Looking for feedback

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Doofus, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thanks for reading! And thanks for the suggestion. I've tried them, but I feel so crappy in the morning - not well-rested, and very fuzzy headed. Dramatically more than when I use booze. I teach math. I need my brain to be working pretty well to do that. When I've taken sleeping pills, my work has suffered. Unfortunately.... but it's a good idea, @bu1999 .

    I'm glad you're back on here! And it seems there are lots of us who have both booze and PMO habits. What's your plan with booze? I'm trying to reduce my intake by one drink per night per week. I did this last fall with vodka and I've only drunk it a couple of times since.
     
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    If your cock works with the wife then the rest doesn't matter. I usually get morning wood, but it varies in hardness. I don't check it anymore, although, I used to. I used to worry about having a rock hard penis when the wife I were going to get all slippy slidey, but that put pressure on me that I didn't need. So, I decided not worry about the boner and guess what? Sproing, it knows what to do all by itself. :)

    Recovery is active. It means we must be consistent and honest with ourselves. You're doing well!
     
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  3. bu1999

    bu1999 Member

    Hi Doofus,

    My hope is a month of going without and then using in moderation thereafter, but we'll see how that goes. Like PMO, I'm triggered to use alcohol for different reasons. Honestly, I think any amount of moderation is a step in the right direction and I'm just trying not to beat myself up either way. When I quit cigs, the method you're using to moderate alcohol was how I eventually quit. So I think it could work!
     
  4. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    So, I wrote this long explanation, during which, I guess, I was logged out, and, thus, lost when I tried to post. I might try again later, but, for now, suffice to say, yesterday was sobriety catastrophe. I fought with the wife for reasons that writing here for an hour(what I lost..) didn't help clarify, then drank too much because of that (and because I'm an addict..) and because my son wasn't home at 12:30 am and then, this morning, because I felt so wretched, PMO'd. Three times. Ugh.

    The only good news, and this is what I want to record here, is that each time I got harder! This helps me in that I'm a bit re-assured about my sexual health. Even hung over and upset I was able to get - on the third time - to 90 or 95 percent. Which, on my few relapses last month, I couldn't approach during PMO. It's stupid, I know, but I've been fretting. As Saville says, it works well enough with my wife (though it's been rare and a while now since I got to 100% with her either) I'm good. Especially because we're not having PIV. For whatever reason, though, I've been worried. Maybe the addict at work here? I don't know.

    Anyway, getting back on the wagon sure won't hurt my sexual function. Hopeful as I restart here on day one.
     
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    You learn dont fail. As long as you get" back on the horse" which you sat you are. Good thinking dude!
     
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  6. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Seize the day

    Been there, so frustrating.....

    Great that you posted anyway. Being aware of your actions and what triggers them is necessary on this journey.
     
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  7. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    You're right about learning rather than failing. I mostly feel bad about the fight with my wife. She'd had a hard day and I picked a fight with her. I really don't know why I did it, or, why I fell off the PMO wagon. So, hopefully more learning is ahead. But, yes, I'm back on whatever I need to be back on - top of myself mostly.
     
  8. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thank you for the support, @Gilgamesh !
     
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    The addict part of your brain picked the fight. It will use any excuse, any distraction, in order to use. Also, as Pema Chodro would point out it's the ego. Ironically, even people who are anxious and feel little self-worth will fight tooth and nail to protect their egos.
     
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  10. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Well, day one is in the books. Booze was a close call, though. I managed to stay well below my quota before bed, but, when I woke at 4, I drank the balance. I'm counting that as yesterdays consumption, not today's but I'm disappointed that I choose to drink 90 minutes before I was supposed to wake up. As a result, I got back to sleep, but I didn't exercise this morning. I'll get out later but I failed to keep my schedule.

    I made 'up' but, despite trying, not 'out' with the wife last night. She blames booze for the fight, too. I'm not sure I buy that entirely but....

