Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Mozenjo, May 22, 2014.
Re: A new path
Just checking in to say hey Make it a terrific day!
Re: A new path
Hey there, NCB, just saw this. Thanks! I've been posting, just not in my own journal the last few days. Still feeling a bit sheepish about my reset, so writing in others' journals has felt like the right thing to do, and I enjoy it. When this struggle kicks my ass, which is pretty much daily, then my new habit of logging in here is a huge help! Doing this alone is damn near impossible. For me, anyway. This community of souls is just what I needed.
Time to get ready for work and head out. Have a great one
Re: A new path
It's late and heading to bed. A quick entry regarding my partial regression this weekend. Flirted dangerously with a full on PMO session, but stopped short. After a month of no peeking, then re-setting after a relapse, I'm headed straight for another one unless I just stop. Viewing porn is the problem (OK, not exactly a news flash); rationalizing doing it in any way will only prolong what promises to be a difficult reboot. Not that anyone here has it easy!
It's time to get clean. Which means avoiding anything that causes the neurons to start lighting up. It could be a billboard, a woman on TV, a memory of an image, anything I focus on and lust after. The key to this working for me is to exercise the self control muscle and say no when I'd rather go for the instant gratification. The most basic recipe ever.
How do you lose weight? Eat less and exercise more. How do you give up a porn addiction? Stop looking at porn! It's not rocket science.
This stuff long ago ceased to be gratifying anyway, and even if it still was, it is the one obstacle that will keep me from moving forward in my life.
Re: A new path
Amen. What can anyone add to that.
Back to my original journal, renamed.
Posting here helps; no doubt about it. Staying away and going it alone hasn't been working for me. My new goal is 90 days without a reset. I thought using "reset" on my counter might help, as I know when I should start over. I re-read Underdog's post that helped inspire me at the beginning (a whopping two and a half months ago). Lots of good stuff there. However, abstinence is where I need to focus my attention right now. My life is pretty good, but it can certainly get a lot better, and he's right that we need to create a life vision and pursue the life we want to lead. I just know that cutting P from my life is the most important ingredient right now. Kind of a chicken-egg thing: give up P and your life will be better, or create a better life and P will naturally fade away. I'm going chicken AND egg. Hit it from all angles possible.
Copying this morning's post here, then deleting the old thread.
Hi Midge, really appreciate the lifeline. I haven't disappeared; been checking in here and there, but have stopped short of posting. There have been many posts, as always, that have struck particular chords with me lately - I just haven't taken the time to weigh in with my thoughts on them. Someone mentioned how hypocritical he felt giving advice to others while faltering himself at the same time. I suppose there's been some of that going on with me. I do realize that we all have valuable things we can and should share no matter where we are with our struggle; I'm just so disappointed in my progress, or serious lack thereof, that I've wanted to get "back on track" before logging in again. Monday was the most recent endpoint of a gradual descent back into it. No revelations there; just the reckless relinquishing of permission to peek at tame pics. It's amazing how my mind can totally bamboozle itself and think, even for a second, that somehow the next round of peeking will go differently; that I'll be able to actually control myself this time and keep it short and not let it progress into the usual session of endless viewing, progressively more explicit, etc. Jeez, what a maroon.
A YBOP article on edging says quite accurately that it's far worse to edge, and not MO, than it is to just MO quickly and get it over with. Each of us has to decide where MO fits in his recovery. I'm back to trying to eliminate both, with P the most obvious priority, and have added a goal to my counter. I'll use whatever tools I can get at this point. I'm hopeful because I know how exciting it was to go my first month here (seems like decades ago) with real progress and all the good things I was feeling because of it.
I recently read the profile of an attractive woman on the online dating site I still occasionally frequent. She said she's looking for someone who doesn't have addiction issues, preferably past or present. Looks like I'm not her guy :-[
I'm still not sure what I want my love life to consist of at this stage of my life, but I do know what I DON'T want it to be: the ridiculous binge, purge, this is the last time bullshit I've had on endless loop for years.
Moz, we're here for you in the good times and the bad. Most of us fail a few times before we succeed. Reading and posting really helps me. Keep coming back.
Thanks WRAT, I definitely will. I'm feeling good this morning, though it's off to the shower and commute again. Have a great Friday!
