Journal to the Centre of the Self

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

  1. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Ok:

    These last 2 weeks I've managed to:

    1. Significantly increased my time spent learning a foreign language, and I've improved my understanding more in 14 days than I had in an entire year.

    2. I learnt a new piece of Debussy piano music by heart. This is quite a challenge these days as my sight reading is so good (frickin' amazing if I'm honest), that learning by heart takes a lot of effort. So that's an achievement.

    3. I've contacted more friends to arrange socials to try to fill in the time that I know would otherwise be free down time that would significantly increase risk of pmo.

    4. I'm trying to increase my social contact with male friends in particular, as I feel this is good for me and seriously lacking in my life. Due to the nature of my work I work with a lot of women and gay men. I enjoy the company of my gay male friends, but I find I get more sense of bonding with straight guys. Generally my gay colleagues are less comfortable with physical intimacy, possibly because it is more sexualised in their eyes, I don't know. This is obviously also true for attractive female colleagues.

    I guess if we didn't receive enough physical affection as children, either from parents who didn't touch enough or parents who invaded (sometimes to not invade is the real invasion... parents fearful of their own emotions, fearful of damaging their kids), we are more likely to seek sex (in whatever form) as a substitute for affection we are craving. One belief is that these days both functional and dysfunctional people could develop porn addiction. I understand this is to highlight that it is a much bigger problem, affecting everybody, from every walk of life, and at every level of general emotional health. Though I disagree a little, and feel it is more correct to say that we are all, to some extent, dysfunctional, because our parents were too. Sexual deviancy is a starved body craving for human contact, and the more super sexualised society gets, the harder it is to genuinely find, or ask for, physical contact, a mirror for these essential human needs, without there being sexual overtones. You need to feel valued not because of how attractive you are or what you offer the other person, but simply because you are loved. So, where do people get the vast majority of their non-sexual physical contact? From their sexual partners. This is the best case scenario, though not perfect because we all bring with us our own baggage. The worst case is using porn as there is no intimacy of any sort in a life, anywhere. I am not saying sex and non-sexual human touch are completely unrelated, but the basis of human life, relating and connecting, formed by our first experiences as infants, are purely physical and emotional, and fear of the body, instilled by our parents, is exactly what makes sex so problematic, so potential damaging, and also so damn interesting.

    5. Yesterday I got angry and depressed because a gay chap at work, as gay guys are often naturally very adept at, was making easy going conversation with a group of attractive girls, making them laugh, paying them attention etc. I went home, was depressed, beaten yet again by social anxiety, I wanted to tie a noose and swing from a tree at the bottom of the garden...

    But...

    This time I DIDN'T turn to pmo, and today I actually feel pretty good.
     
  2. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Have been keeping a mood journal.

    By day 11, increasing irritability, depression, sense of hopelessness & headaches occurring frequently.

    However, this is nothing new, so I cannot put this down to side effects. Unfortunately I have no way of monitoring any emotional changes.

    What I realise now though, much to my dread, is that pmo has nothing to do with it.

    It is the internet,
    It is my empty life,
    It is social phobia,
    It is me

    These deeper levels of quitting are much more frightening to me, and I feel already exhausted with fear having been dwelling on it, coming up with ideas but never being able to initiate any of them, and going back to the same old comfort zones, and while PMO not being one of them might be a tiny victory, I have plenty of substitutes. Nothing makes me happy, not music, not cooking, not reading, not writing letters or journalling. NOTHING makes me feel good because I know I am afraid and avoiding living. I know I am lonely.

    Knowing everything that lay ahead of me feels utterly beyond me as of this writing.

    I wish I didn't have this awareness. It must surely be why other people in my family seem to be happy with their lot in life, even though they're pretty solitary people as well, but they don't wish to change so they appear to be happy. I am not blaming them or their lifestyles for one second for my own problems, and the fact I have to deal with them, but I seem to be tarred with the same brush, and it is difficult to change in an environment like this. We are symbiotically connected, affecting each others lives without realising it, affecting the energy. I try to find positive energy from within myself, but I do not feel much around me, and my own supplies are seriously depleted. My family get positive about negative things. They get animated talking about all the problems in the world, or with other people, they talk long and loud about it, talking over me when I wish to speak, but never do anything to change it, or themselves!

