Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Thelongwayhome27, Sep 24, 2017.
Going into work at day 1 sucks. I call it zombie mode.
Day 3 - Just getting a bit of distance since the relapses this past weekend which feels nice. Today was so so. I was clumsy a few times throughout the day in terms of decisions or the way I interacted. Not all bad, but some was so so. Physically I felt more tired then yesterday, though I slept more and better. I think yesterday I was running a bit more on adrenaline. Some of the clumsy things I did today kind of frustrated me but I'm trying to accept them, maybe learn a bit from them and just try to get back to a more calm, humble and acceptant of life mood. This week so far I would say that overall I feel less self assured then how I felt before the relapse. I feel less confident in myself and have a tendency to be more socially anxious about what people think of me. It's like I lost a good amount of self respect after the relapse and I think that's an important element when it comes to standing up for oneself in the world in a calm, balanced and mature way ; having self-respect that is. Not pride or vanity or ego, but self-respect.
I feel that when I'm not "using" or "acting out", when I'm sober, I have more chances of being present in my day and therefore more receptive to making small improvements to myself. To learn and mature and see what I do wrong. The little things. On the other hand if I binge, I then feel numb and unmotivated. The guilt and depression creates a fog and I'm just in survival mode. There is no growing or maturing. That's what addiction does, makes me evade reality so then I cannot grow or heal. My development becomes stunted.
Maybe a binge relapse after a good period makes this even harder to take. But the good part is that one can get back to sobriety (and growth) quicker then if one is just using non stop. I think...
The whole week felt mostly like a recuperation after the binges I had last weekend (two on Saturday and another one on Sunday). Yesterday I relaxed in the evening. Didn't even work out or anything like that, gave myself a break (I had worked out the four previous days). I enjoyed relaxing and just watching some TV and a movie. It was nice. I ended up feeling pretty relaxed after and slept well. Today I had some urges return. Just the fact that it's Saturday and I have free time (exactly how I started the relapses last weekend). Had a workout and went for a jog instead. While I was running I stopped, although I like to time myself, and went back to get a very small snail off the road I passed. It took me about two minutes because he was stuck to the road and when I was pulling his carapace lightly I thought I might rip it off. Had to use a small branch to put it under him and then keep pulling lightly on the carapace and finally he unstuck himself from the road. I then put him on some rocks on the side of the road. There went my timing for today's run but it felt like a good thing. Probably the most positive thing I did today. Also, I really need to get myself an electronic watch in order to time my runs more precisely. I'm using my phone stopwatch right now but I don't carry it with me while running and it doesn't help me measure my time accurately as a result since I don't know the time that passes from when I leave my place to when I start running and vice versa when I get back.
Good work rescuing that little snail. Small acts of kindness totally add up!
I can highly recommend a sports watch, or whatever they're called. I just wear mine full time because it measures heartrate among other things. I find it useful to monitor my resting HR, especially when I'm sick. Then you could also pause it during rescue missions!
I was pretty bothered by something that came up last night and as a result I was unable to fall asleep as my mind was going on about that thing. My anger got triggered by the situation and I started having thoughts such as life is just too difficult, no matter how hard one tries, it will always come back and overwhelm us and throw challenges our way which are way over our capacity to handle things, which makes everything pointless. I ended up taking half a tablet of a benzo (which I do as rarely as I can ; but I needed the sleep as I had to wake up very early the next day), calmed down by getting out of bed and reading, and then when I went back later to bed I was able to fall asleep. I didn't sleep too much as a result but it's all good, I still feel rested again. This situation however that bothered me will be an issue for the next few days and I'll have to see how I navigate it. Anyways, so much better not to be using PMO to deal with these things. I would then have absolutely no chance of learning anything from all these things life throws our way. Many of these things are also, at times, results of past mistakes, consequences we need to deal with now. I have to accept them as best I can. Maybe some of it is Karma from past mistakes. As usual, that specific situation that is problematic right now touches upon issues with my lack of assertiveness in my life, one of my main underlying problems (I think).
