Musicman Journal 2.0

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Musicman 2.0, Nov 13, 2016.

  1. Musicman 2.0

    Musicman 2.0 This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon...

    Morning brothers, its Musicman, decided to close my other journal. Felt like that season was over and wanted to start a new chapter. I relapsed yesterday after 11 clean days... Just didn't care. I was in the mindset where I felt like why should I deny myself this feeling when I don't know how long it will take me to ever learn to have fulfilling, sexual relationships. Anyways, after I always see the world clearly... So I'm back at it...One day at a time... I felt a lot of shame and wanted to completely walk away from this forum but I chose not to. I will continue on... My relapses don't define me and my self-esteem is more than how many days I've gone between PMOing... The thoughts of "If you were really serious about quitting you would stop relapsing" keep playing over in my mind. But I decided to let those thoughts pass through and press forward anyway...

    I read a book last week entitled the War or Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield. Very inspiring and very direct book. I find myself these days contemplating my overall life direction a lot. I've been on this quest to "find myself" for a long time now. Many layers have been pulled back and much progress continues to be made in spite of my challenges with PMO. I feel that many of the fragmented pieces of my mind are slowly coming together. Met an attractive female out at one of my son's events and got her number. I felt very comfortable doing that. That felt really good as I've rarely ever been able to feel that collected within while interacting with a stranger. I still carry in the back of my mind this nagging feeling of never being good enough which pulls at me. It's that feeling that pulls at me to quit or to give up every day. I'm feeling a LOT of anxiety concerning this upcoming week. My focus is on doing what needs to be done in spite of the fear. I want to continue building my resilience in accomplishing my daily tasks in spite of the incredible anxiety in my mind and body. I started using the Headspace app each evening before bed and I like it. Meditation has always had a positive effect in my life. I continue moving forward in faith and hope.

    Much love to all...

    One day at a time...
  2. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Shame and anxiety can fuel relapses. It's difficult, because you're right -- you choose to PMO, you choose to relapse, you must own that -- but if you start down the path of beating yourself up, you fuel more relapses.

    It's a weird mix of letting go of attachment and drawing a line in the sand, you have to do both.
  3. bak2lyf

    bak2lyf Guest

    First off let me say this - I don't agree with PMOing even if at times it may sound to the contrary, and I'm confident this practice is destroying our lives. This is a vice that many of us got sucked into when we were too young and impressionable and, even after decades, refuses to let us go. But that being said, especially at this age, I think there's reasons people PMO beyond just sexual lust or addiction or "wiring". For instance I also often find myself in a situation where I don't know when the next I have sex will be, and/or the women that are readily available I'm not interested in, or perhaps there's a situation with my environment where I don't want to have any female around, and I'm not overly interested in prostitutes. So if I'm sexually frustrated and in this situation what am I to do? I know these are all ultimately excuses, and PMO is not the answer, but this is just how our own bodies, mind and environments (with porn being more easily accessible than actual women) can work against us. As we age the women in our age group tend to get exponentially less attractive (unless perhaps you're married), and it's virtually impossible to successfully date younger women when you're suffering from PIED. If I had the wisdom in my younger days that I do now I would have just married my last serious girlfriend instead of fooling myself into believing there was something better out there.
  4. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    Clean slate, feels good.

    Out with the old, in with the new.

    Yep build resilience, work with the fear (feel the fear and do it anyway! useful book that one)

    Welcome back MM!

    With you brother.

    Love yas.
  5. Gabriel1960

    Gabriel1960 Self-Actualization Rocks!!!

    Back in the 1990's and early 2000's, they were recommending everybody to read John Bradshaw's book "Healing the Shame that Binds You." It used to be required reading in the recovery community, but I just sent a copy to a friend, and it was only available online.

    If you're old enough, you may remember that Bradshaw had a U.S. PBS TV series. He was really popular in the 1990's.

    He died this year.

    Great book. I re-read it recently. Great stuff!
  6. bak2lyf

    bak2lyf Guest

    I feel basically the same way, that the fact most of us keep relapsing really disqualifies us in terms of helping others stop PMO. And even for some of the guys who have successfully refrained for a long time, when you go to their journals they're talking about everything except PIED. In general when people, especially newcomers, come to this forum I think what we're really looking for is advice on how to stop PMO and how life is different once you quit, especially in terms of ED. I know some people have formed lasting friendships here and have different ways of coping, but I'd rather read about a guy going a year without PMO and still suffering from ED than about how his day was at work, which has nothing to do with ED. I mean that's what DMs are for.
  7. Musicman 2.0

    Musicman 2.0 This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon...