    One of the things I wrote about in my lost post of yesterday is that early this week we learned that the only child of friends of ours (mine through my wife...) died somehow (they told my wife, but her phone died last weekend so...). This is doubly notable because this child was born on the same exact day as N. It was kind of an additional bonding thing with all of us.
    My wife has been on an elevated level of bitchiness all week. Because, she says, of her job, but I'm wondering. I myself have not been very productive and have been weepy. It doesn't feel directly connected to the death. I don't know... She's leaving today for the funeral which will be held on Mother's Day. I'm staying to help T who has AP exams and finals this week. It all sucks in the extreme. Over the last 10 years, my wife has met up with them once or twice/year, but I myself haven't seen them in probably 10 years. T is firm in not wanting to go. It seems, maybe because of this I have to stay to help and support him. Anyway....

    I should get to grading. I should be done with that by now, but, well.... I hate grading and I'm not feeling psychologically strong the last few days. Again, I'm not sure if it's because of the death or what, but I need to buck up. I'll write more later perhaps here on day 2.
     
  11. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    First the report: I'm not sure how to count today. I was good on PMO, but not booze. After I'd had my quota and it was time for bed, I poured myself another glass. I have no excuses. Booze is going to be hard.

    Good news: Made out with wife before she left. I wasn't sure I was going to. It feels so.... first of all, I have been trying all week. She often says we don't have sex more because the boys are around. When T went running yesterday afternoon, I went up told her he was gone and she was like 'great'! I said let's go. And she said 'what'? She wasn't even thinking about sex. Whenever I ask the answer is no. So, in order to have sex, and because she asks so infrequently, I feel I have to say yes. And then, half the time it feels like we're doing it only because she feels guilty for rejecting me. I don't know.... Anyway, that's not good news, obviously, but what is is that despite feeling quite ambivalent about it, I had a very good erection. Maybe not 100% but I could have had PIV. We didn't of course, but it's good to know. I'm feeling so much better about my sexual function. I've been worried that my drinking might have harmed that. It's harming other things, of course, but not that. So far....
    I also slept through the night essentially. The zinc seems to be working for now. I woke at 5:30 like I was supposed to, but my wife, who decided to leave for the funeral early today had been up for a while. I stayed in bed to cuddle and try to help her get back to sleep for a few minutes. Instead, I fell back to sleep. She's gone, it's almost 9:30 and I'm typing here to try to feel better before I get out the door to run - I should probably be doing the reverse. It's supposed to thunderstorm all day. In any case, I feel wretched at the moment. Not physically, I'm not hungover, really. Although, it seems that when the zinc works I feel like I need an extra cup of coffee to get going in the morning. The way zinc works, supposedly, is that it regulates, or suppresses the secretion of cortisol. This seems to be working in that 1. I'm sleeping through most nights and 2. my morning blood glucose is lower. But what's weird is that my hrv has really been tilted to the sympathetic side and my bp is up. My bp was super high on Thursday and Friday mornings, then, back to my usual yesterday, but, then higher this morning. Though I failed at my booze goal last night I am still drinking less than I had been recently. I don't know...

    I'm still in grading hell. I made some significant progress yesterday, so that's good, but I really need to finish today if at all possible - I'm not sure it's possible though.

    I've GOT many money-related things to do in the next day or two. I haven't started the concrete organization of my trip up to Boston.

    I wish I had somebody to talk to. T won't because of his misophonia with me and he'll probably be sleeping in until noon and then working a bunch and not really interacting with me much. The wife is at this funeral and probably wont' be back until tomorrow. I haven't spoken to my family on the phone in years. I might call N but he's my child (as is T...) and I don't think I should be working out my angst with them. I'm hoping that typing here will help. So far it is, a little, anyway. Thanks to anyone reading this.

    I'm going to do better with booze today. I hate the way it makes me feel and look. The risk I'm taking by drinking so much every day. I'll probably come on here later - especially tonight to try to write instead of drink. Writing here has helped when I've been tempted by PMO. I'm going to try to do the same with booze.

    So, more soon.
     
