Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Mozenjo, May 22, 2014.
Hey Moz, hope you are having a strong day!
Today was good, yesterday not so much. I have a very stressful job, and after a particularly difficult day yesterday, I started my stress relief after work in a good, healthy way by going to the gym, and when I got home and saw that my dog had peed on the carpet, I got pretty upset all over again. Had a beer with dinner, which wasn't really necessary, and ended up doing the deed after dinner. Yeah, THAT deed. Whether it was a combination of all 3 things (exercise, beer and PMO), or mainly due to the exercise (probably the case), I slept well and woke up refreshed. So, having relived this scenario countless times, my challenge is to deal with the stress without resorting to step #3. It will take practice, as I rationalize my way into making the wrong choice when the chips are down. Classic, eh?
Hope all is well with you too, bud!
I know what you mean. In the moment the rationalization makes sense. Later, looking back one sees the flawed reasoning.
So there is one equation in your life: stress + beer = PMO
and there is actually another one: exercise (healthy habits) + awareness = happy guy
I think that both are in operation for you and the further you go on, the more you will be able to find the right one! Keep on going!
Yes, stress is my biggest trigger, probably followed by varying levels of boredom, loneliness and/or depression, depending on the day and my willingness to fight through whatever the combination is at the time. I suppose we all have our "toxic cocktails" of ailments that cause us to nurture this nasty habit and keep the compulsion strong.
I turned the computer on so I could log on here, knowing full well that I could easily flip the switch from resolve to surrender in an instant. I won't do that tonight.
I came home from work tonight feeling sorry for myself and generally miserable. A couple of reasons stand out: our attorney made some statements today that could change the way we do things, mainly by adding more delays/red tape to an otherwise already clunky bureaucratic system. Then, true to form, I've developed another crush on an unavailable woman. Never mind that there is an attraction there; my penchant for wasting time on something that isn't going to happen is another "out" for me, in that it gives me a reason NOT to go out with a woman who is actually available. So I was feeling the sting of coming home alone while she went home to her significant other, which is ridiculous, considering how many women are out there.
Now, the good news! I knew exercise would make me feel better, so after a quick 15 min. catnap (which helped turn the tide on my shitty attitude), I did some cardio on the machine and my stretching regimen after that. So yes, Caoimhín, choosing the right equation worked. What a concept! Now, I still had a beer with dinner, but I don't drink too much (4 to 5 beers a week), and I don't really see a correlation between having one drink and PMO. I've been monitoring myself in that regard lately, and there seem to be just as many nights where I haven't had any alcohol and still PMO vs. nights where I've had a drink and don't PMO. Tonight will be one of those nights. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that, by the time I get onto the computer, whatever mild effects the alcohol had have pretty much worn off.
Anyway, I'm in my final weeks of being a 50-something guy. I would sure like to start my sixth decade with some time under my belt and the beginnings of a real recovery under way. My sex life over the last 5+ years has been nonexistent, and prior to that (the first 5 years of my 50's), I had some sexual encounters that all ended with ED providing the mother of all buzz-kills. Ugh. Page 1 of this journal chronicles some of the awesome details.
I'll keep posting with my progress. Already this year, I'm posting much more regularly than last year, and I feel like it will be an important component of achieving my goals.
Yup, in the book "Breaking the Cycle", George Collins talks about the "first thought wrong" pattern, where the addict takes over and presents the idea of giving in, and then the battle to tell that addict to go to hell begins. May we be successful at winning that battle until the addict gets the message and stops bugging us so much. I realize the addiction will always be there, but we don't have to be slaves to it. That's always a choice.
So true! Love your last two posts, Moz.
Been there, done that! It is such a waste of time and, in my case, has destroyed / harmed many relationships with some nice women because I got all bent out of shape over my unrequited crush. This is partly why I just don't bother anymore. I can't even tell if someone is actually interested anymore. I had never considered the possibility that I have been using impossible women as an "out" to basically self-sabotage but the idea is plausible because I do stuff like that all the time.
I quite enjoy going out for a drink with friends. In this circumstance, it is usually 1-2 beer and I can easily monitor that because I am always worried about finances and the possibility of getting a headache. Personally, I do my "bad" drinking alone. This is not having a glass of something with a meal, but just sitting with the intention of getting numb. So it seems that it is possible to distinguish or fine-tune this and realise when you are just enjoying a simple pleasure of life or when you are using a bad coping mechanism. If you don't have a direct link between the occasional beer and PMO, it could simply be that this is one of your pleasures and life and, man, you deserve to have it!
I think what Moz said is bang on. We all do versions of this, whether it is sabotaging our love life, or not claiming the career we really want. It is important to remember, I remind myself of this all the time, that I do have the right to live a fulfilled life. This thought gives me hope, because it means I will never throw the towel in. Paradigm shifts happen. I've lived it. One day we are hating our spouse and they us, the next day we are flirting and having sex. It doesn't takes years of effort. We don't have to become the Buddha in order for us to have a successful relationship. What is so hard for us to understand is: we are already worthy!
