Fresh start again ...

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by positivef, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @positivef I'm trying to visit more journals to help in my own journey. I appreciate the streak you've got going and the work you've done. I have a particularly difficult time letting go of a few women from my past, too. I've never thought about that as part of my problem. Letter go is hard. They only "come around" when I'm particularly stressed but thinking of them can trigger.

    Keep up the good fight!

    RD
     
  2. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    processing depression right now myself. seems that's what i've been most of my life. day 7 today. never give up
     
  3. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    How have you been, @positivef ? Haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope you are well, friend.
     
  4. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    Positevf
    how did you process depression and low feelings. my main problem. i need all the help i can get. desperate. thanks ahead of time.
     
  5. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    @badger I'm still processing depression and low feelings. My biggest issue at the moment seems to be that I can not focus to get anything done, teeming with (non p) distractions. You mentioned in a post about pain. I guess pain is something that we need to dig into and get to the root of. But that hurts, so maybe we take it a little step at a time? (btw - I've found I get more depressed when I don't exercise).

    @deleted_user Sorry for slow response. I'm still going thanks, update below. I hope you are well.

    So I am back. I can't believe it's over a year since I posted. Unfortunately, it is not because I've been totally clean. This year in someways has been a repeat of the year before. Several months without porn then a fall back in. Sometimes with one 'session', sometimes several weeks with several sessions. My real goal is to make a year. I know abstinence won't magically improve my life. I just wish I could get into some good habits, maybe fill some of the potential I am arrogant enough to believe I have.

    The house I moved to ended up not working out. I guess a moving in with someone with severe depression wasn't going to help my mental state. The work on the house ground to a total stop too. I'm somewhere better now, but I still have issues. I guess I expect too much. My mind is broken, I struggle to be happy even when I make progress. My mind is broken, I don't know what to choose to be satisfied, or even if that is possible for me.
     
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @badger, I'm not sure it is about processing depression as working through it. I suffer from it chronically. I self medicated it with many things including porn long before I knew I suffered from it.

    I think the operative word is manage.

    I am not great at managing it but I've learned techniques to manage it.

    There's drugs, of course. I mean Rx drugs a doc prescribes.

    When I am managing it ... I choose sometimes not to .. I am physically active, live my life off of short 4-hour block to do lists, force myself through schedule to be with others ...

    When I am not managing it I find I choose NOT to do those things.

    When I am managing it I read almost every day several articles about how to manage depression ... cold showers, meditation, etc. ... from which I'll adopt small things here and there.

    Hope that helped!

    RD
     
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  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Today is going to be the best day I've had through this difficult run!

    I prayed last night asking for help getting through today with no porn, no alcohol, no M .... I woke up feeling much less tempted and as I work through my cup of coffee today I am highly motivated to make this day the best day it can be.

    RD
     
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  8. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    right on! kill it today, my brother.
     
  9. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    I've been looking back through this journal for the first time in over a year. I realise I have forgotten so much good advice, and I have abandoned so many good plans. Well it time to listen again and time revive those plans.

    This video was worth a revisit:

    How I Tricked My Brain To Like Doing Hard Things (dopamine detox)


    This simple advice from the video forgotten: Do the important, harder stuff (at least some of it) first!

    Reason: it can be hard to get back into work mode, especially when it's a goal only known to yourself (maybe I have to share goals, yes yes I do!).

    This from: @Rebootian
    ... e kind to yourself today buddy, you are doing so well! Stay strong. Revisit your plan, connect with others where possible. Watch those urges as they thrive in isolation and love to be hidden. Be honest, be seen and make contact with others.

    Yep, this can be a hard one for me with introvert tendencies.

    I'm going to continue looking at past notes and I will try to watch more videos on the Better Than Yesterday channel.
    - - -
    I've notice a lot of recent posts noting the need avoid fantasising especially when associated with masturbation or fmo. This is also a trap I need to avoid. Therefore, I'm going to focus for ninety days on avoid these thoughts, and masturbation (unless physically horny, but preferably avoid altogether).
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
  10. BaldrRising

    BaldrRising Member

    Please share with us some of the advise you've rediscovered.
     