I was on YouTube checking out guitar playing tips (happily no urges to venture elsewhere), and clicked on an ad for guys on staying in shape after 40. I took the bait. Well, of course, since it was an ad, there were no tips past "log onto this other website and you'll get some great tips" (didn't do that), but the carrot was some usual quasi-facts to try and draw me in. This young dude who looks more like 30 starts off by saying we old farts have a harder time building muscle and losing the gut because, among other factors, our testosterone levels have naturally declined. I already knew that, but it did make me think again about my declining energy levels, reduced interest in pursuing women, general malaise at times, etc., all key indicators of low testosterone. I had it checked last year, and I was right in the normal range for my age. So it either just sucks getting old, or there's something else going on.
It's both. On the energy spectrum, I've always been sort of middling, and have admired the people who have seemingly boundless energy. I long ago grudgingly accepted that I wasn't one of them and that I just have to live with the hand I was dealt. So I have to work harder and produce the energy - you know, shovel some coal into the engine and get some inertia going. Exercise and getting enough sleep are tried and true methods of doing that.
OK, then what to do with that energy? That's the $64,000 question. Checking off the many things on my to-do list has always been a sure-fire way to feel good about myself, and I do also need a lot of that energy for my moonlight work. But the yearning I have for more social contact usually goes un-channeled. Being a social animal takes energy. Why am I so lazy about that? Is it truly just laziness that keeps me from meeting new people and hanging out more with the people I already know? Or am I just happier being alone? Hmmm. Being in groups of people is unpredictable. Things don't always go the way you want them to. If you're by yourself, you're in control. But wow, it can get lonely too. And boring. As I've said before, I don't want to be a bachelor the rest of my life. Being married for 15 years wasn't always a picnic, that's for sure, but having people in the house all the time was comforting. I'm in my fifth year of being single again, and part of giving up the pmo habit is getting out and living life more and taking the risks that involves.
So the balance I'm in need of will consist of doing the work required to be in social situations more. Where I'll have more of a chance of meeting women in person, and not just through dating sites. Clicking on pictures of women looking for Miss Right isn't such a hot idea at this stage of my reboot.
Yeah it's something to keep checking in with as far as I'm concerned. I'm a very sociable person, but I also prize time alone as equally important and can get into the habit of being a bit of a hermit for the reasons you state there. My intuition says that interacting and sharing with others is really where it's at, and I feel great pleasure when social situations flow and things are harmonious, but it's certainly a lot less effort and pretty much a sure thing spending time alone, where I know things will be pretty easy-going and trouble-free. It seems a good thing to acknowledge that both situations have much to offer, and to honour the need to be alone at times and with people at others, and to honour the fact that many of us are both introvert and extrovert at different times, and that one is no better than the other. Whichever, being free of pmo will allow us a lot more room to feel out what's right in the moment and act from a place not brought about by compulsive, destructive behaviour.
Very well said, Z. You're right, there's certainly an ebb and flow to it, and many times who I'm around contributes heavily to one side vs. the other. Last time I took the Myers Briggs personality test, I came out right on the border of introvert and extrovert. Maybe that day I was feeling more extroverted. If I'm comfortable with the people I'm with, I'm usually pretty outgoing. But when push comes to shove, I live more in my head than out of it. That's OK, that's who I am. As long as I'm aware of it and re-balance when I feel I need to, things should be fine. The woman who I eventually click with will be OK with me as I am...
Removing this habit from my life, though it's happening in a non-linear way, is helping clear my mind of the noise that feeds the uncertainty in myself, the negative-speak that creeps in when I'm most vulnerable. And of course I'm most vulnerable after a fall back into it. I've got plenty more work to do, but I'm feeling good about this latest round. Today there were some thoughts about p, but no real urges. Next test is to "surf the urge" when it hits, since it could strike at any time. I got that term from The Willpower Instinct. It worked when I tried it on my first go-around. You see the urge for what it is, and try to watch it as a spectator would. And let it pass by. It's much easier to not act on it that way. For me, the urge to peek is the same as the urge to pmo. I've tried to convince myself otherwise, but the biggest lesson I've learned (and learned again) in these last few months is that I feel best when I deliberately move on to something else when an image appears that I know I shouldn't dwell on.
I'm building some daily habits that are really helping. Since I was 18, I've picked up the guitar and put it back on the shelf many times, but this time around I'm committed to spending time every day practicing. It's good on many levels: the discipline of developing a new habit, using a part of my brain that I haven't used in years, honing a skill that I can continue to improve on for the rest of my life, etc. Hell, If I spent half the time practicing guitar that I wasted clicking around porn sites, I'd be the next Jimmy Page by now.