Exactly. The self-sabotage over the course of much or most of our lives is all the penance we need to pay. Now, the thoughts I still have over what story I'll tell women when I jump back on the dating horse sometimes worry me a bit. But not as much as they did in the past. Besides my habit, the truth also largely consists of my 50's being my most productive career years, and I've enjoyed being single the last decade so I could focus on that. Women have their own stories about why they're single again. As long as they're not blaming it all on someone else, which wouldn't bode well for any future romance, then best to let the past be the past and just enjoy someone's company for who they are. Aging has a way of forcing us to admit that there are no perfect people out there. I would imagine that most women our age realize that finding a guy who hasn't jumped in the porn pool a few times too many might be a difficult task indeed. We just have to hold up our end of the bargain by admitting that jumping in that pool was what we used to do, not what we do.
Never admit culpability to using P if it's in the past. It's not like we've committed murder or something else heinous...or have you? I think telling a prospective gf about your former P use is just setting up for failure. Also, it will always be there in the woman's psyche, which I think is both useless and unfair to both people.
Guy: Hey, I used to look at P a LOT, but it's no longer who I am.
Girl: (huge pregnant pause, a yawning gap of wtf!) Oh?
Guy: Yeah, doesn't define me, at all, anymore.
Girl: (would my friend Margery tell me this is a big old red flag?) Ohhhkay…
We have today. We are already the best version of ourselves right now. No apologies for being human.
I've never told anyone that I know in person about my P habits. I never had friends who talked about it either. I've wanted to talk to therapists about it but, generally, most therapists that I have had access to are women and I would really feel like the most vulgar form of scum revealing that to a woman. It just feels like guys would understand this more.
Part of me is saying, "wow, thanks for letting me off the hook!" I've thought a lot about if and how I would broach the subject with Ms. Right. I'm thinking if I do find someone I spend a lot of time with, and we happen to talk about porn, I would have to be at least honest enough to say that I'm no stranger to it. But to admit the depth of my reliance on it for all these years...might be more than necessary, for all the reasons you state, Saville.
I haven't told any women, and the few guys I've told do understand, mainly because they watch their share as well. So yes, guys inherently understand it better than women can. Now, there are women into porn too, and many are addicted, but in a relationship, dwelling on it could very well spell doom for a future romance, no matter the other's experience. People want their mate to be devoted to them, and them only, regardless of what they may tell you. Having the pull to watch pictures of other women in sexual situations is not healthy; we know it (that's why we're here, right?), and so do they.
I'm pushing through the urges tonight. Today was Day 3, and my every-third-day habit has made my body and mind start the usual cravings, right on schedule. I like the resolve I'm seeing from some brothers here, and I'm feeling more motivation to let the compulsion wither and die. I remember how much work this is. It's a bitch. There will be tough times. But it's time.
Come on! One more day... and then another... that's how it is all done. I'm rooting for you!
Went to dinner with my kids. My youngest was our DD just in case. I splurged and had a beer and a glass of wine. Wow, have I become a lightweight You know what, though? That's a really good thing!
Came home feeling tipsy, and still a bit so right now, so I'm here because I knew that, after an incredibly stressful day at work, I would be vulnerable. I felt the need for something other than the alcohol (which didn't help the anxiety) to get me back to a healthy state of being. And the battle was on with the freaking caveman:
"C'mon, dude, you know what relaxes you, don't you?"
"Yeah, fuck off, dude. Once I get off, you'll go back into hibernation while I deal with the millionth bout of regret, headache, shame, etc."
"Whatever. You know you're going to do it. Get it over with!"
"Well, maybe a quick peek at some semi-clothed stuff, right?"
"Now you're talkin'!"
"Wait a minute; it always starts innocently enough, and always ends the same way".
So what did I do? I spent about 3 or 4 minutes scrolling very quickly through some pix to try and find a certain "tame" image I remembered from a couple of years ago, realized that it could take hours to find it, and logged off before I got the juices flowing.
That's not the way I wanted to end the battle, but no real P, no M, and no O. That is something I will consider a victory, but a conditional one, since tomorrow will test me again. The good news is that I was so sure I didn't want to be doing it as I was doing it, that my higher self was still able to understand that reality for what it was, and I did the right thing. But everyone here knows that playing with fire like that doesn't usually end well.
I'll be out of town starting tomorrow, and a change of scenery should help. The phone and my laptop will be with me, though. We are always a click away. Will power must be used wherever I am.
That is a great post Moz. I particularly liked the part about your higher self being able to stand back and see what was really going on
Sounds like a big win to me!
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