It is time

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by TheScriabin, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Just realised it is time for me to join the 40+ section.

    I have not given up, even though it is always a struggle and I have relapsed badly recently. I broke up with my girlfriend and am fairly sure porn has played a big part in my emotional problems there, losing interest in my partner etc. She was wonderful and I see no reason at all why I would have problems with her, yet problems I had.

    But that relationship is now history and it is not the time to mope. I am trying to view this as an opportunity for renewal and rebirth.

    I am shifting my focus away from the motivation being to just meet women and score. I am not judging anybody with that motivation (it is a great motivation) but I realised this line of thinking has been what has always held me back, because I compare myself to guys who are more naturally ‘players’, and this demonstrates a lack of self-knowledge, acceptance and maturity on my part.

    So right now, I am excited by a period of celibacy. I want to write, spend more time in nature and try to see where the wind takes me.

    I know if I do not introduce new interests into my life, no matter how long a streak I achieve, it is only a matter of time until I relapse again. Abstaining is one thing, leaving porn behind for good is quite another.

    I will try to check in and diary more often.

    Sending love to the the community and wishing everybody a speedy recovery.
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    What kinds of things do you want to introduce into your life?

    Welcome back, and welcome to the 40s section!
    Merton and TheScriabin like this.
  3. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Very true sir.
    TheScriabin likes this.
  4. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    You know, I used to think I needed a new hobby, start studying something new, learn a language, hit the gym more etc, but in all honesty I think I need to just learn to have more fun. I was in a pub drinking alone and saw groups of people taking a quiz and having a good time, simple communal gatherings where people are enjoying life, that would be a nice goal to have. I’m always trying to achieve things, improve, become the best, then one day everything will be perfect right? Wrong! So it might be healthy to seek more simple pleasures and make that my goal for now.
  5. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Thanks Living, I need the support network. I am making the mistake of thinking I can do this thing alone.

    Your profile pic reminds me, I should get back into art. Did you paint that by the way? It is very good.

    Anybody here use covenanteyes? I just heard about it and am going to give it a go.
    Living likes this.
  6. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day 7

    I went out to a jazz gig last night and realised how far down my social skills have slipped. I just don't know what to say to anybody, and what I do sounds fake or disengaged. Highly challenging times ahead for me, because I know I will relapse unless I increase social engagements to replace the loss of dopamine. Trouble is, I dislike these situations so much I often feel even worse afterwards.
    Pete McVries likes this.
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hey, I can relate to this feeling for sure.

    I think we need to find the right balance. It's (very?) important to force ourselves to socialize occasionally, and keep some contacts, in order not to become a complete hermit and be unable to relate to anyone anymore. And likely the more often we socialize (even if only a little), the more we are used to it and good at it (for our own potential, no need to compare to others here).

    On the other hand, too much of it can also make us tired and even lower our self esteem (when we have a lot of negative outings). So maybe it's the balance of going out at times, but also staying alone other times and replenishing.

    Personally, if I would have maybe 2 or 3 friends I really feel a bond with, and a few girls I can connect with (or maybe just one), I'd probably be happy with that.

    One really interesting book about social anxiety (with some decent concret advice) is, in my opinion, "How to be yourself" by Elen Hendricksen.
    Merton, TheScriabin and Pete McVries like this.
  8. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    I think it is helpful to socialize more on a daily basis like having smalltalk with strangers when the situation provides the opportunity and where the drop height is really low. Even if it's only three sentences with an old lady at a bus stop. If you get used to it, it'll be more easy for you to have such a talk when it counts. Because I guess, it is a major problem that we overburden ourselves with expectations when such a situation you described happens. It's always a bit weird talking to strangers or introducing yourself to them with no apparent reason but if your gears are rusty, it's twice as worse and comes across awkward and forced. Moreover, the longer you are in your own head thinking about what to say, probably giving her/him creepy looks in the process, the worse it gets. Drawing a line from this to my first sentence, if you are used to talking to strangers more, it will be way easier to strike a conversation when the opportunity presents itself. You won't be in your head (at all), you will be more spontaneous, your approach will be natural and if you get negative feedback, it is way easier to digest ("her mood was bad, she was unfriendly/busy") than if you prepared yourself for half an hour only to be rejected ("I'm such a weirdo, my social skills are subpar, see, I knew I'm not capable of it and should accept my fate as a loner cause that's what I really am!").
  9. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    This is a great way to loosen up the gears, PM:) I do this all the time, and it has helped me work through a ton of insecurity and self-consciousness. In addition, I now often have the best conversations with strangers I start talking with. Of course, then they're no longer strangers, at that point. Everyone has a most interesting perspective and story, if we're open for it:D
    TheScriabin likes this.
  10. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much for the book recommendation @Thelongwayhome27. I’ll check it out.

