Learning to be myself

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

  1. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    Why not? Or are things still like in 90s when if you don't drink, everyone hates you? Or is it because if you go out, it's too easy to slip?
     
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  2. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    I guess it depends on the type of night out. But yes overall if I go out it's easier to drink a lot, harder to moderate. However I don't have issues staying away from drinking for a long time if I don't go to a party. But I can moderate my drinking even when I go out at times. It just takes a lot of will power and discipline. This last Friday night I have described I should have been a lot more careful with the drinking. But I let myself indulge because I was doing something way out of my comfort zone (go out on my own with the scope of trying to initiate conversations with girls). But is seems that because I indulged so bad with the alcohol and that I'm not in the best of places right now emotionally (in the pit) I easily lost control and my "demons", the "bad wolf" came out full force. As many people do, though, I drink a lot when I go out because it makes me more social, more fun, less rigid and shy.
     
  3. Doper

    Doper Member

    I just wanted to clarify that in the LONG TERM, the definite goal should definitely be to drink little or nothing. It's a terrible habit. No question. But short term it depends what goal you're REALLY focused on. In almost all goals whether it's getting in shape, learning new skills, being highly functioning as a whole....don't drink anything.
    But this one particular situation, where the goal is to get comfortable in a social scenario that takes one WAY OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE, and most people are drinking, I think LEARNING TO CONTROL ONESELF to be able to have a few is fine. IF THE SOLE PURPOSE is to keep exposing oneself to that scenario enough times that it then becomes within or close to ones comfort zone, then to stop drinking after that.
    Going into a situation over and over again, after a while it's going to start feeling normal. You just have to get to that point......You don't have to stay out all night, that just makes it more likely you'll drink too much; You can even just have a goal to go out for a half hour, talk to a couple people, and go home. Just keep doing that more days than you don't.....Going out for 45 min every night after work just for fun to see what's up is a much more sustainable way to frame it than I'M GOIN OUT TO FUVKIN PARTY.
     
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  4. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Active Member

    The thing I learned to accept is that i’m Naturally a bit shy. I used to push myself to go out and talk to people, but I don’t do that anymore. My advice would be change what ‘going out’ Means. Do something that you love, for me it was drawing. Maybe for its board games or a cycling club or movie trivia night or dance lessons. Just find something to do that doesn’t involve drink, but does involve fun and does involve connecting people. Now is the time to build healthy habits. Avoid the bar and club scene as these are all about short term goals.

    Get that Warlock to level 11, yo!

    PC
     
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  5. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Is it possible that, on some level, you're still not taking this whole thing 100% seriously? Drinking is clearly a problem for you in avoiding PMO, even if only some of the times you drink. It sounds like you're reluctant to do everything that is necessary.
     
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  6. Rengaw

    Rengaw Will log on every other week from 13/10/2016


    Thank you for sharing your experiences Thelongwayhome. I've been coping with drinking problems like you describe and I've had plenty of occasions I went out without drinking at all - for months, then taking up drinking again. Moderate drinking.
    It was a blow to my happiness and self-esteem. Drinking made me lose my positive edge and the day after I was in gloom and self-loathing.
    I picked up the Allen Carr's Stop Drinking Now - The Easyway Method and this book showed new insights on drinking and culture.
    I've become a permanent non-drinker a few weeks ago after going back and forth between a drinker and temporary non-drinker.
    The book is an easy read and well built, killing many myths and giving some statistics about alcohol that are striking.
    This was my final tool to decide to leave alcohol in the past - and it helped me to reduce my porn cravings immensely.

    Hopefully with your therapist you can decide to cut out the alcohol once and for all and you will have an amazing life!

    All the best
     
  7. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    1 day off P

    Thank you for all the feedback. I see there are some mildly contrary viewpoints and I have to think about all this myself.