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Why not? I think I mentioned coconut oil for dryness. Have you tried it?
     
  13. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    We have. Didn't work, unfortunately.
     
  14. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You have to go easy at the beginning. If your big ass shlong hasn't been up there in awhile then it takes a bit of patience. Unfortunately (or fortunately) PIV sex is crucial to rewiring. If she's using her hand to get you off it's just a bit better than you MO'ing.
     
  15. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Good morning so far. I slept through, did my numbers - which were OK - and, most crucially, got on the bike right away. I have two - at least two - hard things to do today (maybe...). I plan to quit as the high school XC coach. And I have to turn in receipts from my trip in January (I've been in a kind of shame or anxiety spiral about this for months...). They're due on Wednesday. I'm still in grading hell. I'm here to tell you that Sisyphus is not a myth.

    As far as PMO and booze, yesterday was good. I watch Netflix while grading and a couple of the things I watched had racy scenes - I'd forgotten that Bull Durham is basically soft porn - but they were incidental and I wasn't tempted. Drank the limit but no more of booze. So, day 1, I guess.

    Wife got back from the funeral last night. It turns out that our friends' child died of a heroin overdose! She says she knows this only because in one of the eulogies, it was noted that heroin had now claimed 2 of the students in their child's little home-school group (our friends are artist/hippies). Eeek! He was 22. As I said I hadn't seen him in years, but he was a college student and enjoyed cooking and biking and..... It goes to show: You never know. I read this morning in @ruggerdoug ' s latest post that he's a powerful executive in his company. No one would suspect that he struggles with addiction as he does. That hit home for me. Most, would, I think. view me as somewhat accomplished. But for years I would PMO every day, sometimes multiple times per day as a way of self-soothing. I'm a daily and excessive drinker. My neighbor was commenting just yesterday that he's amazed at my dedication to a healthy life-style. He sees me out running every morning at 6 and riding my bike to the grocery store. If he only knew.....

    Addiction is very common, I think. Elsewhere - I think it was on @ruggerdoug 's diary - about how rats in rat paradise were not so tempted by cocaine. Those in just a cage almost all became hooked on it. There are many advantages to being alive now. Historically, deadly contagious disease and hunger have never been this rare. And yet, I would argue, that we've never lived in a way more out of tune with our biological and psychological health. We're stressed like never before. We eat worse than ever before. Social institutions are crumbling. We largely bowl alone. We work way the frick too much. Or way the frick too little. Every morning, when I drop T off at school, I make sure to tell him I love him. Why? Because there's a chance that he's going to be shot by some maniac with semi-automatic rifle. I know the chance is very small, but, there it is, in the back of my mind like low-level static. Accumulated stress is how political prisoners are eventually broken

    The effect of all this is the skyrocketing rates of addiction and poor health. It's practically a physical law that this would follow. If having a drink or a wank alleviates that discomfort for a few minutes, when nothing else does, then it's almost a rational choice to do it.
    Of course, doing that has its own consequences. Which is why I'm working toward eliminating both.

    So, this is not a long rationalization of my addictions. Not at all. But I mean this to be a call to find positive replacements. More exercise. More social contact. More sex with my wife. Less stressing about all the things I'm not doing or that I'm failing at.

    So begins day 2.
     
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  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I read an article in the New York Times that gave tips for women that have pain when being penetrated. Here's the important excerpt: Also helpful is routine use of skin moisturizers, like vitamin E suppositories, hyaluronic acid or a product called Revaree, she said. To reduce sexual discomfort, she suggested using a water- or oil-based lubricant: food-grade oils like coconut, olive, grapeseed or avocado oil, or a personal lubricant called Slippery Stuff. If scarring limits sexual penetration, dilators can be used to gently stretch the vaginal tissues to make intercourse more comfortable.

    Yep, there's always the other side of coin. We are literally victims of our success. Every era has its challenges and ours is having too much and being bored with our lives.
     
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  17. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Drank too much again. Dammit.
    Thanks @Saville . I know she'd like to be able to have PIV again - at least I think so. I'll talk to her about trying some other things.

