Learning to be myself

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

  1. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Must say that we have many similar thoughts.
     
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  2. SomethingElse

    SomethingElse New Member

    I feel you're doing very well at this moment. My personal view on online dating is a very unflaterring one, like you highlighted it can be a P substitute. IMHO, and I underscore this is just my opinion alone, online dating always makes me think why this woman has never found someone in the real world. Yes I know some do not wish to date from their workplace/some have been recommended apps, some have social anxiety etc. But...I just feel on the internet people present their politician self. I wish people on those sites would say I'm a porn addict, or I like such and such music and dislike this and that. People that seem too affable and agreeable, would be like marrying the woman with the best make-up on. In my life I no longer feel I'm as perfect as I first thought, tragic...but ok I get to improve myself, better to be challenged than rest on my laurels.

    I think you know yourself, you certainly are capable enough to command our attention here...and I've heard women are like men with long hair hahaha so you can boss it man, don't let up!! Attend social gatherings, embrace the unease and keep learning
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
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  3. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I was quite tired yesterday. I've been sleeping worst lately, not sure why. Trouble falling asleep, I think with worries. Maybe it's also because it's been pretty hot at night. Didn't force myself to do the ''daily healthy habits'' yesterday and just kind of accepted that I'm tired. Maybe it helped because the second part of the day was better. During the middle part of the day I came close to relapsing though (something that is pretty much a daily occurrence right now) ; found myself totally bored, uninspired to do anything, and mindlessly browsing the web (I guess trying to get some dopamine). At that point, I was close to having one of those very instantaneous ''fuck it'' moments when I jump on a PMO (blocking my rational mind) - the addicted part of me almost got what it wanted, almost. Luckily I was able to remember just how much it would suck right after, how disappointing it would be and how it would make me feel even worst (probably because the resets of last week are still fresh enough in my memory). So at those moments, I was able to do the little I could do which was to step away from the mindless internet browsing, take a break from the computer and screens, and be able to regroup and make better decisions. From that point on the day went better. I got some physical rest (but without a screen) and allowed myself to ''not be doing anything productive'' (though not numbing that thinking with P), I ended up reading a few pages in a new self-help book I am trying right now, had a light but healthy lunch and then did end up doing some physical exercise by going for a bike ride. Then some groceries, which were necessary, and a good evening routine where I actually caught up on the ''daily healthy habits'' ; private journaling and some meditation. Felt grounded, calm and self-compassionate (note : if I had indeed reset again in the middle of the day, chances were that I would have been in a less conscious and worst off place at that moment in the evening). Went to bed early enough but again was confronted with difficulty in falling asleep.

    Probably the clearest thought I have right now is that I should go find a therapist. (rephrased more positively this would be : talking to a therapist might help me).

    @Eternity - Yes, I definitely often relate to things you write in your journal as well.

    @SomethingElse - Thanks for the supportive message man. Yea, I find that something about online dating can trigger a more lustful element in me, so I have to be careful if I do use online dating apps. I imagine if used correctly it's still something that can work out for some people. And yes I agree that it has a way of bringing out the more ''market'' aspects of finding a partner. We're basically a product and although even in normal circumstances, deep down, that element remains, but with online dating it makes it more obvious. But regarding the ''politican side'', well we do that in real life as well and in my opinion that's normal to an extent ; why would we wear are hearts and secrets on our sleeves with complete strangers ? Also maybe there is something to think about feeling lame using an online dating app (could be subconsciously projected to the women on the dating apps - ''why are they on there ?'') ; I used to feel like it's shameful to be on them but in the last 3 years I have changed my opinion about that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2022
  4. SomethingElse

    SomethingElse New Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 I'm not saying that meeting anyone is not good just because it's on a dating site.

    The politician side yes does happen, and I wasn't advocating exposing all our pecadillos on a first time date but it's about expectations management. People have the tendency to worship relationships, which is no one's fault, but the "market" you were talking about. Yes, there is a natural need to form a family and to have kids biologically but I (speaking for myself here) always believed online dating can be like having candy, we have a natural urge to eat, but although it tastes nice it is not at all nutritional.

    Online dating is a double-edged sword, provided we can be healthy, that is fine, and that definition varies from one person to another. Like you implied the market objectifies us, it needs our loneliness to thrive, capitalism basically always sells our insecurity 'if you don't have (insert product) you're missing out (insert benefits) and hence you need to buy to get ahead. Online dating if you come in with your own rules according to who you know yourself to be, it can be a slippery slope.