    Though I sometimes wish I could be like them, content with my lot in life, for I have spent 20 years exhausting myself with trying to change, and not making one iota of damn progress.
     
  3. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Back on track minutes later...

    30 minute jog and cold shower!

    Fucking awesome!
     
  4. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Struggling a bit today. Am still doing ok, no relapses, and plenty of positives during the day, although my mind is sending me a bit crazy with 'deviant' thoughts. I was tempted to search for some weird shit online, but I didn't. This is a weird side effect, but I've been here many times before...
     
  5. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Feeling annoyed!

    My elder brother quit smoking at New Year. I am really happy for him, but he didn't listen to me when I tried relating with him about withdrawal, depression etc. He doesn't listen to my own story, tending to speak over me, so there is no mutual support. After a few weeks into quitting he started to feel really crappy, and decided to go to the doctors. The doctor basically repeated everything I had told him, but he came back super happy that the professional had explained everything so well!! He also likes to brag about how easy he is finding it to quit and I find it quite tedious, but I don't want to hurt his feelings if he is feeling good about himself.

    I do understand, he needs an adult authority figure - not his younger brother - to reassure him.

    I am lucky, I do have a good friend I can chat to about my own problems with pmo because he goes through similar, I just can't expect such a mutually beneficial relationship to exist with my brother, because there has always existed a certain rivalry between us, a rivalry that we deal with better because we aren't kids anymore, but that is still there under the surface. Perhaps also the nature of my own addiction is a place he isn't willing to go yet himself, I don't know. My brother needs value, we have never had a father around to do this, so he doesn't want to hear that I am struggling with something because he needs to feel special, suitably different from me. He is unable to support me because he wants to beat me, perhaps destroy me, ever since I was born and took his place! We have to fantasise we are special when adults fail to make us feel loved.

    Perhaps he doesn't have his own friend to talk to about it so he comes to me, or mum, so maybe he is suffering more than I realise.
     
  6. I think I can understand what you're saying about your brother and his predisposition to ignore your advice. It reminds me of my older brother too. He's been having a lot of pain in his back for more than two years now. Two years ago, I told him to go to a swimming pool every week...and he completely ignored me, but I also tried to cheer him up by telling him that he was going to get better soon. Two years have passed and he's always bringing back in a mockey way when I told him he was going to get better.

    I don't know if your brother has his own problems or not, but if I had to decide which brother I wish to be ... I'd pick you without any doubt (because of your self-awareness).

    Which language are you learning now? (Sorry, I haven't read your full journal)
     
  7. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Hi inprogress2015,

    Thanks for your response! Sounds very similar, like your brother wishes to embrace the negative rather than the positive, and blame you in the process! Mocking you for not being able to predict the future is harsh, especially when you were just trying to be supportive. I guess the best thing anybody can do is offer support where it is needed, or wanted, but beyond that we cannot change anybody. Maybe if we change ourselves, leading by example, it won't go unnoticed. But when a person is suffering, everything can be painful, even a person making positive changes can be threatening, so we act defensively, or mockingly, because we haven't yet discovered our own innate capacity for feeling good about ourselves. Families can be traps with the relationships based on old ways of behaving that aren't good for us anymore. We learned our most unhelpful behaviours from them (as well as the good behaviours) and if we want to be appreciated and valued in a new light, we have to actively seek the kinds of people who are better able to provide that. We can always love our families, but recognise that we have other needs that need to be met elsewhere. The people on this forum are really good for that, because they are in the same boat!

    I am learning Italian! I try to do a little every day although have lapsed a bit recently.
     
  8. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Well, I have picked up more work recently, so my anxiety and exhaustion and low mood has increased, as they always do when I have to interact with people. Living with social anxiety leaves me with 2 choices: avoid work and stay at home depressed, or go to work and be anxious. This anxiety tends to leave me emotionally drained, and my sense of well-being depleted. I cannot report any 'natural highs' from socialising because I generally dislike it, feeling I am overly friendly and seeking of approval all the time. It is not a behaviour I can reverse, because switching to acting cool and aloof is really the same behaviour: an attempt to manipulative those around me into responding more favourably to me.

    This general pattern to my existence makes monitoring any side-effects to pmo withdrawal virtually impossible because these feelings are nothing new - they are so God-damned familiar.

