In Search of Lost Calm

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Thelongwayhome27, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    @Pete McVries - Yeah Pete, you nailed it in so many ways. The situation is bothering me and I have been having difficulty in picking one way or another, doing something or letting it go and forgetting about it. Being in that middle, I started fantasizing a lot, as a way to keep the hope up or distract myself from the difficulty of not taking action yet not being able to let it go by either. If I could make a decision, that would be ideal in many ways. I'm more aware of the fantasies though, and to the very least I'll try to not stay in them, when I catch myself at it. Yeah the PUA was because of the situation as well. Probably hoping to push myself once again, or to divert my attention, just like the fantasies. The problem with PUA is that it tells people they are not okay as they are. Maybe someone who has no fear of rejection and wants to fine tune "his game" can check out some PUA to see why he is not getting results when he tried and tried and it hasn't worked. But someone who simply has a great fear of rejection, should probably not read PUA - and instead simply find a way to get out of his comfort zone (at his level) as he feels is natural to him (even if that violates all the "PUA wisdom"). I saw a video the other day of a PUA coach who was coaching 2 "newbies" "in field" as they say. He was teaching them how to be "fun" and "not so serious". It really bothered me to see how those guys were forcing themselves to be someone they are not (mimicking the coach). I thank you for your advice and perspective, good sir.

    @Shady - Thanks man ! I'm glad to be at 49 days completed (in a few hours). That's 27.2 % of 180 days (6 months). So I'm doing good but it's essential I keep going. You're doing really well too man !

    @-Luke- I have done some Yoga in the past and maybe I'm gonna see if I can try out some more. I'm sure I can find something on YT. I'll have to be careful not to get triggered by a nice looking teacher. I like how you point out that doing a little can give us that sense of accomplishment. I guess that sense of achievement, daily, will help us stay on the good path. We don't always have to go at 300% to get some of it. Maybe finding the right level every day. Sometimes it can be a walk. Other times working out more, etc. But it does seem important to have some of it. To kick up the good positive feeling.

    @NewStart19 - Hey man great to see you around again ! I was thinking about you lately and was wondering if you will show up again. I hope you're doing all right and would love to hear how you are. Thanks a lot for your support and dropping by ! Right now I'm doing okay but I had a bit of a rough patch in the winter months. Had some bad relapses in January as well. Take care dude.

    @Gil79 - Thanks so much man. Yeah, there is a feeling that I'm on the good path despite confusion and challenging emotions. It's not like that confusion when I'm in the pit of relapses.
    -Luke-, Gil79, NewStart19 and 2 others like this.
  2. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member


    This may sound like lip service, but I was really happy to hear that you had me in your thoughts. It made me feel pretty good yesterday.

    I am glad that you have expressed thanks for my support. Both you and other members will be unaware since this is most often in my head and I haven't been using the forums much recently, but I find myself from time to time thinking about you, -Luke-, nuclpow, Pete McVries, and other members of this forum, both those that I know by username and those that I do not know at all, just wishing everyone the best with recovery and life in general. And when I do visit the forum again and read accounts of victory, improvement, struggle, or despair, I conjure up well-wishes, even though I know most of them--usually all of them--will never reach their intended recipients. Which is fine. I'm just pleased to be at a point where I gravitate more toward thoughts like that instead of toward the chasm of negativity.

    I'm sorry to hear about how things were for you in winter. Throughout all your observations you have made so far, have you noticed any seasonal patterns in porn use, or life in general for that matter? If it's something you have never thought about in the past (i.e. looking for patterns in yourself that correspond with the seasons), it might be worth your time to pay more attention and see if you notice anything. Same goes for me of course. I've been spending most of my time these past few months trying to observe and recognize general patterns, regardless of the period, which has been really helpful, don't get me wrong. But who knows? Maybe the seasons impact me in ways that I have yet to recognize.

    At the moment, there isn't much to say on my end, except that as a whole I am doing better with my addiction and life. I still have my fair share of suffering, and there are days where I feel buffeted or beaten down by feelings of suffering, but I have become a lot better at maintaining my perspective on life overall and I objectively know things are getting better.

