Learning to be myself

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

  1. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for checking in.

    Things are really challenging right now. Parents are hit with some off the charts problems. It's difficult because I have a lot of difficulty in not blaming my father for some of the problems that are happening right now, or at least for our situation and thus how we can handle these problems. It feels like the result of so many years of wrong choices, irresponsibility and blaming/abusing others. But it wouldn't help right now to blame him and get in toxic or pointless fights. And my mom is being hit really hard with everything and I don't blame her much (she was and is co-dependent and is a hard worker). I wish I could help her more but here I am with all my own personal problems (single and no kids, almost always alone, no job or prospects, lost and indecisive in my life, depressed and anxious). Barely able right now to avoid a relapse. Been hanging on by a thread for the past two days. Because of opportunity and some high libido (because of abstinence) but also I think simply because I have a lot of anxiety and sadness right now with everything that is happening. Just trying to get by one day at a time and doing my best to avoid a relapse since I know that would make everything much worse (yet I can't explain how tempting it is to go for that relief). On a brighter note, I'm planning to do some socialising this weekend and I think that may help (since I'm alone all the time now). It's social stuff that I do look forward to (and that I would probably avoid if I relapse). But there is some other kind of social events coming up next week which I don't look forward to and that feel like a chore and are giving me a lot of anxiety. But yea I think I need to really focus on taking care of myself right now at all costs since psychologically and emotionally things are challenging.
    Gil79 likes this.
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    That's a lot to deal with @Thelongwayhome27, sorry to hear that you're going through this. I didn't know you were without a job, that makes things even worse I guess. I have been without a job for half a year last year and I really missed the structure, the contact with colleagues and many other aspects of it. If you don't like that other social event, why would you stress for it an go? You could also choose to do something instead that you like and look forward to. Do you have a strategy to get a motivation or goal back in life? Keep posting!
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  3. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Gil79 for your support man.

    I ended up relapsing last Saturday afternoon, when I was on Day 21 of hard mode. As it usually happens, I had almost no control for the next few days. Yesterday was my first day where I managed to abstain and have a more normal and structured day.

    Yea, not having a job is definitely a problem right now. It's definitely affecting my self-esteem. Also as a man I feel like I cannot offer anything to a woman when I cannot even hold a job. Or if I'm too anxious to go through the discomfort of finding one and getting used to it. I mean, what kind of a woman would be attracted to a man like that ?

    The problem with a job is that it brings up a lot of anxiety in me ; performance anxiety and also social anxiety.

    I'm thinking that after the Holidays maybe I will be able to start getting in a better mindset and start looking for work again. Once I get past the stressful social stuff happening right now because of Christmas.

    My plan is to try to find a therapist and this time work with him for a longer period of time. Especially as I get a new job.

    I think the only thing that can help me is (1) working with a therapist, (2) trying to find work and handle the anxiety of it and finally (3) being social in a positive way.
  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Day 0

    Today was not a good day. Another relapse. I was on Day 4. Tuesday I fell off a 25 day streak (hard mode) with which I really thought I was going to get past the 30 day mark of sobriety.

    What a mistake to have fallen off that streak, Tuesday ... But it's done now. Done and buried.

    I tried to isolate that relapse but today I caved in. Of course, now I find myself in the same regret zone.

    Disappointed but don't want to give up the fight either.

    There is definitely still a whole lot to do. And the right attitude and mindset is important.

    I want to persevere, to keep trying.
  5. BackOnTrack

    BackOnTrack Active Member

    Shit happens, all the best for you.
    Is there a specific ritual/pattern when you relapse?
    For me that is usually looking up girls I had sex with on social media and that esclates to me watching porn.
    So awareness about that ritual can be somewhat helpful..
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  6. -Luke-

    -Luke- Well-Known Member

    25 days is nothing to sneeze at.

    I just read your posts from before christmas. I hope things in your life are a little better now. But if they are not, at least you have proved to yourself that you can go through this without PMOing for almost a month. You can get some hope out of this and it shows that you are stronger than you probably think.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Day 1

    Much better day then yesterday. Went for a walk in the early afternoon as it was quite nice outside.