    I'm feeling pretty pessimistic right now. I wonder how many reports that quitting hasn't helped those with low self-esteem and anxiety aren't published on YBOP website.

    I figure, I will stick with my reboot, try to make it to 3 months and beyond, but if I see no improvements with social anxiety, I am going to give up and revert back to porn, because to be honest I don't have any joy without it.

    I hope I am not being mislead by people who don't actually have social anxiety but use it as a general term for feeling anxious.

    I am not denegrating these amazing nofap forums and the inspiring people who make changes, I am just concerned that I may be leading myself up yet another blind alley. It was the link with SA that got me initially interested in the first place, as I don't have any PE or ED problems, and my only relationship problem is not having one!
     
  9. Fry

    Fry Guest

    These toughts of yours are a trap. PMO just numbs the anxiety and depression and will soon be again a problem by itself. By quitting porn you just unmask your issues, but they don't miraculousy go away just by quitting. You"ll have to confront them, if you want a better life.

    Forget about the success stories and other reports. Accept that your underlying issues might be a lot tougher to tackle than just being clean for 90 days. And then go and do something about it, no matter what it takes. Falling back into the addiction will just make you suffer more. That you don't enjoy life without porn is common with all addicts. They see their drug as the only thing that brings them joy. That's the trap. It will take some time of healing before you can see the beauty of life again (google the phrase Ahedonia and addiction), and this time may or may not be longer than 90 days. But it will come and it will be totally worth it. Just please don't expect all your problema to be resolved just by quitting porn. That's just the first step and there's a lot more work to be done. All the best
     
  10. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Hi Fry, and thanks for your excellent post. This is what I have been hoping is the case, and I really appreciate your guidance. Yes, I don't expect my confidence to miraculously reappear without a lot of hard work and a fight. Many of my concerns stem from my social anxiety pre-dating my porn use, so the doubts expressed in my post are in part due to this. I don't expect miracles, but a little more confidence and resolve to face my issues would be worth its weight in gold. In my own case PMO never numbed my anxiety, I was always very aware of intense anxiety and self-consciousness. What abstaining appears to have done, however, is open up the abyss of sadness, and I'm both excited and frightened, at the same time, by the prospect of finally perhaps having found, with nofap, the instigator for that change.

    Thank you for your sanity and reason!
     
  11. The problem with PMO is that it makes us don't put things into perspective, it blinds us and make us a terribly bunch of apathetics and conformists that not want and/or dare to change because we're constant and subconsciously telling the same lie to ourselves: "enjoy the present, delaying satisfaction it's not worth it!" (after all, if we're PMOing everyday and there is nothing more important ... why change anything else in our lives?)

    In order to solve your anxiety and low mood, you'll have to face your fears and try to (little by little) take baby steps. Quitting porn is not going to fix your problems here, but it sets the foundation for your change (it's not the only way, but it's one of the best you have right now).
     
  12. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    More great advice, thanks inprogress2015. I'm in control of the abstaining, even if I'm having a shit day, I manage to deal with it, but introducing new things is a challenge and I'm having a hard time putting all my great ideas into action! I'm maybe spending too much time on this forum, but I like the positive stories of others, and it's still better than relapsing.
     
  13. Fry

    Fry Guest

    It's pretty common to become obsessive woth recovery and the board in the beginning. This is ok. You can deal with it, once the addiction to pmo is diminished ;-)

    Good luck with everything. Finding yourself and tackling your problems is tough sometimes and requires courage, often it's also painful, but totally worth it.
     
  14. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Thanks :)
     
  15. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Christ what a horrid day. I really hope this is only due to withdrawal. It is far easier getting jobs done when I use porn. But at the moment I cannot concentrate on anything. I achieved a fair amount over the last 24 hours, but I always feel like I'm avoiding the big and important things. Why is there constantly a critical voice, no matter how well I am doing? :-[

    I feel very unhappy at the moment, completely joyless, and will perhaps take a break from these boards for a week or so and see how I do.

    Why is everything difficult, and why has everything always been difficult?
     
  16. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Just had a very deep and revealing conversation with my mother.

    My parents divorced when I was 5, due to my dad's having an affair with another women, an affair that eventually led to 3 other children, so my dad has fathered a grand total of 6 kids. Now he lives with yet another woman, half his age.

