Learning to be myself

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

  1. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Things are a little better. I'm 9 days sober, which is great. I'm hoping I can stay sober for much longer, but I am taking it one day at a time.

    I'm trying to stay humble and remember how important it is to not relapse. I try to remember how low I feel afterwards. How much it amplifies my already present feelings of depression. How it sends me into despair. Into complete helplessness. How it probably further messes up my reward circuit instead of allowing it to heal...

    I realize I am a big procrastinator. Maybe this is also linked to those reward circuits. I am also kind of lazy. I try to avoid discomfort as much as I can...

    All this being said, I try to be self compassionate and not to insult myself. I don't think that helps in any kind of way.

    I try instead to stay calm and accept the current situation, including my shortcomings. I think this is the way to slowly build in the right direction... While I can see my faults with some objectivity, to also not demean myself.

    Overall, this has been an okay week. Glad that I kept it clean, which I was not able to accomplish last week (acted out Tuesday and Wednesday).

    @dark red drifter vessel - You nailed it man. That's where I am paralyzing. It's part fear (unable to cope with emotions), part laziness, part inertia... Inertia breeds inertia ... But yeah, there is also a big fear there. Probably because of past uncomfortable experiences. A lack of self-efficacy. To stay sober is a good step in improving things here I think. And then slowly working with those difficult emotions and that inertia. Slow progress is good... it's the real one I think.
     
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  2. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    So I'm 12 days sober which is good. Unfortunately today I got some urges in the afternoon and part of me was considering acting out. I was however able to ''handle things''. But the thoughts, the urges, followed me for a good part of the afternoon.

    I was away for the weekend and perhaps being back home and also today being a Monday contributed to the cravings/thoughts. When it's Monday, the middle of the day, and I'm not really able to bring myself to attack certain difficult tasks to do, that tension can set in and I think that can easily create those urges - and then my mind is considering acting out as a way to escape the problems (and also the boredom, guilt, etc.).

    Healthy routine helped out today ; work out, running, long walk in the evening, meditation, reading, journaling here.

    Tomorrow, I hope to be a little more productive. I'll try to address the ''unlikable'' tasks in the morning.

    EDIT : I forgot to mention, I had a pretty specific and vivid dream during the Saturday to Sunday night where I was relapsing to my addictive behavior (there was a computer in the dream and me relapsing on it, where I was basically eager about acting out and having a lot of fun - I think my mind was digging here far into the past where my brain thinks I had a lot of ''good fun'' with these behaviors, basically reminiscing about a ''good ol' fashioned session''). And also Sunday I saw a movie that had some triggers in it in terms of mild nudity and eroticism. Perhaps all this factored in as well, to a certain degree, in the cravings and thoughts of acting out that I had today. Though I still think it was mostly my mind wanting to escape the ''Monday afternoon''. But you never know how the subtle things can also play they're part I guess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  3. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    :)
     
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  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Not too much to say. The last three days have been pretty difficult. Many urges. I managed to not give in but I think I was quite close at various moments. I hope these urges decrease soon. It feels like my commitment to stay clean is not as powerful as it grew to be after my last setback/relapse (2 weeks ago).

    But hopefully the commitment can return without necessarily having to go through that cycle of relapsing.

    Productivity wise, I've not been too good this week. It wasn't a complete mess (since that would have probably also included relapsing), but it was still not too good. Procrastination, laziness, comfort seeking, internet browsing, lack of discipline, etc.

    To be honest, when those urges hit in the afternoons it feels like I have to give all my willpower only to not relapsing. But I'm not entirely sure this is not some kind of an excuse for me not to work on stuff I need to do. I really don't know.

    All this being said, I did get some things done. And I kept as much as I could with the healthy habits and routine. This is what saved me from a relapse.

    Best to look at the positive(s) and keep building from a good place...
     