    Wishing you all the best. Take care
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  3. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    When I was 18 I once spent a week at a small sea shore village with my grandparents. We would spend the days scorching on the beaches and in the evenings we would go for strolls or spend the time cozily at the apartment we had rented. After a few days I developed the habit of going on very long walks all by myself in the early evening when daylight was fading into the summer night. I would walk alone around the whole little sea shore town ; the lively streets, the markets, the restaurants, bars, lights, families, young people, kids, etc. and coming back by the beach itself. The walks were partly motivated by a need for excitement and witnessing the lively atmosphere of the town. I remember passing by many good looking girls. In particular there was one girl, I can still kind of remember, who was at a kind of stand selling something, stuff like sun lotions and hats and sunglasses. She was tanned and had very dark hair. I feel like her eyes were dark blue but maybe this one is my imagination. She struck my mind with a lot of violence, at that age and in that state I was in. She was completely out of my league and I satisfied myself simply by having a look at her and then walked on. I remember how those walks gave me that feeling of being alone and not able to interact with the world out there that is lively. The feeling you get when you are walking by yourself in a crowd. It's not a horrible feeling. It has an interesting calmness to it. And you're free to go left or right. You're also not faking you're someone else in case you're with other people you don't necessarily feel at home with. But beneath the calmness there is the solitude and the longing. Such walks, I've known for a long time, but those particular ones during this little sea side stay have imprinted my memory. I can also remember how I often MOed during the nights. Sometimes aided by night time TV, sometimes with the imagination. I'm pretty sure I must have thought of that tanned brunette girl. You're only eighteen once right ?

    I'm 53 days in. I feel happy and grateful. I'm trying to keep a humble mindset. I think I'm noticing a bit less emotional satisfaction from being on a decent run then I did earlier on in the current run. I've noticed myself wanting to fantasize more, especially today this was noticeable. I have to remind myself that these fantasies which at first seem innocent will lead me to stronger cravings that I won't be able to manage. This has been a pattern before. So I have to do my best to let go of the fantasies when they pop up in my mind. At least they don't always come around, I think they come around when I'm more vulnerable ; more tired, more affected by different things. They are just a way for me to try to feel some pleasure and some relief. Perhaps a shot of dopamine. They are not bad or good, but from experience I know they lead to unwanted behavior (e.g. PMO binge).

    I took a long walk today in the evening. That felt nice. I had good energy and ran for about 25 mins earlier, also worked out. I think it helped me to burn some extra agitation I was feeling in the afternoon. I managed to get some work done Friday and today as well. I'm trying to build back a rhythm of work after having taken a break for almost 2 weeks (after my project). There isn't huge pressure right now, so it has to come from discipline, routine, habit.

    I've taken a chance out of my comfort zone in regards to the "girls" topic. It didn't work out as well as I had hoped but it wasn't a disaster. But it has given me some feelings of disappointment after excitement. But I've taken some steps I haven't taken in a while so that's good. It may be that I need to wait a bit longer with women. I'm not sure. Maybe there are other things I need to focus on right now in my life. Or maybe I need to put myself more out there. I'm thinking about this. There are also some new insights about the direction I'd like to take my life into. Those are nice to have. But I am also trying to take it slow. Not overwhelm myself.

    I hope I'm going to feel more of the "cozy and content" feeling one has, at times, with himself. That peaceful feeling when things like reading a book at home in the evening feels very fun and satisfying.

    @NewStart19 - I'm glad to hear you are still fighting the good fight and seeing improvements. I hear the right kind of change is slow and gradual. That sounds about right. Yep, I think I have a tendency to get more depressed in the winter months. That period also coincides with less control over PMO. In particular 2019 I had quite a complete return to full PMO and Weed for a few weeks, but luckily it was still quite isolated if I compare it to the level I was reaching in my 20s. But, yeah, I think I can expect winter months to be trickier. On the other hand, I noticed I seem to be doing quite well towards the end of summer. I had good momentum in that time both in 2018 and 2019. Onwards !
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2020
  4. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    I experienced this during a trip. I could walk through a big city by night, unbothered by people. It was very nice and indeed exciting. As you say, though, it's easy to feel lonely and vulnerable. Especially when there's PMO involved (it wasn't at that point, I was at 100+ days clean.) It's interesting to think how much of an impact loneliness has had.

    Going slowly sounds good. This will take time and if we build too many expectations there's a risk of it all backfiring.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  5. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Really nice to read: moving forward at the right pace. We really need to go somewhere . . . we need a goals.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  6. Shady

    Shady Active Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 glad you're trying to talk to girls. And I like you're not rushing things. Yeah take it easy, that's right.

    Good job on 53 days and keep it up.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I'm feeling the pull really badly again.

    Sex has been on my mind a lot the past day or two. Not just fantasies but also frustration and anger at not having any. I hope I can manage to distract my mind and think of other things as I am not likely to have any sex any time soon.
  8. Crichton

