Journal to the Centre of the Self

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by TheScriabin, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Thanks Amp111

    I have tried CBT before (both privately and in group therapy). It has just become another source of depression for me, every time I even read the word or hear of people's successes, as it didn't work for me, or I'm just too lazy and give up too soon, I don't know. There's just no hope for me. I am a child stuck in a 34 year old man's body, living with his mum who keeps handing me spirtuality books, and now chinese architypes, and keeps on talking about her own baggage to me. These books mean nothing to me, it's just a sign of a lost, lonely human being who needs approval and love and has always expected this of me and has started seeking it in 'wisdom' books. I am tragically the same as her, but painfully aware of it. My ego is HUGE and I am angry all the time, and I have tried quitting porn thinking it would make a difference, but surprise, surprise, it hasn't. I have too many isssues, and nothing has helped. Hypnotherapy, counselling, CBT, drugs, exercise, it makes no difference. I am negative and scared of everything. No-one really understands social anxiety, even people who think they have it. They don't, they all do things, go out, have jobs, friends. They don't understand when you are from a family that has taught you to judge everything and you feel different and an outsider, and there is no social group you can find that doesn't trigger these feelings (I'm a musician, so I went to music school but felt the same alienation. I couldn't go out, get drunk, party, chat-up girls etc like everybody else was, I just became increasingly withdrawn and depressed). You go through being this shy, terrified child and teenager to a depressed adult who has to come to terms with the fact they are just negative and judgemental all the time, but all you want is an explanation and sympathetic, caring voice to understand what it was like for you and that you weren't to blame. But it is not about blame, it is about change which I have to do. It's not hell, it's purgatory since its a living death. Quit porn? It's just another excuse for not confronting what really terrifies me, but I've no idea what that is, apart from practically everything.
     
  2. Amp111

    Amp111 New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I know that i had no idea I was medicating a series of problems in my life through p - but as I gave p up they all came to the surface along with self loathing / anger / hatred - self & other / apathy / a negative upbringing/ being encouraged to fail from my youth...

    How you choose to deal with these things is up to you - if your mother has made you like her do you want more of her in your life?

    We only have one life to live do any of us want to spend it in a dark room alone watching p?

    None of us know what your going through with this I only know what I went through - I can tell you having a girlfriend or a partner doesnt make you happy or sad you do that yourself....

    Have you tried anything new that is positive or creative to start trying to fill in the things p was covering?
    Have you started any physical exercise regimes?

    Both of those really helped me -

    Weirdly stopping worrying about all my problems or shortcomings and trying to help others was one of the most positive factors in my life (in the last 6 months)
     
  3. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Hi,

    Nice of you to respond. I've been pretty good at keeping an exercise routine going - cross country running at least twice a week, and I've taken up a new musical instrument and I've got a few books on the go. Although I've started playing my brother's Xbox more recently and I think that's probably a bad alternative distraction to choose.

    With the ending of my last relationship, of 4 years, things have hit me hard. I suddenly have no social life as mostly we went out with my gfs friends.

    Nothing i try seems to make much difference to my mood at the moment, and I'm not surprised really as I see no hope or future, and all else is just trying to thread together little morsels of dopamine. Porn or no porn, we find ways.

    Not being troubled by porn thoughts or temptation however, which is nice, but I think that's just cos I'm ultra depressed.
     
  4. darkwolf

    darkwolf New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    The exercise and activities sound really good. And three weeks free! Feel good about that too.

    It does suck when our social picture changes. But I believe eventually we adapt - because we have to.

    If you're in a discussion community like this, you've already tapped into a much more powerful resource than many which can help show you the way.

    Stay strong!
     
  5. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Thanks again Darkhorse.

    I feel a bit bad I'm not too good at supporting others on this forum, as I'm rather self-obsessed and bogged down with my own problems and challenges. But I hope this changes with time, as I feel more reassured by my own ability to progress I'll naturally want to help others as I'll know it can be done. The early days, baby steps on these boards and porn recovery are a difficult place to be, as you are only perhaps half convinced you need to change, perhaps cos of a fear denial etc. A chap who wrote a book on porn recovery said quitting is a time in your life where you can afford to be selfish!