    In other news, I did the hard things that I had to do. I resigned as XC coach yesterday and, this morning, finally turned my receipts and re-imbursement form. So that's good.

    The bad is I exceeded my booze quota again. Because of all the anxiety surrounding, well, many things, including needing to turn the receipts today and still not having my damn grades finished, I woke at 2:30. I had a glass left in my quota and so, stupidly, I drank it. When that didn't work, I rationalized having another, since I'd already broken my pledge I might as well do what I have to to fall asleep. I did fall asleep, then, but I slept in on the couch until 6:30, so I didn't run, I didn't do my numbers, didn't have the morning I want to have. I did get T to school, but then I fretted about all the things I have to do in the next 24 hours and, after an hour of unproductively struggling to avoid PMO I, finally, drove to work to turn in my form.

    I'm going to decouple my booze and PMO counts. I was very tempted this morning to PMO, because, well, I'd already blown it with the booze, so, might as well look at some P. Maybe, too, I need some sort of booze volume count, you know? I only exceeded my quota by a glass. It shouldn't lead to this sort of all or nothing thinking. So, I'm going to start putting it out there: This week I'm trying to limit myself to 900 ml of wine/day. That's hard to type, to admit to that, but that's where I am(Last week was 1050). So, yesterday, I had somewhere north of 1000 - maybe even 1100.. I didn't measure the second glass I had. I just poured. In any event, that's around a bottle and a half! I think facing up to it here, actually talking about the amounts, might help me be more disciplined about beating this addiction. Shame: maybe it and I can be friends.

    My first goal, the minimum, will be to measure if I drink more than my quota. Well, really, my first goal is to measure that quota out in the first place. The next goal is to stop drinking in the middle of the night. I have so much to do right now, I should be happy I'm not sleeping well. And be more productive when I'm up.

    So, day 1 again for booze and day, I guess, 3 for PMO.
     
  18. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    First, the good news: No P no M and, sadly, in a way, no O. So, starting day 4 today. When I went to bed I was at 750 ml of wine, so that was good. Unfortunately, I woke up at 3 and ended up drinking the last 150. But no more, so that's good. I'm going to count it. I think decreasing volume is more important for now. I'm going to tackle one aspect of my drinking at a time. So, day 2.

    I woke up again at 5:30, so that's good. I just did my numbers. hrv is low. I'm not sure what's going on with that. But my bp was OK - or, at least, in line with where I've been mostly for the last couple of months: 131/85. I had those couple of days last week when it was 150+/90+.

    I'm still not done grading! Hopefully, I'll finish this morning... Ugh.

    I just got back from running. I'm not running far, since I have so much to do and I'm tapering for my race on Saturday, but it didn't really make me feel any better emotionally. I'm still very sad and anxious.

    This morning I woke to my wife's alarm. I reached out to her and was pretty emphatically rebuffed. I just reached out to put my hand on her back and it was like I was using a hot poker instead of my arm. A few minutes later, when I went down to the kitchen she was apologetic, but, this sequence of events, this interaction is typical. My advances, be they for sex or just for physcial affection are rejected, then, later, she'll reach out to me, but it always seems only out of guilt. I've complained about this, tried not to play into it, but... A couple years ago, I decided I just wasn't going to ask or try to have sex. The result? We went a year without basically any physical affection, let alone sex. My boycott had not effect, other than we grew even further apart and I became re-addicted to PMO.

    I know a lot of men believe women use sex as a weapon or a means to gain and maintain power. I suppose that might be true, but it seems nuts to me. Women have all sorts of ways of gaining and maintaining power. They are so much better equipped for the close-in hand to hand emotional battle than are we men. Why deny themselves sex? Maybe it's just the male perspective, but half the reason for trying to attain power is to have more sex, you know? At least I'd think so. I know women are different, but they're not so different that they don't like or care about sex.
    I'm afraid that the truth is far worse. My wife just isn't into me anymore. I don't completely buy the standard narrative, but I know of so many examples of women losing interest after 2 years or so. This is devastating if true. There are very few women in the world who are so unattractive that, if I could have age-appropriate non-incestual NSA sex I'd turn it down. It's hard to believe I'm that unattractive in her eyes.