    I took it easy however today and allowed myself to just rest and relax. I didn't force myself to do things which I didn't feel up for, especially which involved socialising. Normally I want to push myself to do social things in order to get out of my comfort zone but today I gave myself a break. I was also quite tired from both last night (slept under 7 hours) and the prior one as well. I had gone out on Friday evening, it was a good experience. But the night after I did not sleep too well, it was an agitated night of sleep. And then on Saturday I relapsed again.

    I have some regret for a social opportunity which I chose to miss today but I think that having chosen to (truly) spend the day with myself was not a bad choice.

    I must remember however to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone socially in order to grow as a person and become more confident in myself. In the last 2 months I have done a much better job at doing this.

    I have spent some time today just reading a book I'm almost done with. It was nice to find the time and patience to just sit down and read in the afternoon and the early evening. I enjoy reading a lot and I want to keep strengthening this habit. I realize how important habits are. I think a lot of recovery is building many new habits. Creative habits can be really good also and I hope to make more progress on certain creative ideas and hopes I have.

    @BackOnTrack - Thanks man. Yea I definitely have certain patterns when I relapse. But it's often also a build up of fantasies (and fetishes) which sometimes can grow like a snowball rolling down a hill. One specific problem I have had was an app with a contact on there which really tempted me to log on and relapse that way. I finally decided to delete the account. Hopefully this can be of some help going forward. It feels like it's the good call when it comes to investing myself further into sobriety and Recovery.

    @-Luke- Yea, last December was really a difficult month, almost a crisis. Thankfully things have gotten a little better since then. Since December the 24th, I did manage to get two good streaks in, one of 26 days which ended in January and this more recent one of 25 days. I have also been better then usual at not having too many days of relapses once a relapse occurred. But it's still quite the battle to crack that fourth week of sobriety. But I think it's best I focus on one day at a time, not matter what. Most of all I did do some good things for myself in the last 2 months, especially in terms of challenging the social anxiety more head on. That battle goes hand in hand with the sobriety from PMO and that project is one of my main motivators to truly let this addiction go.
    -Luke- and Gil79 like this.
  8. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Day 2

    I was busy with something today so that gave me a good reason to be out of the house and not have to think too much about another relapse.

    Later at the groceries, I had a tendency to want to look at women more then usually. It was a little tricky to refrain myself from doing it.

    I spent some time with a friend, who is a girl, and who I feel an interest towards that goes beyond just platonic friendship, an interest that is romantic. She is in a couple though so I don't know how to handle this situation too much. There were times during the interaction where I felt I was inhibited and not sufficiently my ''true self''. I think a lot of that was also my inner critic, criticizing my ''performance''. And putting pressure on myself.

    Overall it has been a more stressful day then yesterday. And I didn't have too much time for daily good habits.

    I hope to get a good night of sleep and recharge for tomorrow. It's important to keep the fight going and to look for better ground. Better ground, better times, one day at a time.
  9. BackOnTrack

    BackOnTrack Active Member

    True, I also had major issues with apps, especially dating apps and social media.
    I only have instant messager (whatsapp) these days.
    So that cut down triggers immensely, if I keep relapsing due to something specific it has to go.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  10. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Three days sober.

    Mood was a little bit on the low side today. For a moment in the afternoon I started feeling the pull of PMO as I was not sure what to do with my time and motivation to do anything was kind of low.

    I think I'm still feeling down because of the resets I had but my mood should improve on this specific matter if I keep staying sober the next few days.

    I wasn't productive on ''useful'' things today but I did spend my time well enough. Made a really nice dinner, took a walk, did a lot of physical activity, spent some time on hobbies. And read.

    Social confidence seems to be little low now as well.
    Nice, yes that's a good call for sure.
    -Luke- and BackOnTrack like this.
  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Four days sober. Feel kind of tired and depressed but it was a good day overall.

    Worked out. Went for a run for the first time in almost 3 weeks (I usually don't have such breaks between my runs which are even daily sometimes).

    Spent some time on hobbies.

