness and bleakness, especially in isolation"

    I have used his own words "anaesthetic" for my experience with relationships in the past

    W heather or not I am an addict, i'm sure I have the same void or emptiness that addicts try to fill with their chosen vice. Again it got me thinking about a "normal" well adjusted person VS the addict, how many of those "normal" people really are there, how many people are not trying to fill a void of some kind, how many people use their intimate relationships or chosen substance for comfort, to ease their emotions? It got me wondering if what the AA speaker was talking about isn't just part of the human condition for most people or even all people.

    I seem powerless to get off the cams right now, this shift happend after I saw A a couple of weeks ago, after this point i decided to take a break from dating for a while, looking at it the other way you could say that i felt so utterly jaded and exhausted that I gave up temporarily! So now i don't have any prospects it seems and therefore dont fear consequences of P watching on my performance, there is nothing stopping me. I have now reverted back to my cam watching habits from years ag0 - this is a big step backwards for me in terms of P recovery.

    I've been thinking about sending A an email saying that we are done for good this time. It seems pretty clear that the situation is not good for me, and i'm just pursuing the familiar story of that unavailable women, again. It got me to thinking about who had the more healthy attitude to relationships/coupling and the answer is definitive in my opinion - neither of us

    I've also been thinking about the red pill theory, and although there is a lot of truth, and ive learnt a lot in theory about the harsh reality of gender dynamics (its different putting things into practise though) I don't think its an ultimate answer if one is still a slave to female validation, sex, etc. It works on the premise that you always have a female option to call on. What happens when all the "plates" fall away and break? What happens if you fail to generate options? You are left in that same position as you started.

    Anyway on a more positive note, work was pretty fun and we had an american fire chief visiting the station until 1AM, we exchanged some fire brigade memrobilia, had a laugh and in the end his wige got worried about him and his daughter had to call our control, from the US saying they'd lost their dad! Very funny. The life of a US firefighter sounds great, over double the pay, adored by the public, beautiful fire engines and where this guys is from in the US midwest you can buy a beautiful, spacious family house for less than the price of my London flat (which is in a modelratley rough area - one of the cheapest in London i might add) Must admit I felt a little envious

    We had lots of jobs, but i still got in the gym (about 11am) and had a great workout, running, intensive skipping and then sprints out in the yard. The neighbours must have thought me a bit mad, sprinting around the yard in the dark with no t shirt on! so i give myself a pat on the back for that :)

    got no sleep and very tired today. I have lots of social stuff planned on my 4 off which will be cool! Trying to muster the energy to get some stuff done this evening, but i may just have to take it easy
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
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  13. Londoner

    Londoner Active Member

    Sorry to hear that, bud. I'm sure it's just a temporary fall though, and you'll eventually get your motivation back.

    You go back to the root, which is self-improvement for your own sake. I get it though, it's hard to get rid of that need for validation.
     
  14. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    cheers. Sure, but that doesn't solve the problem for a lot of people. Once the options are gone either by design or circumstance, I (and you by the looks of it) have gone back to compulsive fapping. Even @Thebeg hasn't managed to be rid of P when he's got options, so I dont think its necessarily the answer for this problem.
     
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  15. Hello Penis My Old Friend

    Hello Penis My Old Friend Well-Known Member

    Thanks mate. I'm glad you enjoyed the video. That speaker has had a huge influence on me. As for normal people, well, I've spoken to a few friends, of varying degrees of fucked-upness, about my addiction, fears, and life. I found that most people share the same fears and worries, but the difference is that addicts turned to something unhealthy to fill the gap. It's not the condition that really varies, it's the coping strategies. What I've found is that my problems go a lot deeper than porn, and the 12 steps are gradually giving me a way to face up to life without it. Only the first step is about the addiction.
     