    Anyway, the positivity and advice from others on this forum is incredible. My goal is to become a grand master of self-discipline and positive thinking myself one day!
     
  6. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    My big question for the day is:

    What is quitting porn likely to change if my dysfunctional beliefs about myself aren't addressed?

    Quitting porn is uncovering so many other enormous questions, and the confronting of one's life problems can feel a tad overwhelming.

    I am really happy to hear of people's improved quality of life and general mental well-being they report after quitting, but I for one am simply baffled by this. It all seems so much more complex, and the mountain seems a lot bigger than simply abstaining from porn.

    I'm amazed I'm managing to abstain given how hopeless I feel all the time. I don't mean to be a drag on this forum. It's just the way it feels for me at the moment.
     
  7. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Famous last words
     
  8. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Back and feeling good. Here we go again!
     
  9. Amp111

    Amp111 New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    I thought hitting rock bottom was what made me quit p..... What I learnt is that withdrawal and building a life was far harder than hitting bottom..... Yes there is a certain selfishness in quitting p but it is easier to quit p by helping someone else (non p related) and forgetting about p than by being on your own thinking about quitting....

    For me P was hiding all my deficiencies my hopes - everything - quitting has meant building a life - looking to invite friends around to my house - trying to talk when I feel I want the ground to swallow me up - listening to others when I want to wander off in my own world - reading books that make me think -

    All these things p robbed me of in various ways - not directly but indirectly all being covered up by p....

    It is not easy but I believe the journey I am on has made me a better person...
     
  10. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Have enrolled in some dance classes, writing a lot of music, have been a bit more social, doing some gardening. Trying hard, but the loneliness and depression is such a killer. I'm finding porn really hard to quit. I'm so angry and I don't know what to do about it. I'm so angry that all my hard work never seems to lead anywhere, and then I read something by someone who says, 'hard work isn't enough.' What on earth is enough? I apply myself all week, and then I'm alone at the end of the day. I hurt, a lot, and then I attack myself for hurting, calling myself selfish and needy.

    I think the only reason to my continual suffering I can find is... I'm always horrible to myself. I can work tirelessly to change but I still beat myself up no matter what I do. I don't deserve the way I treat myself all the time.
     
  11. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Feeling like I want to kill every pornographer or porn uploader who ever lived. Feel like this is a cancer that has destroyed my life. But I know feeling that way is akin to overweight people suing fast food companies for making them fat. It is MY fault and responsibility, not the pornographers or the internet.

    Porn is not about sexual liberation, freedom or open-mindedness, it is about exploitation, selfishness, loneliness, inadequacy, resentment and ego. Virtually everyone is in denial about the world's unhealthy obsession with it. Sex is this natural thing that we have turned into the most vulgar thing on the planet, and if you start to question porn you are somehow a repressed puritan.
     
  12. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Things are going quite well this time. Feeling a bit more in control, and Gary Wilson's Kindle book is really brilliant support. I keep going back to it whenever I feel a bit wobbly or tempted. Anyway, I don't want to get too sucked into the internet so that's all I shall write for now.
     
  13. thatguy79

    thatguy79 New Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Hi Scriabin,

    I'm glad you decided to give it another go and come back to the forum. I just recently created an account here myself and have been really encouraged by reading others' journals. I'm still pretty early in my reboot, but if yours is anything like mine has been so far, you're at the most difficult stage right now. Somewhere around day 15 or 16, things got MUCH easier for me. Those first 2 weeks are absolute killers, but if you can push through them, you may find that around week 3 the urges get much less intense and much more manageable. I mean, they're still there and they're not to be ignored, but it's nothing like the hell of weeks 1-2 were for me. The important thing is that after all these months, you're still fighting. If you keep that up, there's no way you won't succeed!
     