    I should have explained myself better, as porn addicts, it's not just the porn we're addicted it, it probably almost has nothing to do with porn besides neurochemical hits, we also would have internet addiction. I would say Internet addiction has to be the most common thing almost all have, which can make fighting porn like fighting a ghost, if we don't see around the porn. We are fighting the rejection, the loneliness that has become ingrained in the most developed countries, the cul-de-sac many people feel in.

    I don't see it as projecting at all to be totally honest, judging is healthy, if I didn't judge fire to be dangerous, I would burn my hands. Judging fire doesn't mean I cannot use it to cook food or burn marshmallows. I don't think it's lame, I know 2 people who married from a relationship online, one met a girl on a dating app, another on Instagram. The former is very close to me, and is not living his best life and people in my social circle all comment this, although he never admits it, his body language says all. The Instagram friend has if ever such a thing existed 'the most perfect woman' like she is genuinely kind, patient, beautiful too, his face when he's with her and even with his comments he never stops communicating how happy he is. As addicts we'd recognise Instagram is potentially far more dangerous, and it's not really built for dating as an app might be. The difference between these 2 is one looked for romance, the other (Instagram) got it by chance. The latter saw the girl and inquired about her, he built a friendship first and then he decided she had the qualities he liked and then pursued her. The guy on the dating app, never knew the woman would cause problems in his family, nor that he could feel lonelier alone with her than in company. I also notice these kind of men can become workaholics sometimes as not to have to come home.

    I often try to advise aim to be friends (not too friendly) but in the sense that with friends we study them, we see them in different, often high intensity situations. In dating we see people the way they can want us to see them. I'm not anti-dating but I am deeply realistic, speaking exclusively from my experiences there. You could very well get the best match in the history of dating. I am just saying sometimes we think the law of attraction is that if we are "chasing" something, we will get it, las though it were a case of hunting. I feel that if we chase, we create the need to keep chasing, but if we work on ourselves, get so engrossed in our social lives, things turn up to us, and suddenly we have the choice to approve and reject. I have been on dating apps, and have been off, and have had women pursue me whilst I was working on myself, I am far from amazing at dating, I actually have a tendency to friend zone too deeply.

    The point is keep online dating light and fun, but manage your expectations and keep yourself in mind. Let things develop organically, I wish you well, and anything that would stop anyone living just 1 more day as an addict.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2022
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  5. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Rephrased even more positively: talking to a good therapist is a great experience and lightens you up

    Last summer I had 8 sessions with a psychologist. I took some effort to find the right one. I wanted a guy from more or less my age and have the sessions online. I found someone (even a bit younger than me), we had a short introductory talk and decided to continue. It has helped me a lot with some issues and the most important there was that I felt comfortable with him. I could be myself and we also had a lot of fun. I can really recommend you to look for something like that as well. Also remember that you're in charge. If there are things that you don't want to talk about, you don't have to. You can ask for help on a specific issue and that's that.
     
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  6. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    @Gil79 - Yes I quite agree that talking with a good therapist should be very helpful. Thanks for sharing some of your own experience with it. It's very true that we are in charge in there and that we choose what we want to talk about and how much and also that if it's not a right fit we should not fear looking for a better fit. I'm glad the sessions you had helped you last summer. I'm pretty sure I'm going to find a therapist soon (I placed a call yesterday which was a good first step). Also, although I haven't had the opportunity to comment in your journal yet, I was glad to see you back on here and hear some news from you. Take good care.

    @SomethingElse - Thanks man. A lot of food for though in there that I shall reflect upon. Thanks for the share from your own experience and I also wish you well going forward.
     
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    One week without any P so that's always good. Wasn't easy to build this little streak, many days I wanted to give in. Somehow I did not. Knew it wasn't the right call and found it in me not to. Will try to keep going. And if I feel strong urges that don't go away I'll try to go for a quick MO.

    Feeling okay right this moment. Was able to get some better rest last night ; I took a half tablet of a benzodiazepine in order to make sure I finally get a decent night of sleep in (after 2 or 3 nights of insomnia). And it did work pretty well, thankfully. Feeling more calm and acceptant of my life today.