    Crichton New Member

    Its perfectly natural to have sex on your mind and it is a normal flow of energy. I would say long term when it comes to women its about living your purpose and they naturally show up. But in the beginning when your starting to learn its important to study and learn sexual dynamics. Sexual Dynamics 101 is The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi. Understand its not wrong to study female nature. Use that understanding to make yourself a better man and get laid.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Stay strong! These feelings and urges will fade away.
  10. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    You have been doing great lately @Thelongwayhome27, keep that in mind. No urge lasts forever, they come and go,
  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Tuesday was tough in terms of urges. Yesterday was a little better overall. Today was very difficult again. The afternoon was rough. I had to get out of my house and go spend some time in a park under the sun (went with bike). Despite getting the vitamin D and being out of my house, the thoughts where with me even there. When I got back home, I went for a run and worked out but even after that the thoughts were still there. It was tunnel vision. But I knew it would be a mistake. Despite knowing this it was very hard not to give in to the pull. Disconnecting from my thoughts was very hard. Thankfully I held on and things got better in the evening. I managed to find some kind of haven of peace again. In the midst of the storm in the afternoon (after the work out) I wanted to post here a couple of times but even this felt like a trigger. At one point I realized all I could do is to get through this alone (for that storm). All I could do is try to remember, to hold on to the thought, that it's a mistake to relapse. I was sure that those that manage to get long term sobriety have the secret to getting through these moments, somehow. And I tried to see what was happening as a learning step. But yeah, hard. And I suspect tomorrow may be more of the same.

    I do have an idea of one specific thing that is causing my mental turmoil and it's in relationship to a girl. I don't want to expand much on it because I am very confused about the whole thing myself.

    Analyzing a little better the pull of the addiction today (and the last few days) it came with a lot of negative and depressive thoughts. Not the kind of depression where I have no energy but more like anger and loosing hope with the idea of things getting better. It's tunnel vision because I get too focused on what I don't have and slide down into strong negativity which makes the idea of a binge seem like a valid option. And thinking of the HALT acronym, what seemed to be high up was Anger and Loneliness. These two are harder to fix then Hungry or Tired.

    What I also realized is that what would help me get back to a better mindset would be if I could develop more gratitude. I guess gratitude for the little things that are okay and working makes it more possible to have patience for more things to improve.

    @Gil79 and @-Luke- - Thank you fellas. I appreciate your words of support.

    @Crichton - I agree that it's normal to have sex on the mind. It can be problematic however when it can make me relapse. I've already read some stuff by Rollo Tomassi on his website and I've read a few Red Pill things over the years. I'm not too sure about the Red Pill. I don't deny that there is a power dynamic between men and women but I'm not sure if a "beginner" is the best person to read a lot of that stuff. I almost feel like a lot of that stuff is best to be kept unconscious, at least at first. It takes quite a balanced individual to be able to take it in the right way (without being jaded, cynical) - and I'm not even sure there is a right way to take it in to be honest. My take is that, when it comes to me, my main problem is a lack of self esteem around women. Basically a lack of self worth which is actually a set of deep unconscious beliefs (and assumptions) that I don't have enough worth and value to offer as a man. The way through for me is to slowly find a way to act despite these negative beliefs (challenge them), to expand my comfort zone with girls, and to generate positive results (which will slowly change those beliefs). And though I certainly lack experience and I'm probably a little too "romantic" when it comes to understanding girls, I think if I would manage to work on my anxiety around women and slowly break those walls I'll learn a lot of the "dynamics" by myself.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
    Gil79, Pete McVries, -Luke- and 2 others like this.
  12. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Good job hanging in there. I dread the day that happens to me.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  13. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member


    I am glad you use the HALT acronym. It's something I myself have been using over the past few months. It's simplicity makes it easy to apply when suffering from tunnel vision.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  14. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    60 days without PMO / 60 days without MO

    I'm happy to be on day 61. I have just passed my record hard mode streak which was 57 days (spring 2019). But despite this I'm having some difficulties at the moment. It feels as if my commitment and motivation has lowered and I think a kind of depression is setting in. I'm feeling tense, often impatient, and frustrated. I have more trouble doing my positive habits. For example I stopped my meditation mid way both last night and this morning. This is rare as I usually stick out my meditations until my timer goes off. I'll try to do another one later on today and a second one in the evening (I do 2 a day). I'll put them a little shorter ; perhaps I have to adjust. I stopped because it felt like it was too long. But this little example shows my feelings of impatience and frustration right now.

    I'm also feeling some strong anger beneath the surface. Yesterday at one point something bothered me so much that I felt like throwing my phone against the wall. I'm someone that rarely has external anger bursts. But for a second I had a negative thought and emotion that was very potent. The gist of it was that it showed me how far my life was from what my desire was. So I would say there is almost a kind of rage I'm getting at now. Is this the emotions that I have to process ? Could this be a sign of progress in the sense that I'm getting at the difficult things beneath my addiction ?

    With this frustration, my cravings are more insistent. I often get the mental reminder that I could act out right now and get some pleasure. I have had various flashbacks and memories coming up in the last days. So far I am managing though. But it's a little scary. I feel similar to how I felt on good past runs before I relapsed.

    @Eternity - Thank you. Yeah that day last week was intense. I'm glad I made it ! I managed to stay conscious enough somehow. I guess not wanting to loose my streak helped. This is where having some sobriety built up seems to help for some time delaying a relapse.