  14. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Re: The cravings sneak in so subtley

    Hi thatguy79,

    Thanks very much for the heads-up! Yes, through past experience I have grown very aware of the danger-zone of the first few weeks. In the past I have been deceived by a surge of positivity I feel after just a few days, which is simply due to feeling proud of myself for having resolved to quit. It lasts for about 2 days and then disappears and the real battle has begun. I have a bad record for not sticking at things so I am determined to see if I can change this. I think education is key - the more successful accounts I read by those who have gone before me, the more I believe in the nofap community and the stronger my resolve against everybody (including well-meaning therapists!) who tell me I don't have a problem. My life is in a very difficult place at the moment, and I think I have been suffering from severe depression for a long time now, but then there is no such thing as the perfect time to quit, so why not now and see what happens?
     
  15. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    It's a bit spooky how relatively easy I'm finding this this time around, and I'm even enjoying having the challenge.

    I have been feeling quite depressed, emotional, lonely etc, but I've felt these on and off for so long I am dubious as to whether they can be considered withdrawal symptoms. Anyway, am having cold showers, doing press-ups, and have been more creative writing some music. I wonder if replacement distractions such as youtube and Facebook are a good thing? They can also be addictive so I have to be careful not to look for those dopamine fixes from other sources of instant novelty. Perhaps 'internet porn' should be expanded to mean all of these things too? I've watched hours of footage of amusement parks and roller coasters recently on youtube. What on earth am I doing that for?!! :eek: Am I so lacking in joy and satisfaction in my emotional life? Clearly!
     
  16. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Really feeling like shit.

    This whole business is already kicking up some incredibly painful stuff. I don't understand life. Kicking this habit is revealing to me the cesspool of fear, avoidance, dishonesty and failure that my life has always been. It's early days, but so far my shyness and anxiety has got progressively worse, not better. Work is hell, what little employment I have, and I struggle to make conversation with anybody apart from nodding in passive agreement. I have always had social anxiety but it has never been this bad, and I used to have enough energy to make small talk with my colleagues. The motivation to meet women always seemed to be the reason for existing: the girl I fancied when I was 10 being the only reason to go to school, the gorgeous girls at uni the only reason to go to lectures, the women at work giving me reason to justify going to a job I really couldn't stand and didn't derive any personal satisfaction from. Do I really have no other motivations in life? Quitting porn and avoiding gawking at girl's figures is reframing my worldview, but at the moment I feel anxious, sick, confused, without a reason to be. Questioning my entire life so far, my wasted opportunities, my tendency to give up immediately when something gets challenging or difficult.

    My girlfriend was crying this morning because I didn't reciprocate when she started to fool around with me below. I found it so impossible to gently say, 'I don't really feel like this at the moment', and I instead allowed her to continue while I built up with anger inside until I aggressively pulled away. It was not her fault, she is a woman with every right to expect the affection or playful fun she needs from me. I am not stupid enough to project my issues with my parents onto her. She is totally innocent, caring and understanding, and she keeps on having to sacrifice her needs on account of me. I feel like such an asshole. I am angry because I always felt that I have had no choices in life, and I probably went for the first female friend I made because I was so hopeless with attractive women. I have become terrified of expressing my feelings about anything, and I bottle them up. I suppose it comes down to a matter of trust. Perhaps I am not in love with my girlfriend, whereas if I was it wouldn't be such an issue to calmly say I didn't feel like sex or kissing, because I could always say, 'I'm sorry, I do love you but I don't really want this right now.' But instead I just go quiet, retreat to that terrified little boy place and she suffers.

    Why am I choosing to quit porn? To develop more confidence around girls? Why would I desire this if I already have a loving partner? What am I up to? Am I trying to relive lost teenage years, or my early 20s just because I didn't have enough sex with different women? How do guys on this forum report such apparently care-free stuff like, 'after weeks with no porn I went out and chatted up loads of women and I felt great.' Is that what I want too? Am I jealous of them because I am 'stuck' in a relationship? Am I really just a coward frightened to move on?

    People always say love and lust are different things. If I am lucky enough to have found true love with my girlfriend, why do I continually hunger for a prettier face?