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  11. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    Do the hard stuff first, detox from high dopamine activities (not only porn), reach into the cookie jar when struggling, communicate with others.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2021
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  12. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    I have come back to the this forum after a break; largely because I was losing focus and had started to sexualise women again. Slowly but surely those sexual thoughts were allowed to linger in my mind, and that is how it can get you again. Also, I haven't yet achieved the goal of going a year without porn, or deliberately searching for content I can sexualise.

    Further, I have not been progressing with other goals to improve my life. Particularly, I think lack-of-focus is one of the largest stumbling blocks for me.

    So at the moment I am doing a 'hard mode' of sorts. The counter does not say when I last looked at porn, which was probably a couple of months ago. Instead it when I last allowed sexual thoughts to stay too long in my mind. I know this sounds a little arbitrary, but I will know when I have crossed the line. I'm also abstaining from masturbation for a period - this isn't a goal but a way to build resolve and not get into old routines.

    As someone said in another post the hardest thing is to change your mind. I am hopefully changing my mind, shooting down fantasies that arise and learning more about myself.


    Transgressions:

    I've realised that in the past I have used sexual fantasises to help me drift off to sleep or motivate me to get out of bed. I am now actively challenging this and any horniness I may have at these times. Using other things/ideas to relax to or get motivated by.

    Looking a too long at a woman's behind when I was shopping.

    Being tempted to click on thumbnail or profile purely because of an attractive women in the picture.

    This is the worst one; I have been attracted to a young female visitor to the house where I live. I can feel the shame just typing this out. But at least I am aware, and working on improving my mind in this regard.


    Resources:

    I'm still often reading the subreddit loveafterporn. This helps me to learn more and be reminded of the devastation porn can cause partners. This phrase came up 'secretive, unfaithful, and perverted', which does sum up some of my behaviour when I was with my last partner.

    I am coming to realise I may not be interested in finding a partner, maybe. I'm leaving that thought in my mind to ponder. Most of my life is over, any meaning I struggle for seems to elude me when I try to make it real.

    This article, also posted on that sub, I found to be a useful read:
    https://www.allprodad.com/how-your-pornography-use-affects-your-wife/
     
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  13. Bill Bogie

    Bill Bogie Member

    Hey man,

    You probably remember me, we used to discuss a bit last year before you left the forum. Nice to hear from you again.

    It's with great modesty that I share my opinion here, because I'm not a model, I'm not a scientist, I'm not a guy who totally overcame ED, etc. I'm just a guy who's been on this forum for a while, and your post made me think about a few things.

    Don't forget that you're human, man. You're a man, you've got hormones that make you desire things, you've got a mind that might be somewhat prone to addiction, and... you're a mammal. Religious people don't like when we say we're animals, but they can't deny we're mammals, which basically implies the same things. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, it's normal to look at a woman's ass when you see a nice one (but it's not normal to look at it for ten minutes and to follow the girl in the streets, that kind of things...). Personally, if I didn't have ED which I believe is caused by porn, I wouldn't have any problem with looking at girls bodies on the street, and even watching porn, to be honest. Most guys watch porn and don't become addicted to it, and don't develop ED. For us guys on the forum (we're all different, but there are common goals to many of us), the challenge is to regain sexual health and free ourselves from an addiction. When we start adding moral aspects to the issue, I believe we're going in the wrong direction, at least in the beginning of the process (the first 2-3 years away from porn). Be careful not to set standards that are unachievable, and to condemn behaviors that aren't really unhealthy, otherwise you'll never be satisfied with your progress, and probably remain in conflict with yourself, and that's exactly what we want to stop.

