Gray Bork's THIRD and FOREVER Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by bork_gray, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    Gonna start working on the parents to see if we can get an elliptical (that mom wants anyway) into the house. But the question is, WHERE can we put it?
     
  2. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    Well, closing in on the THREE YEAR mark. Doesn't seem as big a deal. Still here, still going, much is still as disappointing as it was three years ago, but the mere fact of having existed for almost three years without any recourse to the adult-industry which used to addict me must be a beneficial change. So far so good. How long IS forever, anyway?
     
  3. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    Years Three Years Three Years Three Years Three Years Three Years Three Years Three
    Three Years
    Three Years Three Years Three Years Three Years Three Years Three Years Three Years
     
  4. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Congrats, man!!!
     
  5. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    Thank you. Also, the 1100-day concept was recently accomplished, too; but the 1100-day concept necessarily will follow soon after the three-year concept, one understands (provided one is capable of simple arithmetic) ...
     
  6. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    It's been almost 7 months since I posted here at YBR. I see that the forum software has been nicely updated. Otherwise, really, there's no news. I am 100% successful at not engaging in the things that I intend to eliminate forever -- attending adult businesses, strip-clubs, etc.. I have not done that for over 1300 days now (since roughly May 7, 2013) and am continuing with little hitch to not do that, so to speak.

    Thanks that is all. Hope everyone else is well.
     
  7. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    Still here. Just thought I'd say hi. :) The forum layout and programming has been significantly improved since last time I logged in.

    How many days has my no-no gone for, now? Almost 4 years ... about a week to go to that milestone ... lots of other thoughts, hope everyone else is well.
     
  8. Newman8888

    Newman8888 The wound is the place where the Light enters you

    Congratulations Bork. You're showing what's possible for the rest of us merely mortal.
     
  9. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Another year in the books, awesome!
     
  10. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    Thanks guys! Glad to see I'm still getting a few reads on the forum. Should I change the sub-forum that this thread is in? I started this journal-thread when I was in my forties ... but I've grown up to 51 years of age now, heh. Maybe I can make it to 60 years old and still be on this same thread in the "Ages 40+" section!

    Where I'm at. Well, I can honestly (mostly?) say, it has gotten to where, overcoming the (past?) addiction really isn't a big deal. And it's nice to be in the "it really isn't a big deal" zone ... takes less effort. Though I do want to make sure I don't slip into the "since it's not a big deal, I might as well ignore it and therefore allow myself to backslide" zone. But I also wish to slide into the "since it's not a big deal, I don't really have to think about it" zone, which is much better than the "it's such a big deal that I think about it all the time" zone. For some of us, the excess self-scrutiny and self-control necessary at earlier stages, may be exactly the thing which DERAILS the reboot, simply because you're so busy thinking about yourself that you do a bad job of including any distractions or more worthwhile choices in your life. Navel-gazing can become its own addictive perspective ... I managed to force my way through that stage (so it feels from my 4-year vantage, right now) as much thanks to pills (presently Prozac, a dose that is rather high but not outside the norm) as anything else.

    So, I guess y'all should know, I attribute a LOT of any success that I've had, to the pills. The major factors for me have been: (1) growing older, (2) treating my addiction(s) as though they are/were psychological maladies over which I have little power unless I enlist professional aid, rather than as though they are/were deficits of willpower which I could conquer through "trying harder," and, finally (3) use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor prescription drug therapy. I'd say the percentages have been, as considered in a cumulative over-time assessment, somewhere around roughly (1) growing older = 25% of the work, (2) treating as malady not willpower = 40%, (3) pills = 25%, (4) just "trying harder" willpower implementation = 10%. (For me! Percentages not necessarily for anyone else! Of course!) The willpower component was more helpful to me when I applied it along with items (1) through (3) -- in other words, I used willpower WHEN I was setting out to seek and to find and then to apply the (2) treating as malady or the (3) prescription pills components. Willpower then (applying it to 2 and 3) was more helpful than it was when I was simply applying willpower alone as in item (4). Does that make sense?