    I am still feeling the sting from the extreme acting out on Friday. After something like that happens I feel down and shame for a while. It passes after a few days (although a deeper wound remains). Saturday I stayed home all day but yesterday I went out again (this time not on my own). I controlled my drinking but didn't really approach any girls. I didn't go with that scope in mind as much as just to socialize in a positive way, and that actually worked out pretty fine. At one point there was a girl I found very attractive and good looking that was close by and I could have started interacting with her. I didn't though and I regretted it afterwards on my way home and even today. However it reminded me of two things. One is that I should not get into PUA type of mentality because for someone who has social anxiety already and a strong inner critic this will only get him more lost. I'll start telling myself I need to do this, that and this in order for me not to be boring, etc. Whereas, in truth, all I need to do is to seize the opportunities when they happen, at least at this point in my progress. All I need to do is to beat the fear of starting to talk to a girl I find attractive if there is an opportunity (I'm not talking about cold approaching attractive girls on the street). Yesterday, for instance, with this good looking girl, I started telling myself I'll play it "cool", I was gonna act like the guy that isn't attracted and then slowly talk to her later if there is a chance (I was lost by PUA ideas). I should have simply interacted with her, introduced myself, and see what happens. At worst she finds me bland, boring or just not her type. Who cares ? It's better then regretting not having done something. Finally, second thing it made me realize is that I should not approach girls I don't find hot simply in order to practice approaching girls or talking to them. That's the "dark side" of PUA and I don't agree with that. Especially for someone who can be an addict this is dangerous. Even if it would work it would lead me to manipulation. I should only approach girls I'm genuinely interested in and practice with them, but practice acting despite the fear and simply being myself, not trying to be some PUA Don Juan. If I approach a lot and then see I have a recurring problem of being too platonic or whatever then I'll change something then, but I'm not there yet now. I should only focus on one thing, and that is to approach when there is a chance rather then regret. My theory, once again, is that if I do this consistently, and get to a relaxed state doing it, I will naturally start doing the flirting that is necessary (I know it because I have already done this, when I'm in a genuine good mood). There is no point of faking it. I should just putting myself in the place where I can practice feeling more comfortable and then naturally I'll improve my "game". But it will be "my game" not one I'm trying to copy or emulate, and that way it will work a lot better and could bring joy, while remaining honest and not manipulative.
     
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  8. occams_razor

    occams_razor Active Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 That last post was very "on point", as they say.


    Drinking is a complex subject. I find that if I'm out somewhere, it's best to drink slowly, never try to match someone else's drinking speed, and don't be afraid to "waste" half a drink, say, if it's time to leave a bar or whatever.
     
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  9. Pete McVries

    Pete McVries Active Member

    One very important step to tackling my PMO addiction was to stop drinking entirely. I was a binge drinker in my late teens and early twenties so when I start drinking I naturally want more and more. One beer turns into three into five into shots and so on an so forth. My worst binges happened the day after drinking when I was hungover. No more alcohol = risk of relapsing decreased by a huge margin.

    I really like Professor Chaos' advice: Stop clubbing for a while and look for other, maybe more healthy activities to get to know other people. Maybe not even girls in the first place. People you befriend have female friends and before you know it, you get to know a nice and beautiful female friend of a new found acquaintance. Life is funny sometimes...
     
  10. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    Try "you look suspicious." Easiest conversation starter, IMO.
     
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  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    2 days off P

    Still feeling the sting from the acting out last Friday, but it's slowly getting better. I socialized again yesterday. Went to a social gathering where I knew some people. It was a bit draining. I was able to drink moderately and I could have drank a lot more if I wanted too (I admit I felt the impulse to drink more in the hopes of making myself more social since I had problems relaxing and connecting but luckily I was able to remember how that is a bad idea, especially in the tired mood I was in). The good part is I talked with some girls I didn't know, some sustained conversations. I tried being my simple self and forgot about trying to manipulate her impression of me. One girl I talked too in particular I really liked. She was both attractive and also seemed nice and interesting. I can clearly see how if I put myself with consistence in positions to talk to people more and more (especially girls) there is now way I would not feel more confident doing so and being more comfortable and learning to be relaxed doing it. I don't wanna give here the impression I have never socialized, I do sometimes, but I don't usually jump on occasions or initiate it (as I have last Friday). These last days I have really brought this scope up in my priorities and I think my recovery, as I mentioned before, implies connecting more with people, developing better relationships and most of all working on my social anxieties (by facing them gradually and with consistence).

    I do agree that drinking is dangerous for staying off the P. One vice easily activates another. But I also agree with Doper that we cannot work on many goals at once. And to be totally honest, I have gotten to a point in my life where meeting people, improving my confidence with girls is more important to me then staying off P. I rather be on day 4 and working on talking to girls then on day 125 and home alone, depressed. Of course, ideally I wanna be on both, day 125 and out there talking to people, to girls.