    My father is also bi-sexual, and has an unfortunate interest in prepubescent boys - I have grilled him constantly about this, getting really angry, although I know he has never acted inappropriately, he did nevertheless admit that he has always preferred the company of young people to adults, and I remember feeling distinctly uncomfortable around him when I was younger. He even admitted that he only finds children interesting when they are of a certain age. In other words, when they can begin to meet his needs. It is difficult to describe this clearly, but I grew up in a theatrical/musical/artistic family, and we had many gay friends, and I often experienced a certain 'humour' (that I find personally repellant) which involved my father and his mates making comments about 'cute boys'. Fine, they can do what they want, but it was often done in my presence and I hated it. My worst memory is when my father said, 'John said you're very attractive and thinks you've got nice legs.' The natural reaction of a threatened animal is to attack with claws! I should have fucking lamped him! But as a child, dependant on the little love that was available from my father, I just took it and felt awkward, unable to articulate or express my anger and sense of being used and betrayed, because I didn't understand how inappropriate he was being. At the same time I was witnessing my own father 'crawling' to gain acceptance among his peers, just because that was the way they behaved, and I never felt it was my true father behaving like that.

    Anyway, my mother and I had a conversation which lead to sex, and this is the most uncomfortable subject in the universe for her. She gets so nervous that she begins wittering, speaking incoherently and loudly, and doesn't really listen too well to what I am saying, and our heart to heart conversation usually becomes entirely about her, because I am obviously triggering deep issues by talking about this stuff, and my own needs get lost in the process. This used to make me really mad, feeling ignored and not taken seriously, or reassured. The best I would ever get (from both my parents) was, 'sorry, you're just tarred with the same brush. Don't worry, I was never very popular with the opposite sex either.' or something similar.

    My elder brother is also, naturally, very closed about this, so I never got to have brotherly chats with him about 'guys stuff'. He only recently confided in me, after I'd put him at ease by sharing many of my own problems, that he was terrified to take showers after gym at school because he was circumcised and most of the other boys in our school weren't, and it made his penis look smaller. This was deeply traumatising for him, and he had nobody in our family to discuss it with. This is a very important thing for adolescent boys, wondering how 'normal' you are, and this really hurt his confidence. He was also teased for his weight. He became quite withdrawn, disappeared into heavy metal music and computers and his bedroom. He is friendly and gentle, a nice guy, but has no aggression or competitiveness, and work bosses often talk advantage of him, as did the few women he'd been with.

    My mother, without my dad, never really had the ability to provide this masculine side of parenting for us, so she played the 'silence is golden' card. Me and my brothers have positive feminine qualities in spades, but we lack positive masculine qualities. I also partly feel society is suffering a crisis with regards to this, where 'masculine' and 'feminine' are misunderstood and negativised as little more than unhelpful stereotypes. My feminist aunt - who is my favourite relative - didn't understand what I was trying to say when I attempted to talk to her about this, because she has strong beliefs that 'feminine' means weak, and 'masculine' has negative connotations of an oppressive patriarchy etc. But I am really talking about the masculine and feminine within both men and women, in other words, the archetypes of the mother and father in all of us, that we have a fundamental need, since birth, to experience in a positive way. My mother could not fill-in the gaps that my dad should have, no matter how hard she tried.

    My mum would often talk as though she was really liberal and open-minded, and not wanting to judge anything. While I don't doubt she attempted to do this, wanting to view herself as a good mother, talking the talk is not the same as walking the walk. Children learn through example, and my mother has never been with another man since my father left, has numerous deep insecurities about sex, mostly due to not believing she is attractive, which my grandmother made her feel repeatedly. My mother's insecurities were compounded by my father's infidelities, though he would have likely done the same thing to any woman. I think after the divorce, my mother found having a family to look after, putting herself firmly in the role of the mother which, while being an unavoidable responsibility, also provided her with an opportunity to avoid having to date and face these fears again. She did the best she could as a single mother, but she was never the happiest person in the world, and she lived for her children rather than herself. Children are deeply sensitive to their parent's sadness, so history continues...