    Had a few social things in the last days and this also caused some emotional and mental fatigue (especially combined with the bad sleep of late) but in the same time it was good to talk to some people and it felt like a good effort to be making. One big problem I'm dealing with right now is having gotten entangled (and I guess kind of forced) into a pretty demanding social obligation that is coming up in some time and my heart is not in it at all. I wish so bad that I could know how to have declined it but it feels impossible to do so. That has caused some very strong storms inside me because I just could not tell at all what the right decision is ; to accept it or to do what it takes to get out of it even though there could be consequences (damaging some friendships, if not losing them - and I don't have many already). I had a lot of anger and rage around this situation, feeling trapped. Angry at myself, angry at my life. I know it's not very positive and constructive. I wish I would not fall in those dark places but it's hard at times.

    I have a lot of feelings and perceptions that something is not right about my life, that I'm living someone else's life, that I am pretending to be someone just so that people accept me - that if I would dare to be a bit more who I really am that I would face rejection, etc. - but it's hard for me to know if I'm right in this perception or if rather the perception itself is part of the problem. As usual, I would think it's probably a combination of both.
     
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  8. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Two weeks and a little since last PMO. One single MO during this time, 4 or 5 days ago. I would call it a ''healthy MO''.

    So many issues right now, so many big questions in my life, asking for decisions and answers. Just trying to survive and take it one day at a time and not create even more chaos.

    I realized life is really difficult (imo) - really challenging - and in itself it just keeps creating a lot of crisis situations. If on top of this we add crisis situations of our own making it just becomes even harder. Going for PMO binges, especially at this point in my life when I just know it's such a bad decisions creates a lot more crisis situations, for instance. And then many other possible choices which also can create crisis (for instance the action of ; ''hey let's get totally hammered because it will be kind of fun'').

    I can't really find answers to the pressing questions of life right now. I did feel at times a calm serenity simply acknowledging this fact ; I don't have the answers right now. Maybe I can work with that. And keep trying to minimize the clearly wrong decisions.

    I think I have a decent level of fitness these days, been doing so many work outs of all sorts and pretty consistently. I'm glad I'm in good shape and I think my ego kind of feeds a bit on that. At times I ask myself what about when I get older and cannot be fit anymore ? Will my ego be mad or sad ? Am I trying to build my self esteem on being a fit person ? I guess kind of, right now, but hey maybe it's not the worst thing in the world for the time being. Also usually gives me a good reason to get out of the house and get some good physical sensations in a different way then PMO. Maybe I'm a little vain yes but hey that's me :).

    Hello me, let's finally start getting to know each other an be friends, why not ?
     
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  9. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    It's one of few things I'm proud about, that I'm reasonably fit as far as endurance goes. I don't like the idea of getting fat at all, which partially is the reason why I exercise. Okay, it's for health reasons, but I'd lie if I said it wasn't also because of vanity.
     
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  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Yes exactly, same for me. Basically it has many advantages in my view ; it is healthy, it is a natural anti-depressant and calmant (emotional and mental element) and finally sure it also makes me look better physically - if I'm consistent enough - which I would be dishonest if I would say that I don't care about. Sure, I guess I do take some pride in being fit, especially the more I advance in age. It also seems like something that I could build as a life long ''good'' habit.

    I guess people who have families and busy careers don't have as much of an opportunity to get/stay fit so for a person like me who has a lot of free time and no wife and kids, then it's something I could take advantage of.

    I'm terrible in those exercises that tell us to build ''values'' or a ''life vision'' in order to replace addiction. I literally cannot choose a life that I want. I have no idea what I want. I tend to get anxious just thinking about these questions. But now that I think of it, physical fitness (or outdoor activity) does seem to be something that I would throw in there as a building stone for a ''good life'' (for me). It has the added advantage that it really gives me more of a reason to be able to deny myself the ''wrong'' choices (e.g. drinking a lot, drugs, eating unhealthy, etc.).
     
  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Relapsed today. Day 0 once more.
     
  12. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Same. It's getting old, and I think that this is difficult when alone.
     