    Regarding PC's advice I totally agree as well. And that is sort of what I was doing on my last streak of 50 days. And I am still doing that. But at some point doing activities you love will only get you to one place. You can mix this also with some more direct tackling of the problem. I enjoy bars, certain type of dance clubs (I like them for the atmosphere not just the idea of meeting girls), and I think going occasionally is okay.

    I'm happy, despite the bad relapse on Friday, that I have kept working on the positive since then. In the past I have at times followed such experiences with longer binges. Now I'm trying to get back up sooner, accepting what happened. Last week, before Friday, I had gathered some honest positive momentum that unfortunately was blown away with the loss of control on Friday night (night that started with some good work though). I'm hoping I can recuperate from the fall and gather back momentum.

    The last days, with these efforts to socialize more, I have gotten a little tired and my routine is a little less disciplined. I am looking, the next few days, at calming down a bit on this front, taking a breather, focusing back on healthy discipline, rest, more day to day stuff to do (work, bills, cleaning around) and the healthy triad (sleep well, eat well, exercise), boosted by the good duo of meditation and journal. Then, I hope I can get back to working on the social element, especially with girls but not only (friends too). And ideally get a nice streak going again.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  12. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    Thanks a lot. Appreciate your input here.
     
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  13. Merton

    Merton Well-Known Member

    I think this, along with your desires to connect more with people, is extremely positive! Usually when I relapse I end up thinking "this is my chance to look at porn." But what are we really trying to do here? Go for long periods without and then binge? The point, as you said, is to work on the positive. We should be thinking about our goals exactly like this: not to simply quit porn but to work on the positive.
     
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  14. Living

    Living Active Member

    Does doing something stupid while you are drunk make you an addict? I really doubt that. That's just what alcohol does for you. It rather seems like you wanted something, while drunk got frustrated because you didn't get it and sought a petty substitute. In my late teens/early twenties I got in a bit of gambling habit when I was drunk. When I was sober I felt it was a waste of money, but when I drank too much part of me was great at convincing me that that time I would win the jackpot. It's just that alcohol makes it a lot easier for you to give in to things you would rather not do.

    That does not make it less of a problem though. If you have a problem with visiting prostitutes and it costs you more money than you'd like, deal with that problem. Drinking less would be a great way to do so:)

    As for the interaction with girls: simply go someplace else. Clubs are not the Walhalla for picking up girls we'd like to believe they are. Oh, I know guys who are/were great at that, but in general I believe there are way better places. Especially if you are going for interaction. I mean: a crowded place with music too loud to have a proper conversation kinda limits your posibilities to interact;) And perhaps it's best to first start with interacting with girls in general. Not in a PUA sense, but see it simply as learning a new social skill. Who knows, you might even meet someone interesting you wouldn't have gone for before.
     
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  15. Ereignis

    Ereignis Active Member

    I mean, successful reboots are all about creating a whole new lifestyle. If you read accounts of relapse, it almost always happens when the person is going through an old habit that has laid dormant for a while. It sounds like what you're trying to do is live the same kind of life that has been dysfunctional for you, just without PMO. But that doesn't work, because you've done this plenty of times already, and PMO has been carved into that routine, too deep to ever pry out.

    That's all I can really say on the matter. Just give it some thought. I know you've mentioned making a career/job change. But even that might not be enough if you're insisting on trying to recover on some middleground that doesn't exist.
     
  16. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    5 days off P

    I've read the last 2 pages of my journal to try to get some new perspective. It seems the big realization I've had lately is that I need to be more proactive in connecting with others (friends and girls). It seems also that, lately, I have admitted to myself that deep down I long to connect more with girls and that I am not taking enough proactive action in this respect. I have made the conclusions that, as long as I don't work on this, my recovery will probably not happen (even if I abstain from P). Now the questions is how to make this happen ? A more direct approach, which has it's dangers (such as the adventures I have described on here in the last week) or go a more disciplined calm way about it, filled with patience (health, routine, work, things I need to do, stay off P, join some interest groups/clubs (books, whatever) and develop hobbies, even forget about girls for now) ? The direct approach activates 2 important foes : impatience and over-excitement. These elements make me fall off the discipline and the healthy routine which in time isn't good, because just like the healthy social connection that has to happen, the discipline and the healthy routine also is essential. On the other hand, the very calm and patient approach can ground me in reality better however it's pitfall is potential procrastination and denial of tackling what really matters to me and what will actually help me recover. It becomes easy to feel calm and stay at home and watch a movie, read a book. However, after some time this leads to depression and loneliness. So ideally I need a balance of both.

