Just getting started... gotta do something different

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by seebs75, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. seebs75

    seebs75 Member

    After a long hiatus I am back. I haven't checked in since March, so it's been 9 months. I've been back to almost daily PMO and it's really spiraled. It feels as strong as it ever has, but I've finally reached the point where I'm sick of it. My whole life lately has been about avoiding feelings it seems. Whether that is through PMO or food or buying shit I don't need. Physically I feel awful, my diet is horrible and I know I eat to medicate just like I PMO. I'm feeling very low and depressed. When I wake up I usually PMO because I feel restless and I feel better for a moment, but then quickly feel the guilt and shame set in. Then I notice that for the rest of the day I am a miserable, irritable bastard. I procrastinate, don't make progress on projects and want to isolate. I know this is all directly tied to PMO, but for the life of me I don't feel like I can stop. I know that a lie because I've had some success, but when you're in the pit you feel pretty hopeless.

    My most successful time was last fall when I went more than 60 days with no PMO. Then the holidays hit me and I was triggered and never looked back. I know the best way for me to do this is to go cold turkey and utilize this group so that I what I intend to do.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Hi Seebs! I have a couple of suggestions, both pretty standard. You've probably seen them before, but, just in case:

    1. Don't dwell on the past. Don't fret about the future - at least in so far as kicking your PMO habit. Focus on today. This has really helped me. 90 days seems nuts, impossible. One? I can do one.

    2. Think about how to respond to triggers. Develop a plan. So, if feeling anxious is a trigger (it is for me...) decide what, instead of PMO, you'll do to alleviate that anxiety. Could be breathing exercises, going for a walk. If you're not sure what might work, use this time to try out different things, including posting on here. It's a really good way to break that cycle of - oh, my browsers open, I'll just peek for a second. I come here instead of searching P.

    I'm rooting for you!
     
    seebs75 and Boxer17 like this.
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Member

    Time for a fresh start Seebs. Stop focusing on the past. It's OK to acknowledge your guilt/shame but don't let it imprison you. You cannot change what has happened, but you can change your future. There's no quick fix or simple solution for what we're dealing with here. You have to take the long way round and it means facing up to your fears and feeling those emotions you're trying to run away from. Sounds to me like you need to start caring for yourself and forgiving yourself for your past. One good way to do this is to build healthy actions into your daily life, even really basic stuff. Take pride in your appearance, dress better, exercise and start eating healthier food. You don't have to do everything at once, but you should take small steps in this direction and build up from there. I guarantee it will slowly start to make you feel better about yourself. After that, you need to do some soul searching! Try to analyse your fears, anxieties and become comfortable dealing with difficult emotions.
     
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  4. seebs75

    seebs75 Member

    Quick update. Apparently today is day 6. My week has been crazy busy which has been good. I even had an out of town trip this week which normally is a huge trigger for me. There was some urge there, but my desire for PMO was very low. At the moment, I felt very connected to the potential consequences that awaited me should I give in. I wish it would stay that way, but I know once I start feeling better things tend to creep back in.

    This morning, the urge was really strong. Not so much directly for PMO, but I woke up feeling anxiety and sadness and just wanted relief. Based on recommendations from other threads on here I started reading "no more mr nice guy." That book has really got me thinking. In my life I feel like I have done a ton of self reflection and therapy. For a while things got better but over the past few years, things have crept back up to where the PMO has been as bad as ever. I recognized a lot of patterns in that book that are present in my life:
    • The subconscious belief that if I do everything right things won't be hard.
    • Covert contracts with people - especially my wife. If I do A,B & C then you will do D, E & F. When she amazingly doesn't respond to my expectations I feel hurt and rejected.
    • History of abandonment due to losing a parent when I was young.
    • The idea that if I am good enough, I won't be abandoned again.
    • Fear that if you really knew me you wouldn't love me and would abandon me.
    • Early exposure to sex/porn revolved around it being hidden and secret.
    • Fear of being known and vulnerable with others, especially women.
    • Lack of real relationships with men.
    • Being fundamentally dishonest - about my emotions, my actions, my desires, etc.

    I'm interested in other's experiences with this book. I also recognize that in many ways I feel like I'm selfless and give a lot, but there is almost always an ulterior motive where I want to be seen as good. Then the things I do in secret PMO are a result of feeling like things aren't fair, others aren't living up to their end of an unspoken contract, everything I do isn't good enough. In many ways it justifies (in my mind) my PMO among other vices - lack of self care, etc. It really has been a vicious cycle.

    I'm not sure this is very coherent, but it's good to get it out of my head. It feels good to identify the patterns where before I just felt kind of untethered and at the whims of life. I'm in the process of reprioritizing and trying to set my intention on taking care of me first. I feel like my life mantra has been if I'm good enough, someone else will take care of me. Truth is I'm the only one who is capable of taking care of me and that is a strange revelation.

    I appreciate the feedback.
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  5. forlorn

    forlorn Member

    Good post, that book sounds like it's worth a read. It's really important that we address the underlying issues that led us to these destructive patterns of behaviour.
     
  6. seebs75

    seebs75 Member

    I’m almost 2 weeks into this deal. So far its pretty good. I’ve had a few times of searching out non-porn things that can lead to a slip up. My emotions are all over the place. Some times I feel dead inside and in other ways I feel like I’m an emotional wreck. I think I need to make sure my boundaries around times that I would previously pmo. Mornings when everyone else is asleep, long times in the bathroom, etc. I have a couple of days getaway with my wife coming up this week and I’m looking forward to that and being present with her. Anyway, keep on keeping on.
     
    Boxer17 and Doofus like this.

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