Today was pretty challenging on an emotional and psychological level. The day started well enough but there were a few things throughout it which triggered some of my emotional issues. I think I'm clearly a pretty sensitive person and sometimes my inner thoughts can get the best of me and start making me get in my head a lot and maybe start acting a little weird on the outside. Or at least it gets harder to keep a façade of normalcy. What happens is that something can trigger strong emotional responses and then I become quite hyper-vigilent, I am in a state of fear, anxiety, apprehension. The problem is that this can sometimes spiral out of control if more triggering things occur without me being able to relax sufficiently. Also when I'm emotionally triggered it's easier to do clumsy things or make mistakes which can further trigger me. So sometimes I have days that spiral out of control in this way and it can take a while to recover from them. Luckily today nothing got out of hand and I was able to recognize I was kind of triggered. I guess that's why healing is about doing these kind of things in a very gradual manner. If one is in an environment that is way over one's capacity to handle things like this there is little room for learning. One just goes crazy so to speak. But with the right amount, one can work on the trauma, the emotional triggers and slowly improve. It can take a lot of time for healing like this to happen. It's also good to get information on these kinds of things as it helps one recognize what is going on. Today has also reminded me how important it would be for me to try to get a therapist soon. I've had a single session with a therapist recently and it helped. My schedule did not allow me to keep working with that therapist but I should try to look for one that works with my current schedule. In order to work on my emotional problems and keep healing. It's really important to be able to discuss these things with some trusted people as they happen.
Poor night of sleep and neighbours noise in the night
Yesterday was a tougher day emotionally, more tiring. I did recover in the evening however unfortunately it carried out into the night by having insomnia. I went to bed at the usual time, in order to sleep 7 or 8 hours but I couldn't fall asleep. And then to top it off, the neighbours I mentioned that I can hear through my wall were watching movies and I could hear it very well, until at least 2h30 AM. At some point I even tried to go sleep on the couch in the living room, where it was so pleasantly silent. I was pretty angry but I'm not confident enough in myself to calmly go talk to them at some point about this. Though this could be a good exercise. I almost have a tendency to lash out in anger about it, such as putting loud music very early in the morning in order to wake them up. But I don't think this would be a good way to deal with this situation. Anyhow, I ended up sleeping probably 3 hours last night and now got to head out for another day out there. Well, good thing it's Friday ! Also, I am thankful to be on Day 12 today. Cheers to that. Always helps things that's for sure. Instead of numbing everything out, it makes me much more aware of everything that is underneath the addiction. And then I can try to work on those things.
Still clean but had a quick MO two days ago, first one in the current streak.
My goal today is to try to be more relaxed about things. I feel like lately I have just felt way too tense and that I allow too many things to get to me. It's not easy because this is an automatic process and I become very reactive as stressors come at me - especially when I try to ''face life and reality'' rather then escaping away from everything. But I'll see if I can consciously, today, try to work on this aspect. It's not that I don't want to take life seriously, but I want to try to find a way to be more relaxed, and not with the help of PMO, alcohol or other things like that.
Stumbled again yesterday, on day 20. Only once for now. Got to keep trying. Important thing now is to get back on track.
Happy with myself that I have not dug deeper after the initial relapse of last Saturday. The temptation was definitely there yesterday. Post-relapse depression is really not a fun state to be in. Got to stay vigilent and get back on track. The danger of the chaser is still here for sure.
Felt better yesterday then Monday but temptation was still very present, especially in the evening when back at home. More present then I had expected after staying clean on Monday. The relapse on Saturday has revitalised a lot of flashbacks and fantasies so the pull is strong now. But I made the right choices yesterday and stayed clean. Since Saturday, I've been taking a step back from exercising for the first time in a while and I'm focusing my free time on cleaning around my place and on self care things such as meditation and simply finding time to relax. Also trying to be extra careful right now with healthy diet and getting the right amount of sleep. Got to make some more of the right choices today and I expect temptation to still potentially be around today. But I want to get that no. 4 in my counter and keep it there.