    Thats the balance I'm working at bro. I'm really learning to remove my conditioned black and white thinking. Its hard to love onesself and feel good about onesself when one is repeatedly failing at something. To simultaneously fail over and over at something, and really focus on getting better while you continue to fail is tough on the psyche, but as crazy as it is, I see myself improving in that area. My skin is slowly getting thicker and my ability to suffer and continue learning and moving forward is also growing. I'm learning that if I'm going to stay mentally healthy, I have to let each relapse go, as if it never happened AND do my best to learn from my mistakes and keep improving my system. It is very hard, and I want to quit many days, but I always find more reserve in the tank and I'm able to regroup and keep moving... with Gods help.

    Thanks G, I'll check out the book. I've read a lot about shame and I'd like to continue learning more.

    Yea man. I start to feel like a broken record and I just dont want to write anymore... Every few weeks stating the same thing. I feel like at times people are getting tired of reading about me chase my tail, but I have to catch myself and tell myself that this journal isnt for anyone elses reading, its for me to get the crap out of my head and be a part of a community. Being vulnerable in front of others is tough for me. My tendency to isolate myself is one of the reasons I have really struggled in the past. My mind can quickly escalate small things and send me into panic attacks. I have always had a me against the world mentality. But that lone ranger mindset has hurt me much more than its helped. Learning to be vulnerable and strong is really a challenge for me, but I'm seeing improvement. And thats all I can do...

    Yea I think everyone wants to be attached to a success story as it gives them hope... I know I do...

    My thoughts for today: One of the hardest things about this process for me is to continuously fail over and over in front of other people and keep getting up and trying. There will be those who feel as you aren't giving your best or that you aren't taking it seriously because they were able to kick it in a certain amount of time, so they dish their guidance because you too should be able to change the way they did...I've had people in my personal life write me off when I was being transparent and tell me that I'll never change as it may appear to someone on the outside that I just dont want it bad enough... In the past I would agree with these people and beat myself up even more as I didnt love myself and I felt like I should be shamed anyways for being weak and unable to overcome my addiction... That's part of the shame cycle that I carry with the constant relapses. The shame puts me into a mode where I dont want to love myself and I dont want others to love me, so if or when they leave it just reaffirms the fact that I'm not worthy of love. My ego loves posting when I'm making huge breakthroughs, but it really struggles when I'm in the hole and lose my desire to fight, and the feelings of hopelessness run rampant ... I have a strong desire to be the person who completed the successful reboot and gets celebrated for doing so, and gets to dish out my nuggets of wisdom from the throne of my successful experiences... There are actually many areas of my life where I am that guy, and am doing very well, but I want to be that guy in EVERY area, and specifically for this forum, in the area of PMO and PIED and such as it has such a huge affect on so many areas of my life... In reality, I'm facing the reality that I'm the chronic relapser right now...

    I have to remind myself that this site is here for chronic relapsers, people who don't really have a bad problem but just want to tighten up a few loose ends, people who are trying to break the cycle, people who have successfully rebooted and everything in-between. At times I feel like a pariah to the site, and not one who is here uplifting things for others but like Martson said "heavy to carry". However I'm learning more now than ever I must maintain my self-love as nothing leads me faster to debilitating anxiety and depression like shame, guilt, and the fear of never being able to get better... It's awesome for those who can kick it for good and tell their story, but I have to remind myself to be happy about their success, but they aren't me and not to compare my story to theirs...