    Just try to not bring too much shame and guilt in your reboot. Avoiding porn and masturbation (and even sex, for many guys) is already a very good project. Going against our natural state isn't such a good project, in my opinion. If I avoid looking at hot girls on Instagram, it's because I get addicted to it, and because it contributes to my ED. That's all. It's really normal for a guy who's 30 or 40 years old to have a look at a beautiful woman's body when we see one. And most guys in a relationship still use porn every once in a while. If it doesn't give them ED, and if they still manage to have a satisfying sex life with their girlfriend, I think they got not problem and shouldn't necessarily stop using porn.

    Just my two cents. There's too much morals in our community, too much self-criticism. Being a healthy man also means to incorporate desire to one's life, and we have to learn to do that.

    Keep it up, man, you got a good streak going on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
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  14. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    @Bilbo it's great to hear from you too. You make some good points. Definitely we need not to be too hard on ourselves, it becomes counter productive to progress. Getting the balance right can be difficult, for a lot of my life I'd had too little discipline.

    I'm not religious in a traditional sense and have no issue with seeing humans as animals.

    However, for me there is a moral aspect to porn, abstinence is more than curing ED. At the same time I know many people can use porn without issues, and some porn isn't created under suspect circumstances. Also, part of it is understanding expectations if in a relationship.

    You are right it is normal to see and be attracted to women, the problem is holding on to and obsessing about those thoughts.

    I know we have incorporate our desires. It's just I'm no longer sure what I desire, can't distinguish them from habit. Feeling old, like I should pursue something else.

    - - -

    So to end this post on a positive note, this week I've had more alone time in the house than usual. A big trigger for me, but I haven't used. In the past I would fall down at the start of a period when I knew I would have chance to use easily; then spend the rest of the week cursing, trying to recover and blaming use for all the problems in my life.
     
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  15. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Active Member

    Yes I think understanding expectations is probably one of the key takeaways from sites like loveafterporn. Most of the problems seem to arise when people are not honest. I asked my wife fairly early on while dating if she had a problem with porn use and she did not. Sites like loveafterporn like to convey that ALL women are against porn and this is simply not the case. However I think most women are against men choosing porn over them. So I think loveafterporn can be helpful in learning that porn can be an intensely hot button issue for some women so it is best to discuss early on to determine compatibility. Obviously if it's helpful you should continue to visit the site but I found that looking at sites like that one too often can be discouraging.

    I also agree with you with that there is a moral aspect to porn. I'm not sure if this is the angle that you are considering but for me I am uncomfortable with the fact that I can't really be sure that there isn't some level of coercion happening in the scene. Porn likes to convey the idea that the women are just so "sex hungry" that they would do the acts they are engaging in for free. When you listen to women (no longer in the industry) speak this is never the case. They did the scenes for the money only and they did not enjoy what they were doing. Unfortunately this knowledge is not enough on it's own to stop me from consuming.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
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  16. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    All great points. It's easy to get lost in the echo chamber of all porn is bad. But in reality we have to accept it was our use of porn that made it bad for us. Yes, potential coercion maks it morally questionable, the way it prays on vulnerable people and can ruin lives. I agree, too bad even this knowledge, or the knowledge it is breaking a partner's heart, often isn't/wasn't enough to stop in an impulsive moment. I often felt like my brain was fighting itself, the rational brain saying it is wrong and the other part falsely justifying and plain denying.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
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  17. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    I felt extremely tempted to look at porn on the evening of January 1st. A weirdly strong compulsion, much stronger than I have felt it in months. Perhaps out of the blue. But yes all my triggers were there, home alone with the computer on. Tired, frustrated with how plans weren't working out, little to no progress made. Too late to go to bed early, or remotely on time. Another year to fuck up. But a small victory; I turned the computer off and slept.

    Unfortunately, I failed on my current goal of not masturbating to fantasies. However, I think I can strengthen my resolve in this respect. Though I can't go on in this soup of half formed desires and plans and not moving forward. Lack of sleep feels like hitting my head against a wall. I think my short term priorities are sleep, plan but follow through on the plans.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022

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