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  16. Thebeg

    Thebeg Well-Known Member

    I've had these thoughts as well. I thought that the ultimate baseline would be no desire for validation whatsoever. But that sort of restricts you to a life in social solitude, and no person is going to be happy in such circumstances. It may feel like it's the ultimate form of independence, but it's just not how humans work. Humans need a social life and people around them. As you've witnessed yourself, isolating leads to depression. It's something I've been through over and over my life, and since my therapy I realize that socializing is a thing that keeps me happy.

    In a particular sense this same thing applies to women and sex. We need sex. Just like food, except don't necessarily need it daily and there are artificial forms as well. But when it's absent its importance grows. And you also have seen what happens when real sex with A is absent, then it's back to the camming. It's not a conscious choice, but rather a result of having no prospects coupled with your choice not to engage in the dating game for a while.

    So to answer your second question: so far I haven't even been close to the situation of having all plates break. In my personal experience that just doesn't happen all of a sudden and for me, Tinder generates enough new leads for replenish any shortage. Actually lately I've only been doing a bit of casual chatting (like once or twice, then the contact stops), because I've been spending more time with J. Should online dating start to fail me for whatever reason, then I'll focus more intensely on day/night game. So I always have a backup plan.

    The way I view it, it's just similar to anything that you want present in your life. It just takes some regular amount of effort. To be in good shape, you need regular sessions at the gym, put effort in moving those weights. Same with women, to get enough options, you need regular interactions. Both feel like you're pulling on a dead weight at times, but over time both produce results :)
     
  17. Fry2

    Fry2 Well-Known Member

    Hey C. what caused the sudden change from the rational male and having multiple women going to taking a brake? Did I miss something?
     
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  18. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    thanks for all the input chaps

    im in day 2.

    TRP and rational male has some great info, but I want to be able to feel good without the need for female validation. I want to be coming from a good place to start with. I dont want my self esteem to be so tied up with women anymore its not the cure for my depression. And i would like to be free from P too.

    @Fry2 I just got overwhelmed man, especially with the online dating - I really don't like it. Not to say i wont take up any opportunities that come my way, I just want be seeking them out for now!

    had a great day yesterday, fully productive/social day and feeling positive about my music again. Whats changed? Well ive started hypnotherapy and straight away i noticed a change in my thoughts, ive been telling myself positive things - and ive found how hard it is and unused I am to doing so. That negative self talk is so damaging. Also started the book "feeling good" about CBT and is actually tied up with the concept of hypnotherapy so fits in well

    So lets stick with the daily routine of 5 mins meditation, approx 15 mins hypnotherapy and see how we do

    Progress is made in the here and now, change your thoughts and actions, and hopefully the rest falls into place. Bit of a late start today ue to going to sleep late, but lets make the most of this day
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  19. Londoner

    Londoner Active Member

    What does the hypnotherapy involve?
     
  20. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    @Londoner

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/az6gx6d2vyzb48t/SE.zip/file

    give this one a try, its what ive been using. its 3 files so you have to set up your player to play them in a row, this coupled with the CBT book ive been reading may give me the tools to overcome my low mood/depression swings. Noticed a big change in my thinking already, but its early days.

    day 3. Ive been getting massive urges at night, and not sleeping too well, but thats fine. Reflecting on the difference between genuine and artificial arousal.

    "feeling good" is a great book with a great approach to depression. Its not about ruminating on the past by finding techniques to move forward and recover.

    feeling positive. working on music today, been training. Last night I had fun working (hosting) in another city, I had a great chat with a lovely girl at the end, I was just smiling - what a charming girl. went to give her a kiss on the cheek and she turned and accidentally ending up kissing me on the lips! It was one of those cute and quite funny moments

    I was walking home, got on the train thinking how I was happy to just to have some good experiences for now and not chase too much, ended up being in the same carriage as one of the girls, got talking. I thought in the circumstances it would be silly not to get her no. so did. Nice girl, fit, late 20s :)

    going out tonight solo so a singer ive worked with before perform in a jazz venue nearby. hopefully get to catch up with her a bit after

    Been reflecting a bit on TRP and similar. Been reflecting on masculinity a bit which ill probably write about some more when i have more time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
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