    A better day today, despite a sleepless night of anxiety hell. This is a common Sunday night torture before Monday morning. Although I think I spotted something and learnt a valuable lesson, as I noticed the sudden shift from utter despair to feeling better because my thoughts began to drift to fantasy. This is the danger zone. I seem to have 2 basic settings: the wallowing doom and gloom of despair and the sweet elation of fantasy. So I need to meditate in these moments, find something neutral to calm my mind down.

    Anyway, today I feel ok. I could deal with work stress a bit better without letting it crush me so much. When I’m lost in a regular pmo cycle I feel over-sensitive to the slightest criticism.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  11. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day 12

    Severe depression and feelings of helplessness. Anxiety has increased and I just want to burst into tears all the time, but it’s ok to feel these feelings.
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear you're feeling down - and yes, as you say it's OK to feel negative emotions, it's part of life. Any idea what the main causes of your anxiety are?

    By all means seek simple pleasures but also it can't hurt to still go to the gym and perhaps get a new hobby. Sometimes we can put put too much pressure on ourselves by trying to do everything but it's about achieving balance IMO. For years I've kind of compared myself to a very good friend, he's in incredible physical shape. Obviously he has put a lot of effort and energy into creating a body like that through persistent training and a good diet (and perhaps the benefit of good genes). But anyway, comparing myself to him is the wrong approach and it's unrealistic, so I've accepted it - however I am still training. Exercise releases endorphins which can make us feel better. And by exercising consistently you'll start to feel good about your body, clothes look better and confidence will be improved. But I take your point about what you witnessed in the pub - a group of friends enjoying a social evening, something as simple as a quiz, I agree it's a nice little goal to have, and is quite achievable.
    TheScriabin likes this.
  13. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    I agree @forlorn, I think the balance is important. Socialising more in a relaxed environment is step 1 for me, but finding something to work on, a new hobby or project is equally important. Just on the quest to discover what that is at the moment! My exercise routine is pretty good, but it’s all solo activity, so I need to consider joining some groups, dancing classes perhaps, that’s often mentioned by rebooters as a good social activity.
  14. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Dang it @Thelongwayhome27, that book you recommended has a picture of a girl in a cute dress on the front cover!! I shall have to tear the cover off to stop triggering myself! :D Definitely doing to pick up a copy though.
  15. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day 15 - no pmo

    Possible side effects: have noticed physical shaking in my hands. I’m eating well, feeling fit and strong, so this might be a side effect of withdrawal. It’s very peculiar.

    Depressions continue to be severe but I’m happy to say I’m managing it. Trying to welcome my feelings.

    Been maintaining at least 3 good runs a week, no gym yet.
  16. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Active Member


    As I write this it occurs to me that it could apply to me too.

    This is not necessarily an either/or dualistic question but more a question of how? Perhaps you could experiment with what @Pete McVries has suggested by choosing that stranger in a social setting at the gym. Wherever we strike up a conversation we could be rejected for whatever reason it is also possible that we have made a valuable connection. When I did attend the 12 step fellowship there was a tradition of taking the meeting to a cafe nearby for a chat and that for me is something which differentiates the mundane from the truly moving.

    Rather than spoil your book can you wrap it in a plain paper sleeve, or put a plastic reinforcer over the cover?

    Peace and every good
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  17. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    This is probably a good idea. I'm trying to take my mind away from sex for a while.
    TheScriabin likes this.
  18. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Day 20, no pmo

    @Living, the depression is related to feelings of failure, losing interest in things, and having no clue how to change my life, and not really having the desire to anymore. This reboot has given me a goal with some focus, but taking it seriously kicks up problems in every aspect of life (as it should, of course to be successful), and that often feels overwhelming.