  13. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Today was overall an okay day but there was a chaser relapse in there. I spent almost 2 hours on a PMO binge in the afternoon so that's not very good. I felt disappointed afterwards, as usual, but I tried to maintain a little bit of positivity. I binge-relapsed, after my last streak, this last Thursday (twice, as it often happens once there is the initial relapse). I was able to stop the relapse yesterday (Friday) but today not so much. I think today I could have perhaps not PMOed, maybe I could have been able to not do it. Not sure why I did it, the cravings where not extreme (as they can feel sometimes). I was bored, had some free time, some usual residual stress in there, and I think that I just said ''fuck it, let's have some more pleasure''. I hung out with some people later on in the day and that was not too bad. I don't know why but I was not extremely affected by the relapse. I did feel that sting of regret and shame but it was bearable. I think that tomorrow I can stay clean as I have some stuff planned which will get me out of the house. My last streak was 19 days. In that streak I had a quick MO once, on day 10. Unfortunately on day 20 I had the binge relapse instead of having another quick MO. Why did I go for that relapse on Day 20 when I knew it was a mistake ? There was something I was supposed to do, which I could have done and instead I just said ''screw that let's have some pleasure again''. I didn't have the strength at that moment to choose the other option. The pull of the PMO is still very strong in me.

    @Eternity - That feeling is the worst. How it gets old indeed. Without support this is probably impossible.
     
  14. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I felt depressed yesterday about the recent relapse. I think I felt worst about it yesterday then I had the prior day when I actually relapsed. I had some things planned yesterday which made it easier to get a clean day in, so that's good. I had to push myself to face those things I had to do since deep inside I felt kind of sad and down about having had these resets again. It was good to do them, though. I'm going to see a new therapist very soon, which gives me some hope (finally made an appointment). Otherwise, I feel pretty down in the dumpster. Overall, I reduced the number of resets lately, in the last two or three months, and I got many clean days in and better streaks but I feel that my motivation is taking a dip. Streaks seem to be getting smaller again (28, 21, 19). And they are also really hard to actually build, like most days I feel like relapsing pretty strongly. This is really the middle of the battle and I've been in this battle for quite a long time already. Years. Going to try to stay clean today to get a second consecutive no PMO day in.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
  15. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    No PMO yesterday. Mood is very depressed because of the last resets. Main reflex right now is to run away and avoid most forms of social contact. This kind of depression is typical of the one following a relapse. Working on some self-therapy right now with the help of a book. Did some work on that yesterday and I think I'll do some more today. Going to try to not resort to P today either. Once there are 3 clean days in, then usually day 4 starts looking just a little brighter. Had a ''wandering eye'' yesterday when outside, wanting to look at women. Also today clicked on a P-sub type of material that came up on YT. So, warning signs of a possible relapse are around, got to be careful, things are shaky right now and more resets is really not what would help things now.
     
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Stayed clean yesterday, no PMO. Had a few things to do so that made it easier. The post-reset depressive mood was/is still around, it always hangs on for a few days. Lustful thoughts are just around the corner as well (chaser) but I think right now they are starting to decrease a little. My mood fluctuates a lot I can get a feeling of optimism and being inspired and then it disappears abruptly leaving a kind of cold void. That empty cold void is the worst. It's scary indeed. It almost feels like a kind of death. I have ideas in my mind of resetting some more (the addicted part of me), but why would I do that ? How could that help in any way ? The pain feels tolerable. Even the reset on Saturday I think I could have avoided it. I didn't do more work in the self therapy book I am trying right now. Maybe I'll do some today.
     
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  17. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Managed to keep it clean yesterday. Some tempting ideas in the afternoon (they always come in the early afternoon) but it wasn't extremely difficult to choose another course of action (work out and go for a run, then have dinner, etc.). This isn't necessarily a long term solution, more like a day by day thing (one day at a time no ?) but I eventually get to a point when it becomes progressively harder to choose the alternate course of action and ignore the voices demanding the PMO fun. But, alas, no other options right now then to keep going, as usual, keep getting as many good days in as possible and hope that slowly something eventually clicks. Inner work is probably what could make that happen. And also the very slow desensitization of the pathways. Trust in the process as they say. Had therapy yesterday, for the first time in over a year. Was interesting but expansive, which worries me that it's a mistake to do it. There is a critical and cynical inner voice who sees me as naïve and pathetic for going to therapy, especially since it's so expansive now. Besides that voice, there was also hope and stuff like that. Session felt good, as it usually does. Felt some euphoria afterwards and a light feeling. Suddenly it felt like perhaps I can beat my problems, one day. Then, later on, I experiences also uncomfortable feelings and confused inner states as well as some of that cold void I mentioned. Also a lot of racing thoughts (agitated mind). Got to be careful with therapy, to manage hope and expectations. I also did some more reading in the self-therapy book I keep mentioning. Did about 30 mins of reading in that. It's interesting and makes me learn some new things and perspectives about the psyche. Right now I seem to get in a mood where I become more self-acceptant and also much more interested in my interests and potential passions. Part of me is happy and feels okay about this, even good, another part is more cynical and thinks this may be delusional, immature, sad, pathetic and other stuff like that.