    I appreciate the honest advice I got from @Living and @Ereignis and others (@Professor Chaos, @Pete McVries, @Rengaw ) who seem to say I need to go for the "calm" approach more, forget about bars, clubs. That I need to focus on not drinking since there cannot be recovery for me if I drink. Perhaps, indeed, I've lately become too excited with the idea of working on my skills of connecting with girls that I have been too lenient on the "party" dangers. Perhaps, on some way, I am once again dreaming about living a part of my life that is over, my 20s. On the "going out" to bars/night clubs, I think I can do this occasionally but I must be careful to drink slowly, very moderately. If I have other binges like the one I described last Friday, then I will eliminate alcohol completely. I must find the fun in connecting with others and not in the drinking.

    I'm still positive though (not just faking it), glad I'm 5 days off P and I wanna keep going. Slowly get myself out of the pit I've been in for the past 3 weeks since I had the initial relapse on my longest streak ever of 57 days. Keep going, keep going. Keep looking for the best path.

    Cheers to all, and a good, clean, balanced, weekend !
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  17. cjm

    cjm Well-Known Member

    Try daygame mate

    Takes time and patience to get anywhere, but no booze and you can meet more "normal" ie non extrovert party girls as they go about their day to day life

    Its taken me a while to get here, but i just had my first 2 dates from daytime approaches

    Just rock up and say "hi i think you look nice and wanted to say hello"

    Scary as hell to start with and it takes a while like anything :)
     
  18. Eternity

    Eternity Patience

    I think we've come to the same conclusion. For the past five years I've tried to convince myself that I don't need anyone; that I can and should do this alone. But where has that got me? I think the result speaks for itself.
     
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  19. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    I think as humans everyone needs to connect with others here and there to a certain degree. We all need a personalized balance of alone time and time shared with others. Ideally we need to discover we can live alone, that we are sufficient. However this should give us the strength and calmness to go meet other people, but in a detached way. It's a bit of a paradox I think.

    On a positive side, it's good to remember that it's better to be alone then with then surrounded by the wrong people (in my opinion).

    Thanks for the tip ! I'll have to admit this does sound very scary. Especially if I don't actually know the girl (cold approach) :rolleyes::oops: I'll try to see if I can do this. Maybe give it a shot in the right setting on a nice sunny summer day.
     
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Active Member

    6 days off P

    There was some socializing last night (but no girl approaches), some drinks (moderate and controlled overall but the "demon" of "I want more" was showing it's head), some weed. I came close to another acting out. In that state, part of me wanted another instant gratification. Luckily, this time, a higher rational power in me overrode the crazy impulse. I got safely home without acting out, the craving decreased, and I went to bed. I was very happy last night, once back home, I did not act out. I was very happy, this morning, I did not act out. Had I acted out, I would have woken up in an incredible shameful depression today.

    I was happy I did not act out but I am also worried and last night was a big danger signal. Alcohol, weed is dangerous. As many have wisely pointed out to me on here (thank you). It's dangerous in general, and it's even more dangerous when I'm so close to previous relapses (not many days on my streak). I'm posting this for accountability because I enjoy the support and help I've been getting on here. It is very worrisome, quit scary, how only one week after the acting out relapse I described on here, my mind simply asked for another plunge in the darkness pit of despair and self destruction. Worrisome, indeed ...

    All this socializing, lately, has rocked my discipline. I'm gonna go back, now, to a more strict healthy routine. I need to get back to a bit more of a "monk mode" in order to clock in sober days. And I need to keep doing the social effort, from that calmer place, but I need to be more strict with the drinking and the weeding. This combo is relapse prone and if I want to get better I need to stop it. I need however to keep socializing, but in the good positive and healthy way.

    Hopefully I can find the right balance, the right path, and summon the strength and will to walk it.

    Navigation direction :
    1 - Get back to a strict healthy discipline in order to foster calmness, balance, grounding in reality (reconnecting with Self)
    2 - Enough with the vices of drinking and drugs
    3 - Pursue girls, find the way to do it
    4 - As a symptom of progress, add days to the sobermeter (the streak)
     
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