Moz journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Mozenjo, May 22, 2014.

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @NCBob, that is brilliant! Well said!

    @Mozenjo did you ever do the self help exerscises at recovery nation?

    Between reading the Paula Hall book and restarting the recovery nation experience I'm getting to the why PMO is in my life as well as much of what @NCBob discusses.

    PMO is in my life as a way to shift away from some unpleasant emotions. To get it out of my life I have to learn how to address those emotions.

    PMO is in my life because I make emotional decisions instead of value decisions at the moment of slippage. I must define my values and find ways to keep them front and center.

    I've come to believe that for some of us just stopping the habit works in the short term but because PMO has a role in our emotional management and because we put emotions first in our decision making we always work out way back to the drain.

    Recovery Nation is a lot of work. The Paula Hall book is an easy read but there is work to do as you read through the book.

    Entirely worth it in my mind. It has completely shifted me onto a path I feel confident will end this for me.

    We have always been so similar ... I strongly suggest you look at it.

    Mozenjo likes this.
  2. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Indeed, Rugger. There is indeed a lot of wisdom in NCBob's post.

    I'm afraid I did not. I gave it a quick look a while back, and it did look like a lot of work. So I took a pass. Hmm, not willing to put in the work to really get over the hump. Sounds like my history here.
    That is true.
    I often wish I had a more compelling story behind why I use. And that as a result, the severity of my problem might drive me more to stop. I'm not saying I don't have emotional issues, because I do. My childhood was a happy one, but my shyness around women and my avoidance of them because of it, really fueled this addiction. I delayed my own growth into manhood by staying stuck in the childlike coping mechanism of jerking off to soothe my anxiety. Of avoiding the work of asking a girl out and actually having a relationship. To NCBob's point, of my ego not being able to handle rejection. When I did the online dating thing after my divorce, I realized that rejection is part of dating. It just is. Putting my feelings of self-worth in the hands of someone I don't even know is ridiculous. Of course, being rejected by your partner after you've invested in a relationship is a different kind of rejection, and certainly more painful. I think part of my hesitancy in going out more was that I projected this outcome before giving it a go. So, my fragile ego thought it better to pass on something good in order to avoid the future bad feelings.
    I just checked out the reviews on Amazon. Looks good. It reminds me of the book I dust off every few years on sex addiction, only to put it back in the box and not actually read it. It's called "The Sex Addiction Workbook", by Tamara Penix Sbraga and Bill O'Donohue. Since I haven't read more than the first chapter or so, I can't say what my opinion is of it yet, but I bought it just as I was wrapping up my divorce; when I admitted I had a problem that contributed to the failure of my marriage. Why didn't I read it then, and why haven't I read it yet? Avoidance. An unwillingness to commit, and to put in the work. I wanted to be able continue to numb out when I needed relief from my problems. At least I dated a lot after the divorce, but I passed on a potential relationship with someone I had a connection with so I could continue pining after someone I dated a bit, but knew wasn't right for me. More avoidance. Though I have made some progress over the last 7 years here, I am still mainly numbing out more than growing.
    So I pulled the book out of the box again just now, and the other one I actually did read, "Breaking the Cycle", by George Collins. I got that one on LTE's advice many years ago. He was another sage here that helped me immensely.
    I will dig in again today.
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo, good! Trying something new when the old things aren't working is good! Very good!

    You don't need a big story of trauma to explain this. I remember back in the early days when I was working hard at this - and when quite frankly the addiction was worse -- catching myself fapping one day because my printer wouldn't work.

    Ahh, the stress of the jammed printer! Life threatening! /sarc

    It wasn't the degree of the stress but that I fundamentally do not manage it well ... and fapping and my other toolbox of self medications fills that gap.

    The work at RN ... and it sounds like some of the books you mention .. will help you get at that part of the problem.

    Why have you not gone there and done the work? Avoidance or because PMO fits so well and you are comfortable with it? Back to what @NCBob said.