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  5. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    I feel that way too a lot. I find if I'm getting polluted regularly, when I'm not reeling from hangovers I'm straight givin 'er getting things done, just out of sheer guilt....But, if one was able to chart and smooth my erratic "guilt" productivity, I think my my slow burn, get a little better everyday compounding productivity beats the former. Just like everyone is trying to get rich quick, but who actually gets rich?.....The people pulling 10-15% for 30 years ....rather than all the speculators (everyone and their grandma these days), they will all just blow up their accounts in due time. Time and emotions are the true edge, in both cases. Being productive but being constantly shameful, and hating yourself will lead to the blowup. As well, I can only really focus on one thing at once, so I'm happy to be the tortoise.
     
  6. Bilbo Swaggins

    Bilbo Swaggins Well-Known Member

    The hardest part, I find, when you try to stop an addiction, is the hard days. I won’t relapse on a good day, it’s always when I feel bad or discouraged. In these moments, even if I’ve been staying away from cigarettes for a few days, I feel like there is no point in trying to be healthier, or that it’s not a big deal, and I go back to it. I still have to find a way to prevent this from happening, because it’s always in those moments that I throw a good streak in the garbage. But once the harm is done, I go back to my old self, like it was a pair of comfortable slippers. And I can be pretty productive during that period too. Not exactly the healthiest way to behave, and as Doper said, even if you get shit done in those moments, it’s probably not how you gotta do this if you want lasting success.

    Don’t feel bad about not being productive when you successfully stay away from porn, man. It’s already an accomplishment. I wouldn’t mind giving away months of my life to get rid of one or two of my addictions. Alcoholics go into rehab when they quit drinking, and I doubt they’re very productive there. But for those of them who stay clean after rehab, I think it was the best way they could use their time at that moment.
     
  7. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    My brother Bilbo shows himself as the exemplar of the gentry. That's what I was trying to say.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  8. dark red drifter vessel

    dark red drifter vessel Well-Known Member

    Love it :3
     
  9. Bilbo Swaggins

    Bilbo Swaggins Well-Known Member

    Lol. Well. That was pretty obvious, didn’t realize that I actually wrote that. ‘It’s harder when things get hard’. Maybe I should put that in my signature. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Well, after 22 days on the right path I messed up Friday and Saturday. Started with the one relapse on Friday morning and from then on I completely lost control. As it often happens to me, I was not able to stop after one initial relapse. I PMOed 5 times Friday and then Saturday I was in a edge binge for the whole day, literally. The other side of me, that I tried to control for 22 days, took over. I did not care anymore and I wanted to get my sexual fix. Saturday I did not even eat much, skipping the main meals. I basically had a soup as my main dinner. I also ended up sleeping around 4 hours from Saturday until Sunday (today). I went to bed at 2h AM, after the day long sex binge, but I woke up at 6h AM feeling complete mental dread and agony because of my relapse.

    I've been here many many many time before. And I'm sure I'll visit again soon enough no matter how many clean days I manage to painfully put together. I'm just fu**ed in the head.

    During the 22 days, though, I did a lot of good things and started getting out of my current life rut (a big big rut). So that's good. All I can do is try to keep building on this, even if I relapsed (or relapse more). The last week I had to do a pretty stressful thing (but important to do and very good to do) and though I managed it pretty well, I think it really consumed me emotionally. The emotional charge was seriously intense, and I felt drained the next two days. Until I ended up relapsing. It's possible the relapse was also simply a way to manage those strong emotions. But maybe it could have been avoided. It's too bad also that, although I had an initial relapse, it had to transform into a serious compulsive binge (as usual).

    Today I decided to MO as I was starting to have impulses to act out more seriously again. I don't count this as a relapse really. I have bigger problems and an MO is no problem in my book (compared to the other crazy stuff I do). Honestly, if I could only watch PMO once per week, or even daily (for like a 10 mins session) and just get over with it that would be great. What I hate most are the binges. And that's where trying to quit is sometimes putting gas on the fire. It's creating some seriously vicious compulsive binges.