    I partly feel that taking my mind off sex is an immature part that still doesn’t fully grasp the issue, or have an adult appreciation of what is really wrong with me. Successful rebooters quit porn and go out and practice talking to women and socialising, so going ‘monk mode’ is probably more wishful thinking that it will help me somehow. I must remember I am a professional fantasist, I have been all my life, and my default setting is to dream and fantasise. The level of fantasy we indulge in is equal to the amount of fear in our heart, at least that’s my theory.

    I have completely lost interest in life, even music, which is my main passion. I am not special, as many life coaches remind me. I have succesfully torn down all these egoic self-deceptions over the years, the trouble is there is nothing left to take its place. I am being over-taken left, right and centre by more driven individuals. Courage and determination are not enough, you have to believe in something.

    I walked out of work the other day. I felt broken, tetchy, on edge, and sick and tired of being pushed around. I know I run away. I know that won't solve anything. But I can't take it anymore. 22 years of 'facing my fears' in that job hasn't improved anything.

    The following isn't the reason I walked out, but another event at work was when a young woman (no more than 19 or 20) found out I was reading the book, King Warrior Magician Lover, as I had lent it to a collegue and we were talking about it. She enquired, slightly aggressively, 'why are you reading a book about masculinity?' and she practically ate me alive saying 'there was no such thing as gender or masculinity'. My friend stood his ground better, but I blushed crimson, as if having been 'discovered' for the evil, misogynist white male I was. My anxiety is so severe, the blood rushing so powerfully around my veins, like I am going to pass out. So strong is this reaction that I cannot ever stand up for myself, becuase I just seem to freeze.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
  19. positivef

    positivef Active Member

    You are not special be you are unique. Being thankful for what for small things is a part of breaking through the depression. The thing is porn doesn't just desensitise you to sexual media but also to the rest of life. This is where I think 'monk mode' might be useful; hopefully it will turn down the volume of sexual thoughts and turn up all the other things that are part of life.

    It is a shame your colleague was so aggressive about some exploring a different point of view. You could ask her if she has read the book?

    Thinking of quick rebuffs isn't the be all and end all. Have you try verbalising when you feel anxious, for example saying 'your stance is making me anxious.'?

    BTW What kind of music are you into?
    TheScriabin likes this.
  20. gavney

    gavney Active Member

    Congrats on 20 days!

    That sounds very unfair of that girl. I've looked that book up and it seems fairly innocuous. But even if you were reading Mein Kampf, it's none of her business.
    I'm not very good in these sorts of confrontations either and I'd have had a hard time defending myself also.
    You had no reason to have to defend yourself though really, she confronted you over something she had no right to confront you about. She's very young and in 10 years time will probably look back on the incident and cringe, realising all she did was attack a completely innocent person over nothing.
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  21. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I relapsed over the weekend.

    Thanks @positivef @gavney and @Living . I am finding it even difficult to engage with replying to people. What is happening to me? :( It takes such effort for me to just be human and reach out these days, to express my gratitude for your support and kindness. You also have your own lives and problems and yet you took the time to respond. I believe that is the sort of thing that helps you on your journey much more than counting days abstaining. It's like the super-fake stimulation of the internet has disconnected me from reality. This is so much bigger than porn, and it's why quitting pmo isn't enough.

    @positivef I'm a classical pianist and composer, so while that is my background, like most people these days I like to think I've got a fairly relaxed open mind when it comes to music. Haha, that is except for commercial music from the last 15 years or so.

    @Living Great words, thank you. Music is the way I earn a living, and when it becomes your full time job, and all the anxiety that goes with that, it can at times kill that passion because you learn to associate it with sameness and tedium of work. It has been particulary bad recently. Now I am 40 there is a younger generation nipping at my heels, and they are very talented and bringing new energy and sounds. It is easy to feel like a dinosaur!

    @gavney Thanks man. Yes, she did come on a bit strong I thought. I am very uncomfortable when things so private and personal become public in that way. I have experienced a number of situations like this recently and I don't enjoy it at all. Even when people are on my side and defend me, I feel it puts me in a situation to have to be seen by others, and when you fear so much being seen, the negative/passive/hiding away, is so much easier. I'm not sure if that makes sense.
    Living likes this.

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