    Rephrase. Don't just try harder. Trying to be at the act of "trying harder" is a fool's game, especially if you have (legitimately diagnosed) ADD or ADHD or other distraction / focus concerns. You're already feeling like you're "trying harder" than everyone else; don't rely on that as the thing which will help you to get to the point where you won't have to be doing it any more. Beware the "trying harder" advice that so many NON-ADHD people give ... it simply doesn't apply. IMO. Think of it this way -- if you manage to overcome all your issues by applying nothing but willpower and having extremely high levels of required willpower to help you overcome them, then you're quite literally planning to live the rest of your life under the challenge of having to increase your willpower in order to overcome your issues. See what I mean? If it's hard to do, then doing it with willpower alone is simply a recipe for making sure it remains hard to do, because you'll always have to apply willpower to the problem. I know, this is rather spurious circular reasoning, but it bears thinking about. Pills for me; professional intervention; growing older; common sense; not relying on willpower alone, but knowing it's necessary anyway; try to make an adequate mix. :)

    Anyway, there ya go, so far so good. Major challenges coming up. I hereby promise not to backslide. In fact, I promise and avow and swear and affirm, that I shall fore-slide, or indeed fore-stride, rather than backslide.
     
    Billy B. likes this.
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I agree with this, bork. We can't always be fretting that we aren't up to the task. Most of us here have spent entirely too much time believing that we are lazy, lack motivation, and have zero discipline. I think will-power is just habit. We create a habit of doing (even a little bit) and of staying fairly engaged in our lives, and will-power follows suit, because it's inherent in the doing. If drugs help with that then I'm all for it. I need reflux medication or my life is shit. The meds, at present, are a necessity in my life.

    This has proven true in my recovery. I've always had trouble focusing on what people are saying and I sometimes seem to lack the appropriate gravity of the moment, which leads me to crack a joke. PMO, of course, fucking destroys what little focus we might have. If recovery meant I had to pay attention and decipher things as though I were figuring out a puzzle, like the Rubix Cube, then I'd still be PMO'ing. The journals I've read where men have really recovered bear this out, I think. There's a simplicity to the reboot that is important; internal chatter being the motivation killer. Later on, as the recovery progresses, you find people getting more and more philosophical, as they then try and ferret out some of the deeper reasons for addiction. I might liken it to a child learning piano. They have little, to no, knowledge regarding theory, yet they become accomplished simply by doing.

    Thanks for the awesome update, Bork!
     
    bork_gray likes this.
  12. bork_gray

    bork_gray Beaker doesn't "bork" like the Chef.

    Trigger warning!
    I include some explicitly sexual discussion below. It's not gross or pornographic, but I will describe or name some sexual acts. If you don't want to risk that these descriptions might trigger your own desire to backslide against your own reboot, then, please don't read further! Thanks ... ​

    So much time has passed! But I'm still good.

    It seems like eons since I've posted here. People have always been nice and I'm glad to be back, even though the record of this forum says I haven't visited since mid-May, 2017, nine months ago.

    I am still on my successful "reboot." I have not broken my rules, although (as any of you who have followed this journal will know; and, if you wish to double-check me, you can read back in this thread and in my previous journal-threads, if you wish to torture yourself!) I don't necessarily follow the same rules that most of you follow here.

    By the way, in regards to my own idiosyncratic arrangement, a caveat: I don't disparage the other people's rules, but I set up different rules for myself. I created my own what-I-allow-myself-to-do situation in order to tailor my maintenance program more accurately to myself. If you want to discuss whether or not my idiosyncratic maintenance choices might be detrimental to me, I'd be happy to hear your opinions about them, especially if you have some knowledge or experience which might help me out, of course! But in that process of discussion, please don't start haranguing me that I'm not doing something the "right" way or that I am likely to fail due to mere difference from the norm. I wouldn't feel that approach to be productive or respectful.

    I will discuss my sexual activity. Thought it's not a lurid or prurient post, a few of the descriptions of what I once used to do in the past, or about what I am striving to avoid doing in the future, may be overt enough descriptions that they function as triggers for some readers of this forum. Please don't read further if you worry about your own incapacity to resist any such triggers. Thanks.

    I guess that's enough of a preamble. The longer story now ...

    My reboot's rules are, no adult services, for ever. Define as you see fit. "Adult services" does not, in my own assessment, mean the use of pornography from the internet. So, you see how I am quite different from most of the rest of this forum's participants. I allow my self to view, and to masturbate along with, and to orgasm due to, pornographic internet videos. This has never been an addictive behavior for me, perhaps simply because I grew into my sexuality at a time when internet porn did not exist (I am presently 52 years old), or perhaps simply because I have a different inherent (genetic? biological? culturally dependent?) make-up of drives which cause the look-but-don't-touch nature of internet porn videos to fail to compel me into compliance the way it can compel other people. My disappointment with the look-but-don't-touch phenomenon (whether provided by internet video or still-image porn, or provided by any of a number of other visual outlets), in fact, is part of what did drive me to addictive behaviors of a sexual sort. I wanted the look-and-DO-touch experience. I wanted to touch. I got addicted to experiences that allowed me to touch.