    Is being an adult sacrificing these petty desires and temptations and teaching yourself to appreciate what you have, and the person you are with for who they are within, or is being an adult actually about having the balls to go after what you really want?

    Is the problem that your balls are doing the thinking?!!!
     
  17. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    This is strange, as I am beginning to experience a slight increase in interest and attention from women that I have read so much about in other porn quitter's accounts. But it is both nice and frustrating though, as it seems to be the attention I have always craved, and from attractive women as well, but I am in a long term relationship and I do not want to cheat. But God do I feel horny, and me and my girlfriend are definitely having more sex since I have been off porn, though I sometimes have to battle with not thinking about these other women whilest we were in the act. I didn't want the fantasy to be involved, and tried to focus on my partner and the moment.

    22 days is, I think, the longest I have managed without PMO in years, so am determined to go further, but the cravings are certainly a problem.
     
  18. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Dang it. Right, I don't want this to escalate into a binge. Cold shower at the ready. I'm off for a jog.
     
  19. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Fallen off the wagon big time. You know I don't think I can even be bothered with this. It's not going to lead anywhere, same story as anything I try to help myself with. I'm 35 and I first went to therapy when I was 21. What a waste of time and money. Fuck it!

    I think part of my problem is that I am a writer, and like any form of intense creativity, it takes hours and hours of selfish time when I am working on a project, and during these times I really resent being disturbed, and I resent having to be there for another person. In a word, I become intensely selfish. The thing is, it is only me who has a problem with it, and because of this I am always pathetically reassuring others that, 'I will change, I am trying...' when perhaps I don't have anything to change, but simply have a lot of guilt about being the person I am. My younger brother is also selfish in this way but he is viewed in a positive light by my family. He is a film maker, and my family has always seen him as the driven one, single-minded, even tunnel visioned, good looking, 'cheeky', a 'character' - but always in a positive way. It was different for me, and I was more sensitive to my families criticisms of people who's behaviour was viewed more critically. The criticisms were usually aimed at my absent father, but because I identified with him so much, being a musician and composer like him, I naturally absorbed the back-stabbing and criticism and felt it was also directed at me. My aunt (his sister) is a militant feminist who envied my dad's natural musical gifts, so when she sensed the same gifts developing in me, I got no end of underhanded comments about men and their selfish needs. At first she formed a deep connection with me, perhaps as a way of getting closer to my dad, but she does an odd thing of supporting me but then making little comments, and now these concealed putdowns are becoming intolerable. I even think members of family enjoy my failures and problems, in spite of what they say to the contrary, because it means I am not a threat to them. If they really care about my suffering, why don't they ever ask me how I am? My mum never met another man after my dad left when I was 5, and all her friends are, like my dad's sister, single females who have never had children and have obvious issues with men. I think I have been well and truly put in my place by man-hating, feminism and manipulation. Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-feminist, and unquestionably I think women have been treated like dirt over the course of history, because of idiot Biblical teachings and God knows what else, but I don't see the constant putdowns toward the next generation of men, because of unresolved anger towards their own fathers or brother, as particularly a sign of progress, and if anything is making a gender war out of what is just personal problems. Make the personal political - a favoured slogan of the feminist movement - really means taking one's own shit - 'my own father is a shit' - and projecting this onto the outside world and declaring - 'all fathers and all men are shit'.

    If you look back over the history of artists, most artists were fairly self-involved men who often had mistresses to screw, or a wife to raise a family, though most of the time one who they cheated on anyway. It was a completely different time. Nowadays, men are expected to be more than they have biologically evolved to be, so we pressure ourselves to be 'good' and 'decent' men, but I think this is a self-deception as there is no such thing as a good man, you can only act good, according to whatever values our current society believes in. Shere Hite said there is no such thing as a frigid man, only an inadequate one, and she made a very accurate observation. Men want sex, and they want power, and the rise of feminism has left them in a very difficult position.

    Where do we go from here, to be truly equal, tolerant, and loving of both sexes, without feeling coerced into behaving as the other wants us to behave?
     