    Called a family member to talk to.

    Good and healthy dinner today, made yesterday by me. Tomorrow I'll have to cook. It's going to be pasta and vegetables.

    Social stuff is interesting. I'm glad I'm pushing myself in new social situations and practicing my social skills, and especially doing this without the help of alcohol. It can be very challenging, both kind of a rush, a social rush of energy and yet also some frustration. Frustration at witnessing my clumsiness, my social awkwardness, my difficulty in truly being more ''myself'', with less fear, with more confidence. I just feel like I don't truly express myself. And sometimes I wonder if there is even the possibility of progress here or if I would need 5 life-times to be able to change. But I think there is, objectively speaking, room for improvement, slowly. But it's hard to accept where I am now and not get angry or overly frustrated to the point that I decide it's not worth it.

    I do love spending time alone. That's when I can be myself. I wish I was more like this around others. Well I got to strive, slowly, towards that. And if I don't make it, well I tried.
    Gil79 likes this.
  12. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I feel exactly like this. I just don't dare to 'expose' myself. But it is the hiding (parts of me) away that is what prevents me to get what I want in life
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  13. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Working on the third week of sobriety. Things are more or less okay and stable right now.

    Glad to be at a bit more then two weeks sober, it always feels much better then the crisis of relapsing or binging and all the negative and difficult feelings that come after those.

    I was quite busy last weekend with some social outings. It was nice, though I feel a bit tired from them and I also may have caught some kind of a cold (not sure yet, but not feeling 100% right now).

    During one of the outings, I met a girl who's first impression on me I really liked. I mean really. I'm not sure there was much of an ''opening'' though, so to speak. This being said, I regret that I did not seize the moment to speak with her more then I did. But, however, the silver lining is that I still did talk to her a bit. And that was nice.

    I'm having difficulties using the time of the day well and to do all the things I'd like to spend time on. Mainly the hobbies I'm into and trying to build momentum around. It's pretty hard to actually find the time to do all of them, while still doing other healthy necessary (I think) thing such as taking the time to cook something healthy, doing ''direct'' recovery things (such as being on forums like this one and journaling), doing physical exercise almost daily, etc. Another issue is also that I keep delaying or procrastinating on making a choice for the next thing I do ; work or more education. It would most probably have to be work. My heart would like to go towards some more education but I am not sure that's a good idea at this point. Also not sure it's not a way to escape all of my anxiety around working. It's true though that the things I would have to work in would be things I don't like, so that's a big problem, on top of the anxiety. If I would go back for more education, I would be financially in not a good position but at least I would seek something I truly like. Or at the very least more then what I would have to go work in now.

    We'll see what happens but no matter what working on recovery and sobriety can only help in figuring this out.

    @Gil79 - Definitely. One of my main motivations for recovery and sobriety from addiction is to slowly develop the capacity to be more ''myself'', more ''authentic'', more ''free'' in a way. That's mainly the reason of the title of my journal here. I think sobriety forces us to deal with that demon, the shame and the lack of confidence or self-acceptance. The addiction, on the other hand, numbs it out but in the end keeps adding more shame. So yea, let's keep going!
    NewStart19, -Luke- and nuclpow like this.
  14. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

  15. dark red drifter vessel

    dark red drifter vessel Well-Known Member

    yo, sorry for the unqualified comment, but I think these things are kinda the same thing:

    there is no demon, no little devil, there is no porn-as-a-force-of-non nature.

    we like to make up these entities in order to extricate a part of us from us, render it an outside force to dump guilt on,
    like a high performance machine needs a heat dump to not overload.

    but what WANTS to use is always us. there is no devil. the devil is the sock puppet we fashion for ourselves before we can accept that fact.
    when you reabsorb that idea into your own person again, you gain back the agency you misplaced into a sort of totem/icon/whatever.

    and its okay we do it, for a while. our brains have an ultimate level skill: Hide what we cannot accept, what would destroy us.

    But it has its own drawbacks, its own debuff, and there comes a time when a person needs to put away that puppet.

    sorry, got all super preachy all out of a sudden, will show myself out :3

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