    So, I used to be addicted to adult services of the touching variety. This was mostly strip clubs. Along with that went, among other bad behaviors, lots of drinking alcohol, lots of drinking alcohol alone, lots of drinking and then driving, a good deal of "looking for sexual outlets" types of experiences, pretty much entirely through the internet (surfing for outlets such as internet call-girl escorts, information about higher levels of available services at lingerie modeling studios or at strip clubs, or even information about police activity and the street-strolls of street-walker prostitutes, for example). This was all bad, I did a lot of it when I should have bee playing beach volleyball at a church social, or singing in a choir, or reading a good book, or taking a pretty girl to a movie, and I lost my late 20s, all my 30s, and some of my early to middle 40s to that type of behavior.

    I had tried to change this behavior on many occasions, off and on, over the course of (roughly) 1995 to 2010, with varying degrees of success. I established the present "reboot" thanks to this forum, and to a lot of other interventions, more than (as I will detail more below) four years ago. In it I established a long-term program by which I will avoid all adult services. I also benefit from ongoing counseling -- a fellow I talk to once a week, usually; he charges me by the hour; he is my "shrink" or "therapist" or "counselor"; he as a background in psychological recovery and psycho-therapeutic services, and a Ph.D. in psychology. I also take pills, including the serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) generally called Prozac (I take the generic form of it, Fluoxetine) and the stimulant Adderall (generically various Amphetamine Salts). The Amphetamine Salt dose adds up to a rather effective form of caffeine in a bottle; like taking a pill which is the same as drinking a cup of coffee, but the coffee is guaranteed to simply engage with my system and flow me right into a nice positive mind-space where bleariness and itchy-eyed somnolence are forgotten; I'm not FIGHTING the blahs, I'm simply un-blah. The Fluoxetine, well, it's another ball-game entirely.

    Fluoxetine takes away my cravings. It changes my character. And the change has been for the good. I know that several members of this forum have reported themselves to be rather suspicious of SSRIs and their effects on the system. I am also worried about the lifetime effects of taking an SSRI longer-term, and I have spent some occasions during which I taper off the drug's use for a week or more in hopes of reducing its pernicious impact on other parts of my mental and physical systems. But I like its beneficial impact, especially on my mental system. It may have some physical impacts, too. It seems to reduce my sensory input ever so slightly, especially smell and taste, to the point that a really fancy meal is no longer as enticing as it used to be. When I return to taking the pill after some time away, it can initially make me drowsy, too. I don't mind these changes much, especially given the many offsetting benefits, but I have to admit I used to be able to cram myself full of salty tangy New Orleans foods and not gain any weight, whereas now I'm a bit on the portly side and I don't really have the gumption to go out and exercise. This is a change that has accompanied my Fluoxetine use, but it also accompanies my ageing into my middle-50s. Is the drug the cause, or merely an attendant but unrelated circumstance?

    The best part about Fluoxetine is that I lose my cravings, as mentioned. I recall my mental self-dialog from before Fluoxetine, in which I would say things to myself like, "Damn, I gotta get some of that. How will I force myself into the mind-set of getting some?" The "that" which I had to get, was some of either (a) drinking excessive alcohol or (b) fondling attractive females (not LOOKING, not the look-but-don't-touch phenomenon of internet porn; rather, TOUCHING, fondling, the look-and-do-touch phenomenon of adult services outside the internet). The things I was interested in, were those (and others), but the manner in which I sought to cause myself to gain access to those things was a strange double-inversion self-aware forcing of myself. I saw myself wanting it; I therefore (as a second self) demand of my (first) self that I engage in a liberating or enabling behavior; I therefore (as a first self) went about reducing my (first) self's inhibitions; etc.. I don't think I was ever so bifurcated as to be actually talking to myself the way Gollum has bifurcated self-dialogs in Tolkien's brilliant exposition of the Manichean dichotomies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (dialogs to which the movies only give partial justice). I wasn't really aware of a "good me" versus a "bad me." I was simply aware that a craving demanded that it should be fulfilled. That craving, for whatever substance or experience, be it alcohol or strippers, seemed independent of the rest of me. It was the "bad self" (though it lacked the capacity to speak during a dialog, often) or the "other identity" that was imposing itself on the "real" (or "first"?) self. With Fluoxetine, this duality disappeared, and my incapacity to handle any such craving became a capacity. Or, more accurately, I simply ceased NEEDING to handle any craving, because I no longer HAD any cravings. It wasn't an increase in will-power that Fluoxetine gave me, not a greater capacity to steady myself. It was a decrease in desire. I like that very much.