  20. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    13 days on latest streak. Boy this is tough, and I am realising more and more how difficult it is.

    But I have how come to view the setbacks and relapses as not merely a frustrating and unfortunate part of recovery, but also an essential part of recovery, since each time they occur our knowledge and experience of the pitfalls grows stronger, and we become more savvy to the many tactics the brain uses to keep us trapped, or in other words, the many different faces of withdrawal. I am going through the usual challenges I face from day 10 onwards (I find the first week fairly easy and craving-free). I see the first week as a walk in the park, or a roller coaster gently making its way up the first lift hill. It's quite exciting, relaxed almost, and you can enjoy the view from the top... but then the really scary part is about to begin, and only now will my body and mind really be tested.

    The cravings are more intense than anything I experience while I use porn, because when I use porn I simply don't question it - I just get the urge, then use. But during quitting, everything bangs loudly on my brain, and my anxiety and awkwardness goes through the roof, the exact opposite of the positive effects one reads about happening. I understand this though, because if I am expecting positive changes to occur in my feelings around women, then I am obviously keenly observing if this is beginning to happen, which actually only creates the opposite effect, and I obsess even more, and my social awkwardness is increased. I am so aware of not wanting to fixate constantly on young women, pretty teenage girls, beautiful curves and a cute butt, that my mind just obsesses even more on them. The porn fantasies throw up really strong, warped stuff to keep me hooked. It is really quite scary what is going on.

    I see a cute Asian girl at work sometimes, and she throws my lust into complete overdrive, and I have really had to fight over the last 48 hours to keep my mind off the thoughts of her. She is very attractive to me, but I can't help thinking that liking Asian girls has been greatly influenced by my porn use, and my developing a liking for them, so it is hardly surprising that an encounter in real life instantly boosts my cravings to go home and log on to sites. She spoke to me in the corridor, asking me a kind of meaningless question which made me think the striking-up the conversation was more significant than the actual question she was asking. So I thought, 'is this my lucky day, does she like me?', and I muttered something nervously, and that was that.

    This is quite a typical situation for me, and it is the negative feelings such as disappointment and embarrassment with myself for not dealing with it better, combined with the high adrenaline, fear and excitement, which is a bit of lethal cocktail which leads me to go home and use porn. It has been my pattern for years. I have never seen it this way before, but using porn appears to be a way to boost those feelgood 'success' chemicals which are so lacking after awkward social encounters with girls, with the accompanying feelings of failure, regret and missed opportunity. Girls have always been an obsession which terrorizes me! The interest in them is healthy, but the way I always deal with it is not.

    I am in a particularly difficult situation (and I have been for several years now) because I am a musician who works with professional dancers, so every day in training and rehearsals I sit and watch very attractive girls in leotards (which leave little to the imagination), and I have to work very hard mentally to concentrate on the responsibilities of my job. Most guys would be deeply envious of me, and the usual male response is, 'You lucky sod, you get to do that for a living?!', but it is not much fun when you are as shy as I am, and also when you have a porn problem... It is very easy for me to sexualise what I see. I mean, the dancers are purposefully making themselves as beautiful as possible, which is part of the art of what they do, and their bodies look perfect, like the super-toned models we see in porn, so it doesn't take much for my brain to run wild with cravings, and because I have never had the confidence to build relationships, in the past my usual, sorry routine has been to go home and jerk off while thinking about doing all these perverted things with these girls. I have to be realistic, and it is not easy for me to find a different job to take away this constant visual input which drives the cravings to use, so I am viewing it more as a challenge.

    Anyway, I am reporting the difficulties, but I am managing to keep off the porn and doing the best I can to distract my mind. Having a lot of work at the moment helps, though I really have to discipline myself to get on with it, as it is not nearly as carefree, exciting and fun as the brain-numbing porn sites.

    So, my thought for the day is that problems and setbacks are an essential part of the healing process, and really the only way you can possibly fail at overcoming porn addiction is if you totally give up.
     

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