    It's quite paradoxal but growing for me, as a human, I think would imply to become both more humble and yet more assertive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2022
  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    No PMO yesterday, so that's a good thing. Looking forward to get a full week in. The post-reset depression seems to have lifted to some degree, I feel a little more motivated and capable to engage with life again. The thoughts to have more resets are just around the corner though so I have to be careful. Best to find ways to distract myself from that mindset and engage in other things. Yesterday I was pretty active and took some steps in addressing certain concrete problems right now. I got a bit of a disappointing (and a little unexpected) outcome in one of those things, which affected my mood for the second part of the day. In the first part of the day I felt quite assertive and confident (even asking myself if I'm not too assertive right now) but after that incident I became unconfident and felt kind of ''small''. I was unsure of myself again and fear was guiding me. Haven't done any more of that self-therapy book yesterday, should do some today. Maybe like half an hour. Feeling pretty motivated about various free online ressources as well. It's overwhelming at times just how much good free information is out there to try to address our issues. But it's hard to find the good ones for us (since there are a lot and some are bad as well) and also to stick to them. Another problem with doing self-work is I feel (or at least I fear that) I tend to become more narcissistic and self involved. Not sure that's always a good or healthy thing. It doesn't always feel humble, on the contrary at times it feels like it feeds the ego and almost sends me back to certain types of moods and ways of seeing the world I had 10 - 15 years ago. Almost emo-like or adolescent ways of seeing things.
     
  19. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    No PMO yesterday. Some thoughts about indulging in promiscuous sexual activity. Most probably accentuated by stress, adrenaline, anxiety. Remembering just the terrible depression that would inevitably follow such a course of action is what usually allows me to not act upon those thoughts and try to do other things instead. Made some decisions yesterday and got out of my comfort zone. As a result my day to day will change for some time at least. I will be more busy but also probably more stressed out. Not sure if I took the right decisions or if I'm pushing myself in depths above my current swimming capacity. Life is so dynamic and challenging that, once you put yourself out there and get out of the comfort zone, it's hard to negotiate - with life - the gradual exposure one needs in order to take on challenges which will not be overly extreme therefore the person can remain sufficiently present (i.e. not go into full emotional flashback mode) in order to actually grow in those experiences and experience a level of healing. In my experience I tend to completely back out of life (freeze, disassociate) or push myself out there too much, which results in me going crazy, becoming a complete fawn (people pleaser with no boundaries and unable to express my needs, legitimate wants - not a free and sovereign being) which then results in high levels of anxiety and ultimately in my flight from the situations and back to the freeze and dissociation and complete withdrawal. This is a little overdramatic but it's the general pattern. One problem is that I started therapy and now the decisions I took make it so that I won't be able to schedule that therapy I started anymore (conflict of schedule) ; and I liked the therapist I saw and thought it was a good match. This really depresses me because I feel like I absolutely need therapy, especially while exposing myself to situations that I fear and make me uncomfortable. Otherwise I risk burning out. I'll have to find a solution to put the therapy in there. Working, for real, on my mental health has to be the absolute no. 1 priority for me. Before anything else.
     
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  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Feeling a lot of anxiety tonight. I fell down, yesterday, when it comes to drinking control. I forgive myself now. I will try to do better next time. I think for some time I won't be drinking anymore. At least for a month. Then I'll re-evaluate. I felt a lot of urges today because of feeling hungover. I also have something very high up in stress level tomorrow and that's making me very anxious. It's good that I did not relapse though. Going to try to keep pushing this streak (though I'm trying not to be too focused on day counting). Probably falling down with the drinking was also in part caused by the stressful upcoming thing. I forgive myself, as mentioned but I keep having to learn the same lesson a lot of times. I have a serious problem controlling my alcohol. It would be much better for me to not drink at all, at least until I get to a better place in my life, heal more. Or maybe alcohol has no place at all in my life. It's too bad I hurt myself with the alcohol yesterday, but it's done. I have to accept the consequences and try to learn a valuable lesson here. I want to grow as a human and heal. I want to love myself and be able to love others as well.
     
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