    My issues about sex are different, but they are definitely there. I never spoke to anybody about my feelings as a teenager, not even my mates at school. I was incredibly shy about it, and this grew into having completely no idea about what the realities were, and I scared myself more and more that 'everybody was kissing except me', which soon became 'everybody is having sex except me', which has now become 'everybody is having amazing gangbang sex except me'...

    While I've no doubt that remaining a virgin until 25 was different to the norm, I know I am not as weird as I thought. My mind was always racing with sexual thoughts and obsessions, and this only increased my fear of actually talking to girls. Pornography obviously was the perfect solution to all this. In my view nothing more remains to be spoken about pornography when viewed in light of my existing problems. It was easy to get into. It's a familiar story. The rest you all know.

    Why this conversation with my mum was especially powerful was because I could see, so clearly, the suffering she always tries to hide. But I needed to see this suffering. The pain that we attempt to hide causes more pain than the pain that we share. I understood myself, through her, and for the first time I didn't feel angry that she just 'never listens to me'. I felt like an adult. It was weird, but good.

    The other day I went for a cup of coffee with my ex-therapist, who I ended with nearly 2 years ago when she retired. She doesn't normally remain in touch with clients, but I was in the area so popped in to say hello. I feel I have outgrown 1-1 therapy over the last 2 years, but a strange thing happened during our chat, and the old dynamics returned. This made me seriously question the value of a lot of therapy, because it is as difficult for the therapist to shake out of their therapist role as it is for the client to move beyond that of client. The therapist remains always guarded, you never really get to know them and they know an awful lot about you, and I don't know how healthy this is, though it is considered the norm. I initially left feeling quite lonely and abandoned, like there was absolutely nobody in the world I could talk to about my reality. But this slowly gave way to a feeling of liberation, because I realise I am the best therapist to myself. I have discovered so many truths by delving headfirst, often ruthlessly and critically, into my family's past, and to this day most people in my family talk over what I have to say, or tell me I'm wrong, but I know I'm not wrong, and they are just afraid to go deeper.

    I now believe this to be a fundamental truth about almost everybody we ever know:

    Everybody finds a solution to help manage their suffering, but very few people find true healing and a way out, because it is so damned difficult!

    So when you present people with uncomfortable truths, it may threaten the walls they have built up to protect themselves from whatever is going on from them. Do not be fooled by these walls. You can respect their walls, understanding that is their way to survive their own pain, but at the same time learn to distinguish yourself from them, know that their reactions are about them, and only you can truly understand yourself. The more people warn you you are leading yourself down a blind alley of over-analysis and critical theorising, the more I believe you should stick to that path!

    I have never cared much for the term analysis equals paralysis. That is merely another way of encouraging people to stay in the dark. CBT therapists and 'positive thinking' disciples love to quote it. But by 'analysis' I don't mean to get bogged down in the muddy waters of often out-dated Freudian ideas, I mean investigate, enquire, and form your own ideas and draw your own conclusions.

    LL
     
  17. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    The other day I just read that people that usually prefer the company of young people tend to have low self-esteem. I've always preferred the company of young people too (not in a sexual sense, but as friends) ... and I used to have low self-esteem so ... it fits for me.

    I also completely identify with this. I hate to talk to my mother by phone, because she always ends up not listening to half of what I say (when she calls me, she tells me what she wants to tell me and then ... it's like she completely disconnects, turning on her automatic mode).
     
  18. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    Motivation: 0
    Depression: 10
    Negativity: 10
    Hope: 0
    Self-belief: 0

    °Recently haven't lasted more than 14 day streak
    °Personal best is 21 days
    °But only PMOd 5 times in last 41 days

    My work output has increased considerably, but I cannot report any positive mood changes, only increased negative ones so far, battling with a sense of utter meaningless to my existence.

    No PMO is extremely difficult because I do not believe I will ever have sex again in my life, so by choosing this road I am effectively eliminating sexual pleasure from my life entirely, and I often battle with wondering why I am on these nofap forums in the first place.
     
  19. TheScriabin

    TheScriabin Well-Known Member

    I refuse to get left behind.

    I am still here.
     
  20. Fry

    Fry Guest

    Try to leave behind negative thougths. That you never will have sex again is simply not true. Besides that it's a matter of your choices what the future brings. Recover, get fit and get out dating, you'll soon get laid- if believe in it and work for it.

    Intercept negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts. Make this a habbit!
     

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