    Well, at least today I kind of got to a better place (despite the lack of sleep). I ate a good dinner I cooked. In the evening I went for a long walk around the neighborhood. I already feel a little more regulated. If I get a good night's sleep in I'll be in a better place tomorrow. But it's going to be an uphill battle for the next few days. And then, when libido returns there's going to be more binge relapses for sure (after 10, 20, or more days I don't know).

    Another thing that's fu**ed with this addiction is how I become obsessed with it after I relapse. I was reading a journal on here for about 3 hours today. That's what I often do when I am disgusted with myself after binges. Reading that journal gave me insights, and I definitely related to it a lot, on the other hand it made me more obsessed about the whole thing as well. Not to mention it almost made me go act out again at one point in the early afternoon. Luckily I only MO'ed.
     
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  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Today has been a pretty good day. I've recovered somewhat psychologically from the two day relapse. Yesterday (Sunday) I was feeling really out of it because of only having slept 4 hours the night before and also probably dysregulated from the acting out itself that had occurred. But I made a good choice to focus on eating really well and putting a lot of care into the self care... I realize once again just how important the absolute of the absolutes are for me : eating well (healthy unprocessed food as much as possible and not skipping meals), sleeping well (at regular hours) and exercise. But the first two are even more important, even more fundamental then the exercise. It's self care 101. It's crazy just how off the self care train I fell on Friday and especially Saturday. But that's what often happens when I lose control.

    I think where I can further improve is in my ability to find the right rhythm for me when it comes to dealing with life. I think I have a tendency to push myself a bit more then I can handle, once I do get going. That usually causes an emotional charge to buildup that I have trouble handling and it often leads back to the unhealthy coping behaviors.

    I've been completely off the coffee for a bit over a month now and I think I'm gonna keep going with this. I think it's helpful.

    @NewStart19 - Your digital pat on the back is much appreciated. Thanks mate !
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  12. Shady

    Shady Well-Known Member

    Relapse shm-elapse. Keep going. Don't mind this.

    Yeah self care is important, but to much self care can take you towards relapse too. It's a double edged sword, ya know.

    Quit coffee. I guess less coffee is enough.
     
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  13. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to read about your recent struggles but I'm happy to hear that you are doing better now!

    That might be one of the key elements of recovery from addiction, I feel. To get to a place, where there are less and less inner discussions and resistances againt the tasks that need to be done. I think, I can relate to what you wrote a lot. Addicts more than non-addicts have the tendency to procrastinate and run away from their problems and responsibilities. That's one of the main reasons why we use despite it probably not being the initial reason when we started watching porn, isn't it? The inability to deal with the struggles in life keeps one trapped in the addiction. And once the stress gets so big to deal with the struggles and tasks, big bursts that cost a lot of energy are needed which can result in relapses or crashs, as you mentioned. This is the cycle, catch-22.

    In my mind, in this day and age, it is more important than ever before to turn down the temptations that are readily available for us all around the clock and I'm not only refering to porn. As you said, everything you do that harms your basic needs can be a factor to throw you out of your balance. Perhaps you are fluctuating between the poles a little more than the average Joe and hence it is even more important to have a rather structured life. Many people seem to fear mundanity but for you or for me, it can actually be a blessing. Not drinking that additional glass of wine, not watching that additional episode of the series and going to bed late, making eating regularly and healthily a top priority, keeping a good hygiene, keeping your place tidy, ...it is mundane and boring but the possible costs can be very high if it is ignored. It is part of maturing, I guess.
     
  14. Mudshovel

    Mudshovel Member

    Hey since you know you have trouble resisting the urge to watch porn why not get somebody you trust to put some parental controls on your phone or computer? You’ll still have the urge to masturbate without porn but it’s not as damaging right?
     