    So, I'm succeeding rather ably in resisting the adult services. More important, I'm succeeding in reducing my CRAVINGS and reducing my INABILITY TO CONTROL MYSELF. When and if I do drink alcohol, for instance, which is a substance I've never tried to deny myself, well, I don't feel that I HAVE TO continue with more and more alcohol, and I don't feel that I have to escalate my behaviors from mere drinking upwards to drinking while also touching attractive women. Now I can drink alcohol and not need to go to a look-and-touch joint. And even, more to the point, I can touch a little bit, an attractive woman, and not need to continue touching. This I've learned, thanks to breaking my reboot in some ways.

    I did attend a strip club. This may require some explanation. If not, well, thanks for your tolerance anyway.

    By the mere act of going inside at all, I have broken my going-on-five-years streak of not going INSIDE one of those places. The streak is ruined, and that disappoints me. It was nice to have a counter running at four-and-a-half years down there in the signature section of my posts. But the entry was not a breach of my "reboot", as far as I'm concerned, and it certainly was not an act of addiction, desperation for the adult services which I once sought inside the clubs, or in any other manner a backsliding behavior. In this very paragraph I COULD be bargaining with myself, making excuses, or otherwise backsliding. I realize this. If you think I'm backsliding and also think I'm allowing myself to do so, I thank you for your concern and I promise to watch over myself carefully during the potential slippery-slope period of time that comes subsequent to beginning any (potential) backslide. But it's been about four or five months, the backsliding hasn't continued, so I feel confident in saying I am not on a slippery slope.

    So, I'm cutting myself slack! That's because I attended "under duress" and "deliberately," rather than out of "need". If that makes any sense? I spent about six months of last year living and working in a town where I once had access to a lot of strip clubs and "lingerie modeling studios" (which more accurately should be called brothels), and where I knew the street-strolls where lower-class prostitutes would congregate. This town was one (of many) place where I had acted in addictive manners.

    Knowing that I would be there in advance gave me the chance to plan for my desires for strip-clubbing in advance. Initially, I thought it would be a regally difficult test of my reboot. I told myself that I really wanted to hold on to my four-year streak, that I should retain an absolute point of view about any former behaviors, that I should be as cold-turkey about strip-clubbing in that town now, as I ever would have been in the times when I had never attended a strip club.

    But then I started to note the absolutism of that rule against myself. It was a type of tea-totalling that concerned me. To eschew everything to an absolute, is simply to try to cause an addiction to an opposite behavior. I reasoned with myself, and then wondered if I were bargaining with myself. Was I saying something like, "Hey, it's OK, it's only for one month," knowing full well it was not OK, and knowing that the first month would direct me onto a second, third, a slippery slope, an eventual return to addiction? I had no way of knowing whether my belief, that tea-totalling was wrong, was a belief in reasonable solutions or was a detrimental bargaining behavior.

    I brought it up with a counselor, and I took great care to be honest with myself. And I decided two months before flying to the new place that I would allow attendance and observe my behavior honestly. The fact that I decided a long way in advance, and was able to follow my own dictates fairly easily, suggests to me that I was not bargaining with myself, but rather that I was in control the whole time. And in fact, the experience was rather blase for me, not enticing at all.

    So, when I did attend the strip club, I experienced nothing of the old excitement. I had one alcoholic drink, didn't want any more. I knew of how to solicit for adult services, but did not feel compelled to do so. I noticed some (few) visually appealing women whom I would probably have enjoyed fondling, but lacking either the drunkenness or the drive from internal uncontrolled independent cravings, I simply did not feel a need to engage in further behaviors. The desire to escalate has been evaporated out of me.