Day 9 and feeling the rumblings. This is the now familiar first hurdle. It didn't help that a friend sent his occasional flurry of "joke" emails, a few of which always contain pic(s) of hot women. Triggers are the last thing I needed today, as I was already feeling the physical urge fairly strongly. So the computer goes off after this entry, and the urge will be kindly shown the door. Meditation and a few pages of a book, then early to bed. Work has been stressful the past two days, and with some accompanying fatigue from working out and not getting enough sleep, I'm not feeling the confidence I need right now. So time to check out and not tempt fate.
I had a setback last night (some peeking at soft stuff after succumbing to the bargainer), but not enough to reset. Still, a step back when things were moving forward so well. The residue of bad feelings after faltering lingers for so long.
In today's mail I should be receiving a few more items on self development. Having at least one book or audiobook in the rotation is really helping. There's a good line in The Slight Edge: "Greatness is not something predetermined, predestined, or carved into your fate by forces beyond your control. Greatness is always in the moment of the decision".
Yes, every decision, no matter how seemingly insignificant, contributes to a particular path. Of course, for me, that most fateful decision is always "click or not". I started down the wrong path again, but turned back.
Heading out to the commute. Listening to "The Power of Habit" in the car.
Hi Mozenjo, I thought I would check in and say hello Sometimes for me, triggers come a mile a minute, and making it really difficult for my recovering mind to have a chance or a say in the matter. My addict always screams louder and more enticingly. If I start down my typical slippery slope - where thinking about porn, peeking at porn (oh just a little will be ok) - I start to grease the skids, and about to be a goner I have found that if i immediately get some exercise or go for a run, or take a nap for that matter, that something inside my brain resets, and puts some distance between me and that slippery slope. Now I don't always find the willingness to make that choice, and when I do, it always works, and always improves my mood. I'm glad to hear that you were able to step away from that slope
Hey NCB, good to hear from you
Yes, when that sense of inevitability hits; the feeling that it's gonna happen, it's just a matter of time, then a dramatic redirection is necessary. I was really tired at work yesterday, since my frustration at coming so close to losing control the night before (plus some nasty ongoing back pain) caused me to get up really early. Rather than sleep on the couch for a bit after some time with the heating pad, I just decided to stay up and head into work. When I got home, I was absolutely exhausted. I felt the urge even more strongly, which is typical when I'm sleep deprived. The physical drive is sometimes overwhelming. So, I knew I needed a nap, but also felt that to truly get some rest and the nagging tug out of my head and body, I might be best off just MO'ing. But this time, it had to be completely image free. So then, quickly, and away from the computer, deliberately pushing images from my brain and focusing on the sensation only, it was over in less than 10 minutes. Maybe not the ideal solution to my problem, but in the interest of re-wiring, I thought that exercise was a far cry better than torturing myself with the dance of peeking at "safe" images, which does nothing to help in the repair of my "mis-connections".
I don't want to get into the habit of MO'ing again, but in this case it felt right and there was no guilt. I felt no need to reset after that; even less than the night before.
So, in the spirit of "know thyself", for me to be successful on this journey, I need to consistently get enough rest and exercise, and continue to develop my new habits, which hopefully over time will override the old ones.
I hope you're doing well. Have a great weekend!
Hi Moz. Just playing a little catch-up on the forum. I'm sorry to hear about your recent challenges. Sounds very similar to certain times in my own experience. It took me a long time to give up MO entirely. Months, in fact. I was doing OK at staying away from P, but I'd resort to MO if the pressure got too great. I wasn't happy with that, and I kept trying to lengthen the period of no-MO. The reason I wanted it gone entirely was that I knew if I could knock out the MO, it would help cement my escape from P. Because without MO, what's the point of P?
You're doing well. Just keep reminding yourself what you're after here, keep working the strategies that have been successfully keeping you away from P--healthy distractions, self-development, whatever. I think eventually the appeal and seeming inevitability of MO will fade.
Morning Midge, I'm doing a little work before the kids get up. Thanks for the encouragement.