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  15. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    If I understand correctly, you're saying many people fear structuring their lives too much because that leads to a less, uh....whimsical, fun in the moment life experience. The view I ascribe to (..not my actions, mind you) is that the more structure the better, because that frees up more time and most importantly mental energy because you don't have to make a million decisions throughout the day. This is the basis of all super successful businesses: constructing systems and automating processes to produce the fastest, most efficient outcomes and to deal with all possible situations that may arise. It's what separated Mcdonalds from the neighbourhood diner, and we can all replicate this in our lives.
    That may not sound fun to some people, but you can use this freed up time and energy to add fun experiences into your day, leading to more fun, not less.
    A massive amount of mental energy is expended if at every moment you are forced into having to think about: should I do this or that, should I eat this or that etc.
    And while many choices may not feel stressful, they are all sucking gas out of the tank, and once the tank is empty, the cravings will have a larger pull on you.
     
  16. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Well-Known Member

    You understood me correctly and phrased it better than I was able to :)
     
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  17. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    @Shady - Thanks as always man! Appreciate it. I think dropping the coffee is a good thing for me.

    @Pete McVries - Thanks for your support! You nail it, I don't know if this counts for all people who have addictive personalities but I sure tend to go to the extremes when it comes to dealing with life or running away from it. When I try to be present and responsible in my life I seem to take on a lot and I think that leads to a crash at some point. Then I just check out big time. As you outline very well this is problematic as well because when one checks out, a lot tends to accumulate and then there is a need for a much greater exertion of energy and resources in order to climb out of there, which of course can facilitate another burn out. There's much to say, as well, about the many benefits of having a stable routine, something that grounds anxious prone personalities.

    Of course, another explanation for me burning out when I try to be responsible and deal with life, is that I have a low resilience for stress. I think the emotional charge of things is heavier in the way I feel things. Stuff that stresses most people, stresses me out a lot more (usually). For example fitting in socially, stuff like that. I guess the solution for me is to keep practicing dealing with life at the capacity I can and practice not crashing. Finding the right speed.

    Much to learn you have ! (Yoda voice)
    Me : yes yes yes !

    @Mudshovel - Hey, thanks for dropping by man. Appreciate the tip! To be honest, I don't feel comfortable doing that. I'm probably not ready to do something like this. Of course, maybe that's an indication that I don't truly want to let go of this habit. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure my addictive tendencies would come out in other ways, even if porn was completely blocked.
     
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  18. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    In regard to feeling "burnt out" and having "low resilience to stress", and feeling like it affects you more than it seems others are effected, a possible reason for that might be adrenal fatigue. Now, your average doctor will tell you this does not actually exist outside of full-blown Addison's disease, but they'll also tell you PIED doesn't exist either. I went to see a top HRT doctor and he told me my adrenals were toasted (a long time ago) and he put me on low-dose oral cortef, and it completely changed my life. All the symptoms gone. It was a true life miracle. I'll tell you just like the sky is blue that this is a wildly under-diagnosed problem.
    The issue is getting a doctor with a brain to prescribe you the drug....You only have to (and only should) take it for a while and then you don't have to take it anymore.

    But, naturally, you will also have to get rid of offending issues like chronic stress, shit food or sensitivities, drugs, bad sleep schedules or shiftwork, idiots that make you wanna freak etc. Or the problem will return at some point. Well, I got a decade without symptoms but for some reason it's back with a vengeance. Not sure why. I can't get the drug unless I want to get on a waiting list for like 10 months. They sell over-the-counter glandulars you can take, so I'm gonna try that. Adrenochrome anyone?... I don't have high hopes.....Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there as a possibility.

    You can take a 24-hour saliva test to see how your daytime cortisol cycle is looking. I think you can order them online. If you feel tired during the day then can't sleep at night, it's one sign you're messed up. If you look up symptoms I don't find the first things you find in a search engine are very comprehensive at all..
     
  19. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, I checked the symptoms and I don't have any of them so I doubt I have that. One thing (that I am lucky about) is I have pretty damn good sleep, consistently. Except when I'm in a hypomanic phase, which luckily I now tend to recognize when it's coming (experience).