My addiction has come back full force in the last week and a half in terms of my acting out. I'm spending entire days with the curtains closed and just binging on and on. I've spent, at times, over 8 hours edging and binging in a single day, using porn and sex as a drug, an intoxicant. I have difficulties, at this point, getting a single sober day in and if I do I can still easily act out again the following day. This has been the pattern for the past week and a half. I'm also in a pattern of complete avoidance and escape from a lot of things right now in my ''normal life''.
Avoidance is my poison as well. You need a slap in the face at the moment (not literally). You've done well before, you can get back on track. It's a process, you have to keep training yourself to get back up, identify what it is you're avoiding and escaping from and fix that problem so it doesn't keep happening.
Everyone has a set back once in a while. Many use porn against anxiety, but eventually it makes it only worse. Because hiding won't solve any problems.
So if your social anxiety is severe than you may talk to someone about it (ideally a therapist)?
Also on the days I relapse to porn I tend have troubles falling asleep, because watching porn makes me extremely agitated. Probably due to the high dopamine release.
Also, if you're sensitive to noises, I can recommend using ear plugs for sleeping, it may take a day to get used to it, but it improved the sleep very much for me.
I hope things have improved. Porn can be an escape but I think it's better to face issues in our lives rather than keep running from them. Easier said than done I know. I wish I had tried to get help sooner in my life, maybe it would have turned out different.
Thank you. Well, right now they are better then when I wrote my last post on here (Sept 21st) which was when I was in a pretty bad relapsing phase. But since then, the usual cycle has been going which is to be able to get these few weeks streak (which is already a good thing) of abstinence/sobriety/a little recovery but then to have a relapsing phase again (of 1 or 2 weeks).
I'm now getting close to one week sober again which is always welcomed.
Yes, I agree 100%. The only way is to try to face the issues.
I worked with a therapist intermittently (not constantly) in 2018, 2019 and a bit in 2020 and I'm sure he has really been helpful during those times. Especially in making me be more self-compassionate, which I think my parents were never really able to do.
This therapist helped me a lot with my social anxiety but slowly I started talking to him more and more about my PMO/sex addiction and with that it was more difficult for him to help me. I think he was also not too convinced sex addiction was really a thing. He may have been of the school of thought that what drives the behaviours before anything else is shame and certain beliefs about how sex is bad, shameful. Well I agree with him to an extent, but then again when one has 8+ hours binges instead of engaging in life then there is a problem.
I saw a female therapist for one session in August 2022. The session was good and it helped me get enough motivation to find a job soon after. Because of that I could not see her anymore (schedule conflict). I wrote to her an email to thank her for the first session and see if she had evening availabilities. She didn't bother to reply which me me more cynical about therapists, something I tend to be a little.
That is good. 2 week streaks is great. I haven't been able to get past 1 in a long time. I understand about relapsing and then staying that way for a bit. The mind can be so manipulative after a relapse, telling us "Well you just relapsed, might as well do it again before stopping." Plus the chaser effect. And of course shame at relapsing. If you can not beat yourself up too much after relapsing it's always better and can get you back on course faster.
I'm sorry it hasn't worked so well with therapists. When I was looking for mine I specifically looked for ones that said they dealt with porn addiction. I made a spreadsheet with like 10 or more therapists then called all of them and had a list of questions like Where did you go to school? Are you accredited? (many aren't) What is your specialty? Do you cover anxiety? Porn addiction? Have you done your own work in therapy? (this is important because if they've never done therapy themselves how can they help others?). I eventually narrowed it down to 2 as I said and had an appointment with both to audition them. So I'd advise something like that to really find the right fit.
Shame is a very big part of it though and my therapist helps a lot with that. Self compassion is hard for me too. I just hate myself and think I'm bad. But why? Have I done bad things? No. But I can't shake that feeling. Porn addiction adds to that. But I'm trying to not criticize myself anymore.
How are you doing @Thelongwayhome27?
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