    @NewStart19 - Yeah, very well said. It's simple and effective. A great tool.

  15. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Been there... it ended up being foolish and expensive. I just grabbed the closest thing. I also never really show anger. Or emotions at all. I can count the moments of violent rage in my adult life on one hand. Once was at work when I got fed up with the workload. I just had to destroy something! I ended up smashing a pallet to pieces. Very childish. I don't know why these emotions emerge now, but maybe it is indeed a sign that we are submerging beneath the surface.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  16. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Awesome man! And congratulations with your post accute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS) :). This is definitely progress. YOU CAN HANDLE THIS and THIS WILL PASS.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  17. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    @Eternity and @Gil79 - I think it's both part of connecting with emotions instead of numbing them out (so that's very good indeed). But I think it's also just being present with one's problems without using the drug as an escape. I feel overwhelmed sometimes at my lack of "power" to deal with my problems (and lack of knowing the answers). Maybe in this negative state of low dopamine (or flatline) I'm also much more affected by my problems (making them seem much bigger then they are and creating panic, rage and fear). One thing that seems to be key in getting through these phases is to learn the valuable skill to voice (express) what's going on from such a place. But learning how to share is not easy. But I feel it's the one element that can soothe these truly complex and difficult emotions (besides acting out).

    I've also destroyed a few things @Eternity but it has been very rare. It's true that once it was actually a phone. Right after I was done a conversation. I then had no phone for a few days and had to go buy a new phone when I was already broke. I think this episode was around 2011 to 2013. And I remember how I destroyed something else in my apartment once, also right after a phone conversation, in 2017. Both those conversations were with my dad if I remember well.

    Thank you guys. Let's all keep going through the reward of PAWS :)
  18. Shady

    Shady Active Member

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  19. NewStart19

    NewStart19 Well-Known Member

    It's been a while since I've educated myself on the topic, but one of the things I remember about the neuroscience behind addiction is that it consists of four fundamental brain changes, one of which is a malfunctioning stress system. This basically amounts to us having an exaggerated response to stressors, big or small, that results in various withdrawals, be them physical (e.g. insomnia), emotional (e.g. anxiety), etc.

    I am glad that you are developing your ability to deal with difficult emotions. This is undoubtedly an invaluable skill. But we are still recovering addicts. At least some of these uncomfortable feelings come as a result of having a diseased brain, so I hope you always keep this fact in mind and enact the appropriate amount of self-compassion. It's deserved. I personally feel like I am not doing it as much as I should, but recently I have been trying to change this.

    As an aside, you're killing it with 60+ days. I know the NoFap 90 is an arbitrary number, but you're already two-thirds there.

    Take care
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I had a blow to my ego yesterday and I thought about acting out in the evening. I’m happy I haven’t. Instead I read some journals on here (I’m reading LTE’s journal now), finished a book I was reading, meditated for 15 mins and went to bed. I slept all right. I feel a little better today though still a bit rattled. I know that it will pass though.

    I’m reading parts of No More Mr Nice Guy. It’s strange because I find I really fit the criteria of nice guys but there are some differences with certain elements of the books. The book talks about how nice guys are often the product of distant fathers and being raised by they’re mothers instead. And because of this they have a very “feminine” view of the world and were not taught how to be “a man”. In my case, my mom was more physically absent then my father when I was young and my dad “educated” me to a large extent. However, I’m not sure if he was emotionally present for me or available. I think he was very controlling and in many ways tried to make me into some kind of “perfect child” (a lot of demands and criticism and objectively not the best of guidance actually).

    The book also talks about how “nice guys” have a lot of female friends and not a lot of guy friends. I’m kind of the opposite. I’ve mostly have had male friendships and was usually in a "groups of guys". I stayed away from friendships with girls. What is true though is that if I do try to be friendly with a girl I’ll usually be put in the friend zone quite fast. Since I find this quite unbearable, I steer clear of friendships with girls. Maybe if I was a guy who had “enough” (whatever this means) success with women, I would have less problems being simply “friends” with other girls. But as a person who has not that much success with women in general, it’s not a cool place to be in to be some girl’s friend.

    But overall I think the book can still help me a lot since I have issues with being assertive and I'm generally very "nice guy". So I'll keep reading more.

    @NewStart19 - Thank you mate. I think you make a lot of sense with the post above. It's essential we remember we are healing and we are in recovery. I often place too many unrealistic expectations on recovery and I think this backfires. Probably after some initial sobriety I think I'm all set and everything should be rocking now. I'm forgetting or not realizing well enough that my mind is going through healing at many levels. I then compare myself to others and it's not a good way to stay sober. Perhaps I could benefit from reading more on the neuroscience behind addiction.

    @Shady - Thank you !
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
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