    I think it's simply my amygdala that's overreactive. Simple good old anxiety which is natural in me, that is I was born like this - and that was reinforced in my younger years because I often used avoidance (or people pleasing) as a coping strategy before I even knew what the hell was going on - hence amplifying some of it. The only solution is to use current better knowledge, to further understand myself, know myself, and practice gradual exposure in my life to the things that I am afraid of and make me uncomfortable (getting comfortable with stress and pressure). Of course, next to this comes all the healthy living stuff : sleep, diet, exercise. Then some meditation, being social, etc. If I get all of this in check with consistency, and then gradually push myself out of my comfort zones I slowly get better at handling stress. Finally, there is something to say about acceptance, accepting I am an anxious person by nature and that I will ''misfire'' many'a'times. Comming to terms with this will help a ton in not beating myself up when stuff doesn't come out as I'd like it to.

    Apart from using sex a lot (like a fiend) and not really being able to curb this (despite some pretty damn sincere tries) - I'm pretty healthy overall, physically that is. That is though, as long as I stay away from the good ol' Weed and the hellish drinking binges. I add these 2 to the mix and I'm done for. Done for for good.

    Edit : Just wanted to add/make clear that your suggestion is very accurate and welcomed however. On further thought, you could very well be onto something though, because I do feel that my ''nervous system'' is more burnt out then what it used to be. I definitely feel like I get tired more easily, when I face stressful things. But this could also be a result of being more mindful and self aware then I used to be (I use to really ignore all my physiological signs when much younger and just plow through) - and it could also be a result of natural aging (less energy) - not to mention the complexification of ''adult life'' and it's demands (though a point could be made that teenage years are even more demanding in some ways). But yeah, although I can understand my anxieties better and deal with them in certain ways I also feel more burnt out. Perhaps the medication you suggest could indeed help. But I don't know I have this thing that I try, as much as I can, to let my body regulate itself naturally. Mostly by investing in the healthy living and staying away from excesses. It does seem to help quite a lot. I mean as soon as I have 2 or 3 good nights in a row, and eat well, exercise and so on, I feel pretty well and balanced, from a physical/physiological perspective at least. I guess I am a bit weary of taking meds, I always have been. I prefer to do my best to learn how to handle life naturally. Ain't always easy, that's for sure though. But meds seems like a short term strategy usually and that often comes with a bill to pay (not only financially speaking lol).
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2021
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  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I'm surprisingly still going with that, it's been 6 weeks now. I can say that, right now, I don't feel a difference from not having coffee in the morning. My body feels just as okay by having black tea in the morning. So, basically I'm still having caffeine to a certain degree (in the black tea) but I'm not having any coffee. The way it seems to work for me is I will have a headache, perhaps, for a day or two, but soon enough I can handle a day without coffee and after a week at most I feel okay without having it (but indeed replacing it with some tea in the morning). I can't say I have faced any strong withdrawals when I have quit it (this time or in the past). Probably also because I already had minimized it to one cup in the morning (I use to drink more back in the days).

    One hope I had was that by quitting coffee it would be easier to handle my sexual urges. But I still have been down that road since getting off the coffee. But who knows, it could still have helped to a certain degree, even with this. But overall I think it does help me be more stable, grounded, balanced. It doesn't give me that hypomanic jolt in the morning and then the crash later on in the afternoon. I seem to already get a bit of a jolt even without it. As a person who seems to experience high moods and low moods a bit more intense then the average it's probably not the worst idea to stay off the coffee...

    All this being said, I miss it, at times, in the morning. I have had temptations, especially in the last few days to have a cup of coffee instead of the tea. I think part of my rationalization was that, well if it didn't help me build the streak I was hoping for might as well enjoy a cup. Or some other rationalization as why should I give up this true simple pleasure in my life. I can handle it. Etc. So yeah, I may go back to it at some point, but for now I'll try to keep sticking with tea.

    One argument that helps me not have the coffee is the idea that it probably helps me get better sleep at night if I don't go for it. Probably my overall energy levels are more stable without it, including being relaxed in the evening. But yea, it's still a pleasure that I may go back to and learn to enjoy it, since I really like it. But for now, I'll try to see if I can push the experiment for the month of March.
     
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