    This to me is a positive development. I'm frankly glad I abandoned my hard-and-fast rules about never ever again attending an adult-services-oriented place, because now I've learned, just how ineffective the allure of those places is, over me. Especially relative to what I used to experience, the way those places and those adult-services opportunities used to control me, now I can say by comparison that they are relatively powerless. Yes, I still observe hot women and enjoy the visual stimulation. Yes, my desire to NOT be in a look-but-don't-touch situation still frustrates and annoys me (and I could say a great deal more about North American dating culture, the emotionally abusive behaviors of young visually appealing women who don't understand their power over young desperately horny men, the dysfunctional dating-and-mating system we have, the way the "adjusted" Western relationship is not helping address these problems). But no, I don't have to do what I don't want to do.

    That's the crux of it. I used to do behaviors that I didn't want to do. I knew I should control myself away from those behaviors but I did not. Could not? Probably could not. Now, I know of which behaviors are the ones which I don't want, and which behaviors might be the ones which I do want. The screaming little bastard demon that isn't me, but is inside me, that was forcing cravings onto me independent of who I actually am, has been silenced. When he shut the fuck up and ran away, he didn't take with him anything of my sexuality or of my party enjoyment. I can still get tipsy if I want. I can still fondle hottie titties if I want (and yet I won't, because I'm still aware that it's still a potentially slippery slope BACK into the addictive behaviors). I can still "be myself" if I want, despite having lost the cravings that used to be a part of me. In fact, I can be "more like myself" than ever before, BECAUSE nothing independent of me, nothing from the outside of me, such as those cravings, is entering into me and controlling me from the beyond.

    I know I break the forum's usual rules -- I allow myself pornography; I pretend that my reboot is still going even though I did exactly the thing I claimed I would never do, at which juncture most of you would say that your reboot failed (or would said that you SHOULD say your reboot failed?) and would start your counter over. I am my own rule-maker, sorry, can't comply. Maybe it won't work for me. But right now it is working for me. I have more of a social life, and a better chance at hooking up with an attractive potential partner now, than I ever did when I was either in (a) the midst of the addictive behaviors, from roughly 1992 to roughly 2013, of course, that was the problem with the addictions, it prevented me from having a real life; or in (b) the midst of the tea-totalling reboot, from 2013 to 2017, when I was being absolute and absolutist about my behaviors.

    My current state is what I would like to call a "soft reboot." I don't have rules about what I can and can't do. I'm at a place in my mind, now, in which my job is to watch myself for addictive behaviors, and for the signs of any of the detriments that addiction would bring. Those detriments include the inability to live an otherwise productive life, have otherwise happy relationships. So, if I notice myself as uncharacteristically unable to meet hot potential female romantic partners, and I notice that this is because I'm using "wrong" behaviors such as strip-clubbing to fill my time, I'll tell myself that there are two wrongs going on here. One wrong is, that I am allowing myself to backslide toward addiction, and that's a risk yes. But the point of this post today is, that the other wrong might be taking place, the wrong of using something like strip-clubbing as a crutch, a replacement, for an otherwise decent social life. It's really the latter -- the fact that you're doing something that gets in the way of, or replaces, or otherwise prevents -- decent happy normal-life behavior, that I would suggest you all try to avoid. The reboot's standard method (the way most people on this forum might engage in any reboot), of (eventually) being entirely cold-turkey OFF the problematic substances or experiences, is only a means to an end. The idea of that abstinence is not, that you gain from abstinence. Abstinence is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The idea of that abstinence is, rather, that you gain something else in your life, from that abstinence.

    For me, I hope my status is indeed that I am in a soft reboot. I've learned, for the present, that strip clubs hold very little allure for me now. And therefore, now any benefits from my past period of abstinence will be, regaining the rest of my social life, and becoming whole with contacts, female companions, potential female partners of romantic or sexual sort. I know, I can be easily fooling myself. I'll just have to live out the upcoming years with a wait-and-see attitude. I know what to do if what I see appears dangerous to me.

    I don't think I could have engaged in this "soft reboot" attitude immediately upon choosing to eschew strip clubs. I believe the four years' hiatus is part of establishing the capacity to soft-reboot. I don't know how many years I really would have had to wait; whether two would have been enough; or whether ten would have been better. But I'm glad I'm not an absolutist about it, and four seems reasonable from my current vantage point.

    Well, so, let me know if you've read this whole post. It's a long one, probably good for me to write it up, therapeutic. Sorry if you can't follow my points or if you can't quite get on board with me about the fuzzy rules that I am using for myself. Hope you can benefit, by comparison or by thinking out how some fuzzy rules or some soft rebooting might help or harm you. Glad this forum exists!

    Happy Mardi Gras to all y'all!
     

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