    Good for you for changing the attack!
  4. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Bingo. I let the stupidest things get to me, sometimes to the point where I have to take a step back and say to myself, "how do you expect to be in a relationship if you blow up at every little curve life throws at you?". Because every day unfolds the way life does: not according to what our ideal is. Dealing with small crises in a mature way is a good first step to reducing or eliminating our reliance on the utterly immature way of dealing with them. We can't jerk our way out of the misery we create for ourselves.
    Avoidance is a big part of it. I rationalize not taking on new projects due to the crazy amount of work I have. But taking a couple of hours off to escape into fap-land is 2 hours I could better spend working on my problem. Of course, taking time from work to do more hard work isn't exactly escaping from work. So, finding healthy and satisfying ways of relaxing are super important. As for PMO "fitting so well", that's an interesting way of putting it, Rugger. It fits in my life because I've had a lifetime of making it part of my life. And I suppose that's why I'm so comfortable with it. But I wouldn't be here if I was comfortable with being comfortable with it. It's only comforting for a very short portion of the ritual. Then it becomes tedious and the compulsion plays itself out without enjoyment, with the self-loathing and frustration happening in real time as I act out. That's messed up.
    Day 6 under way.
  5. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    A clean week behind me. Worked from home yesterday, and had to power through some urges. Lots of work ahead. The habit is wanting to take control, and I cannot let it do that this time.
    I'll see the GF tonight, which will help keep me distracted. Then probably sex this weekend, which is good for re-wiring as long as I don't follow it up with P, M and/or O.
  6. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    These last 10 days of being totally clean have been a real gift I've given myself. Leading up to the last two nights of real sex with the GF, I did not view P-subs, did not M or O, and only had wood in the morning while waking up. Otherwise, the little guy has stayed pretty little! I guess you would call it flatline. I had brain fog much of last week, which may have been due more to all the pollen floating around than going without PMO. But denying myself dopamine for that long was something I haven't done in quite some time. I only took half of my already low-dose ED pill before sex Fri and Sat nights, because I didn't feel like I needed more. And I was right. So, if ever there was a reason to stay this course, and do what must be done, that is the reason. But really, knowing I can do it is reward enough.
    Saville likes this.
  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Dude! Just checking in on you. Great news it seems from planet @Mozenjo!
  8. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Back after a week away from the boards. I dropped the counter a week ago, more out of shame than anything else. But I have been clean for 7 days now. I'll bring the counter back eventually.
    I know that sustained abstinence from porn will restore my ability to perform for the GF. She deserves that. I deserve that.
    The magic bullet has always been the ability to make the right decision when I want a hit. I know I can do it for a week or two at a time, and the rare foray into a whole month o_O So I'm going to keep saying no to the urge to peek. And just live life without porn. It's so much better that way.
    NCBob and Saville like this.
  9. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Hey Moz, I'm glad you're still showing up and having at it:)
    I still think it would be of value to you to get clear as to the reasons why PMO is in your life. From my perspective, you're still battling against it. And 'it', is also a part of you. When we do battle with ourselves, we go in circleso_O.
    Sink your teeth into the part of you that seeks PMO, and get clear as to why this part of you enjoys/feels empowered/engaged/alive while being in this space. It serves a purpose, and until you know what this is, you'll keep running up against it, it will keep running you over, and you'll feel ashamed for it having done so:cool:
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
    ruggerdoug likes this.
  10. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Yes, of course I'm still battling against it. And yes, since "it" is part of me, I'm battling with myself on it. So yes, I'm "going in circles" on this merry-go-round. I think you're trying to help me here, NCBob, and I appreciate that. I feel like you want me to have a revelation that will get me to the other side of this addiction. I came here because I realized I needed help. My revelation consisted of some uncomfortable admissions about why I hadn't progressed past PMO and into a more adult way of dealing with my sexuality. I also realized that I did not actually need to masturbate nearly as often as I had convinced myself I needed to. Of course that was a justification to do it regularly, because yes, sex is a very powerful natural drive. Internet porn put into stark relief that I relied on porn even more than I already knew. That was a revelation of sorts. Before the internet, porn was in my life for the reasons I've stated here over and over. I used it as an excuse not to engage with real women. Because of insecurities, shyness, etc. But I've overcome much of that, though I'm still more introverted than extroverted.
    Remember those posts from years ago when you had both sides of the ledger mapped out, one side with reasons why you enjoy PMO and what it does for you, and the other with why it was so bad for you and how your life would be better without it? I got a lot from those posts. So, believe it or not, I'm clear about why it's still in my life. That left side of the ledger that says "it relieves anxiety, feels good, etc." still has a grip on me. The reason why it does is because a big part of me doesn't want to let that go. Why? Because it does temporarily relieve anxiety and feel good! And it's because, as Underdog said in the first post I read after becoming a member here, I haven't changed my life enough to make the desire for that quick fix go away. When I'm away from the surroundings that make it so easy to use this drug, there isn't a need to "white knuckle" through the urges, because the urges are pretty much absent.
    So, to wrap up, addictions become addictions because they fool us into thinking they fill whatever void we are trying to fill. My "void" is my reluctance to live life to its fullest. To engage more with the outside world. I'm lucky enough to be in a wonderful relationship now, and this last year and a half has made me realize how much time I've wasted on this terrible habit. I already knew that, actually, but now I'm just letting PMO hang around because the comfortableness of sitting down and relieving stress still "serves a purpose" as you say. But it's not worth it. The purpose has lost its meaning, and now it's up to me to take that realization and finally let it lose its grip on me.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo, I talked about you in therapy this week.

    Conversation was about how long I've been at it. Seven years. You are a couple of months ahead of me if I remember right. I have come to accept the fact that this is a lifetime fight, that some people figure out they have a problem, come here, deal with and beat it never to come back. Others, as you know, come and go ... and if you read the vast majority of journals toward the end you assume they didn't beat it. Yet, you are still here (me, too!). Why?

    I see it as a good thing b/c the choices are to beat it or to continue to fight it. Giving in and quitting isn't a choice!