Before I joined the forum, I kept hitting the wall at 11 days or so. But this was before I started separating P from MO, so it was always a return to PMO. After joining, the same wall keeps appearing at the same time, but after hearing so many guys say that the first two weeks are the hardest, I was able to push through it in my first month. So I know I can go longer than two weeks without MO. I know that the feeling of staying "pure" is great; but I also know that I'll reset every couple of weeks if I have the bar set too high. P of any kind has to go; no doubt. That's why I'm here. If the relief valve of MO keeps me off the P at times, it may not be perfect, but my experience the other day proved to me that I don't need P to get off, and that was comforting. I agree with you, however, that MO needs to go too. I'm single, though, and not dating at the moment, so unless I find a woman to play around with soon, going months and months without O of any kind will be challenging. Exercise can quell the physical urge, yes. And other techniques I've not yet mastered.
Women have to live with the hassle of menstruation long after they've stopped having children, so I guess it's only fair that we guys must deal with this physical need our whole lives too. There's a line from Ulysses that stuck with me: ..."that tyrannous incontinence, needed however for man's race on earth".
Enjoy your day, friend.
Reset time. Same as before, allowing myself to view softcore images. After so many posts and admissions that I'm just fooling myself by dancing around the edge, I still ended up wasting much of my Sunday night clicking around. Then MO later, away from the computer. So, I stopped short of hardcore, but that's about it. Certainly not progress. And of course yesterday was the hangover.
Was busy with work and dad duty yesterday, so I'm back on here today working on day 2.
It's been a full year since my last ED experience, which was the painful end to an encouraging month of dating an attractive woman. Our first night of sex ended in disappointment, and she didn't hang around to try again. Whatever her reasons for that, and no matter how I tried to convince myself that she and I weren't right for each other, the fact remains that we were at least going to enjoy each other for awhile and it got nipped in the bud. That night she brought me a little potted silk plant to add some greenery to my otherwise plant-free décor, and rather than toss it after she dumped me, I kept it as a reminder of what this addiction has done to me. It's still sitting in the Living Room. That experience ultimately brought me here, and this battle is testing me like nothing else in my life has.
A year later, I feel really good about what I've learned, but completely humbled by the power of addiction and the difficulties I'm having with it.
That dancing around the edge is a killer, Mozenjo I'm amazed at how I can justify any movement towards that slippery slope. If I'm going to nip this in the bud, I need to find the willingness and the motivation to not bite at any of those subtle and seemingly harmless invites thrown at me by my addiction. It all seems so much bigger than me, and yet if I get really honest about it, I've been creating this monster for as long as I can remember.
Glad that you're still in the game, and feeling good about what you've learned so far
Hi Moz. I'm sorry about your struggle, but am very glad you're still committed and staying around. I honestly think the only way to truly fail is to just give up, say to hell with it, and numbly fall back into the pit. As long as you're working on it, you're in the game and things will improve.
As for looking at MO as a relief valve, many might disagree with me here, but I think MOing once in a while, if it keeps you away from PMO, is not a catastrophe. If I were you, I would work on extending the periods of MO abstinence but not beat yourself up when it happens. And if/when the time comes, I'd try to handle it, so to speak, without P and without excessive, drawn-out fantasizing. Give it as little of your imagination as you can, get it done, and get back to better things. I think the extended fantasizing gives it more emotional resonance than it deserves, and I think if you can gradually starve it of those kinds of connections, it will help you loosen its hold on you (again, so to speak). (This has to be the most double-entendre-fraught forum on the web.)
You may or may not give up MO entirely while you're not with a partner (honestly, I'm not sure I'd be capable of that, either) but holy cow, getting P out of your life and reducing a frequent MO habit to just a few times a year would be a pretty great result too, right?
Where I would really urge you to apply the brakes and be strict with yourself is in the viewing--softcore, hardcore, whatevercore. When we're alone and in the throes of that "tyrannous incontinence" (wonderful Joyce), it can be all but impossible to keep our hands off ourselves, but, in my opinion, there's no force on earth that can compel us to open up those browsers and go looking for the pics and vids. If I were you I would work on drawing that line firmly. Happening across pretty women, and the occasional picture of a pretty woman, is one thing. Notice, acknowledge, and move on. But going "in search of" is another thing entirely, and we all know the difference.
I haven't harped on this in a while, but one of my favorite ways to think about this whole thing is learning to make choices in freedom. Regardless of where you are in terms of MO, I think you could easily, and quickly, become one of the many guys who enjoy the freedom not to look at P, no matter how insistently the libido might nag.
Wishing you all the best, Moz.
Separate names with a comma.