    Anyway... I'd better get to grading. I have a big track meet in a few hours. I really want to be done grading before it.

    So begins day 2 of booze and 4 for PMO.
     
  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    The journey is always for us. It is hard to keep that in mind when wives are being bitches/cunts and children are demanding our attention. I don't try to decipher my wife's moods anymore. We can easily get inebriated just by our own thoughts. Less thinking, more doing, is one of my mantras. We see the ball, hit the ball. See the marking, do the marking. There's nothing to think about it. Men must ask for sex, because it is an important need for a man. It doesn't matter if your partner is having sex with you out of guilt. The act of sex means that you're connecting whether you both want to or not. I disabused myself of the notions of making-love when I started my PMO-free journey. My wife and I fuck. By distilling it all down to that basic desire my feelings don't get hurt and I don't create a negative dialogue about it.

    Doofus, I think you need to shut down your drinking completely. You know this already. How about you go one week without any alcohol? Unlike PMO, drinking is not something that is particularly hidden.

    Trying to manage, or incorporate, past behavior is, imo, a fools errand. (not calling you a fool, because you are anything but that. :) ) I know how easy it is to rationalize past behaviors, because I've been there, done that, and have a drawer full of the t-shirts. Your drinking is a sore point with you. You couldn't even divulge to your therapist about it. Yep, that's me pushing a little. The reason I'm pushing is that you are worth it. You have this incredible mind and have accomplished so much, yet you spin your wheels in rationalization. This is common addict behavior. I too have a problem with alcohol and it is why I no longer drink. It sucks me down into its lair, each and every time.

    Your honesty on the forum is great. I think you are being honest because you truly desire change. This is why I feel free to comment, it is not to call you out. We are all with our own demons and together we can slay them all.
     
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  20. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    Thank you, @Saville . I appreciate your thoughts and your advice. Don't worry about being tough on me. I don't always agree with you, but I really appreciate how thoughtful you are, what you contribute to these boards. You are one of a small number of people that keeps this place going. And, your progress is an inspiration. I take everything you write very seriously. Including what you've written above.

    We've actually talked about my drinking in the last two therapy sessions. I remember trying to talk about it a couple times last fall, but, like talking about being bullied he would change the subject. Maybe he thought I wasn't ready? I don't know. Booze was not the main reason I sought help, but it's related. I was hoping that if I got a better grip on my anxiety I wouldn't feel the need to drink so much. I think I have a bit better grip on my anxiety, certainly better than a year ago, but not so much that I've stopped drinking, or, feeling like I need to drink. Anyway, I had talked about booze on my intake form. He's the one who brought it up last week, when I kind of ran out of things to talk about. Maybe he decided I was ready. On the other hand we're now going to a once-month schedule. I've been pretty honest with him about my drinking these last two weeks. He isn't pushing me to quit, but to first eliminate late night drinking. I was honest with him yesterday that I hadn't succeeded in that last week.

    You might be right about going cold-turkey. But I'm not ready. It might be the addict talking, as you say, but given how much and for how long I've been drinking, I worry about withdrawal. Maybe I'll try to make my reduction a bit faster. If I can. To be honest, other than eliminating vodka from my life last summer and fall, this is the first time I've really committed to stop, or, at least, dramatically curtail, my drinking. The problem, of course, is that my drinking hasn't cost me enough to make it worth it for me to quit. I guess I haven't hit rock-bottom - drinking hasn't really cost me much (other than the money, of course...). I haven't gotten a DUI. I'm 99% sure I haven't blacked out and done something regrettable. I haven't acted foolishly in public. I don't really get that drunk. I am drinking a lot, but it's spread out over 4 or more hours.

    But you're right. I am an alcoholic. I don't want to depend on booze anymore.
     
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