    So I come to @NCBob's suggestion:

    @Mozenjo, do you garden? Ever get mint in the garden? (or dandelions). If you try to kill it at the surface it always comes back. If you dig a little bit and cut some roots but not all of them you actually propagate it and before you know it it has spread. When we fight this stuff at the surface level .. when we depend on a magic bullet .. we don't get to the root deep enough to kill the damn thing.

    I totally agree with @NCBob ... what part of you seeks PMO? why? and then do that Deming quality trick and keep asking why with each answer until you get to the root. And then work there.

    I'm doing that right now. In some ways I'm getting it. In other ways I'm creating a bigger mess -- propagating some off shoots you could say! ...But the work I've been talking about in my journal is what Bob is onto.

    Dig deep Moz!

    I'm glad you are still here, still fighting!

  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Rugger, looks like we were typing at the same time. You and NCBob are trying to help me get to the other side. Much love to both of you for doing that.
    I got up at 3:30am to do some work on day job stuff that was keeping me up. I just spent an hour writing the above. I'm going to try to catch another hour of winks.
    And by the way, I have dandelions up the ass on my lawn. I'm almost ready to dig up the lawn and plant a new one. Hmmm.
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yes, this is such a simple, yet utterly true statement. Thanks for reminding me! :)
    Mozenjo likes this.
  14. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    10 clean days. What works for me is hijacking the autopilot before he takes over. Because he always sends me into a nosedive :confused:
    Day 11 will also be clean. I'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
    Saville likes this.
  15. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    After a week that started out great (18 month milestone with the girlfriend on Monday with a great dinner and lovemaking), I spent the rest of the week with viewing before bed. PMO one of those times, but I still fed the habit, each time after telling myself I wouldn't.

    I took the sex addiction workbook out today and got through the first few chapters. I actually wrote in the book this time! The exercises were eye-opening. Calculating the amount of time per week spent viewing porn, and the opportunity costs of doing that, with lost productivity at work, lost time interacting with my kids and my mom and my siblings, was pretty depressing. When you do the math and realize how much this amounts to over the course of a year, it's kind of shocking. But the book brings home the point that pulling the covers over your head and beating yourself up over the wasted time spent in the past isn't going to make the problem go away. If I don't change my behavior, it certainly won't change on its own, and my future will look just like the present.

    I talked with my brother on the phone for a good while just now. I told him about what I just related above. I also admitted to him something that seemed to come as a surprise to him, which is that I used PMO as a way of not engaging with real women when I was younger. He dated more than I did when we were in our teens and 20's, and when I told him that I used porn as a coping mechanism and reason for staying single, it was clear to him why I didn't date much. He also told me that the first time he looked at a girlie mag was when he found a Penthouse I had stashed in my drawer (we shared a room when we were kids). He jokingly (I think) said I was to blame for him starting to look at pictures. I'm almost 5 years older than him, so there you go. I don't think our Dad looked at magazines, but that didn't matter; I got hooked at an early age without outside help. Anyway, my brother and I had a good conversation today, and he still struggles with viewing porn as well. I told him that if someone feels bad about that, they need to decide if it's worth it for them.

    Anyway, my regression into the habit has jolted me into getting serious again. To achieve staying power will take work. The work I always stop doing after some good starts. I'll read more of the workbook tomorrow and do more of the exercises. Speaking of exercise, I took a good long walk yesterday and did some curls and pushups, which felt good. Today I'll do that again. It's all about living the life I want to live, and not relying on a habit that makes me feel bad. My life is good. I will make it better.
  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Amazing! You definitely are not in the same spot you were 19 months ago. Give yourself some serious props for this, Moz.

    I read yesterday in my Buddhist book that our behavior of the past is the compost for the future. That really spoke to me.
    Mozenjo and realness like this.
  17. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Thank you Saville. I really am in a much better place. I'm trying to be better in this relationship than I was in my marriage. Granted, I have better chemistry with my girlfriend, and it just feels right being with her, so being loving and supportive comes naturally.
    Yeah, that's a good one. If we can learn from our mistakes and try not to keep making the same ones over and over, then the past will have served a noble purpose.
    Saville likes this.
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo, proud of you for writing in the book!

    I've learned over the last few months that beating this thing takes real work. Reading through self improvement books and thinking about what you've read is one thing; putting pen to paper and actually doing the hard work is something else. Good for you with starting with something else!

    Mozenjo likes this.
  19. realness

    realness Active Member

    Really interesting what you shared with and about your brother. I'm glad you have a good relationship where you can talk about stuff like that and process Porn with his perspective. My brother comes up in my recovery, but in a negative way and I'm open to learning how the trauma of a broken relationship with him may have shaped me and my behavior in coping with things.
    Mozenjo likes this.
  20. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Our siblings impact our lives profoundly. Sorry your relationship with your brother involves trauma, realness; that's pretty common. When we live our childhoods with someone every day, there are bound to be problems at some point. Glad to hear you're open to exploring how the conflicts have effected you.

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