    I have this false belief that I should be able to fix everything about me today just because someone else did it. While change is always possible in any instant, its not realistic to change everything at once... I have accepted that somethings cant be changed overnight, and they will be fixed when they get fixed. I cant determine the exact date, but I will know when I get there or die trying and I'm committted to the process no matter how long it takes. I feel like Rocky in his fights. You may keep knocking me down, but I will keep getting up and learning. In regards to focusing on the success of others, I know that even though they may be succeeding at this one area, or may appear to be succcessfull in thier reboot process, they may have made life decisions that wouldn't make me happy so although I learn what I can from others, I do my best not to compare myself to them... This is just my season to be at the bottom of this PMO reboot totem pole and I accept that, but with that I continue to work on this thing and I know I'm getting healthier as my broken periods dont last as long. The encouraging thing is that instead of running from my failures, I'm learning how to fail with dignity and tranparency, not hide or try to cover up my brokenness..., maintain my vulnerability, not receiving any constructive criticism as a personal blow and to keep picking myself up and soldiering on... Its not easy to do, especially now that I'm doing all this medication free. I have been a quitter in a lot of areas pretty much my whole life, but I'm seeing slow consistent progress the more I stick with the process... Not looking at PMO is a goal, along with a healthy sexual relationship, but those are not my major life goals. My major goal is to have a happy life. To learn to be ok with who I am and love myself unconditionally, regardless of what happens. As long as I'm improving in that area... I am ok. I am very grateful for my moments of clarity when I can see the world through a positive lens.

    I'm working this week on continuing my work on reframing my past PMO related failures into more resilience moving forward and spending more time in mediation as it always helps me to center myself.

    Much love to all,

    One day at a time...
  8. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    Hi Musicman

    I remember that you just had over 180 days clean. Number of days do not merit that much, but still.. So, its no doubt you can do it. But as we know, it always take some time to get the momentum going again. The sad truth is that one relapse is enough to start a cycle where we tend to spiral back to the pits of this addiction. I know that the same would happen to me also, if I watched P one single time - it would likely lead to series of relapses with different time periods.
    You will have an another great streak of clean days soon. Just try to analyze those recent slips more carefully. I think you already identified many possible reasons for them, as feeling low, being too perfectionist and such.
    I would also add one realization that just recently dawned on me. We should be always aware of our emotional state, and energy levels. If one has had not enough sleep, being hungry or in any way in weak and vulnerable state of mind, we should note that.
    Those moments its important not to take all that our inner talk is telling us as a truth. We should never plan future or think about life's challenges in such state of mind. Maybe just focus to our most basic needs, giving our bodies exercise, rest, feed them, take just care of ourselves. Leave the more deep thoughts to another day.

    One thing should be clear, though. There should be no shame to write about one's recent relapses. Because this is the place to heal and get support. If all would just be one big success story, there would be no need for this board. We all have this same problem, this same addiction. We have good phases and bad phases and maybe mediocre phases in our lives. Sometime we excel what we are doing, sometimes we can barely survive. Even its better to pour one's heart in here and express negative feelings rather than refrain from "sounding too negative" and go to relapse instead.

    I root for you! :)
  9. Musicman 2.0

    Musicman 2.0 This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon...

    Thanks TT, appreciate the comments. Couldn't agree more...

    Woke up today feeling inspired and ready for the day. Spent some time going over my goals and in meditation.

    Much love to all...

    One day at a time...
  10. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Good plan to ditch your other journal. Your first is filled with wonderful stuff and I'm sure this one will be too. :)

    I've been you. I am you. I've felt worthless. I've felt cheated and misunderstood. It's easy to go there and not easy to come back, sometimes. But, you've got grit, my man. In your last journal you wrote that a man doesn't make excuses about being tired, he just gets up and gets his shit down. Forgive my paraphrasing. :D That really had an impact on me. I was struggling that day and it woke me up. I thought "Right?! Tiredness might be a part of my life. Does that mean I'm not going to do anything?" Without P and M I don't feel tired, anymore.

    Here's what I can tell you about your life. Ready for it? ;) You are an amazing man. You are a man of substance. You are of a congenial nature and you have a good sense of humor. You are insightful. You have a vulnerable side that is beautiful and is paired with a generous heart. You are also fierce. There's a radiant fire that has already ignited into something special.

    As I said at the beginning, I am you. That is, I understand how life can find its way into the shitter. OH, boy, been there! You've turned a page, started a new journal. Make this a clean break from the past. You've already put the work in. You faltered because you didn't see how the long streak was going to make the ultimate difference in your life. Today, You ARE the best version of yourself and today is the best day of your life. Tomorrow will be better and so on. The meaning in our life is right now, not some distant day in the future when we think we will have all our ducks in a row.

    Wishing you an awesome day, bro'.
  11. Musicman 2.0

    Musicman 2.0 This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon...

    Saville, appreciate your comments bro as always. Adopting that philosophy has really given me strength to continue on no matter how I feel and I have to remind myself of that when I get into negative thinking... I always feel empowered when I just do what needs to get done regardless of how I feel...

    This has been an interesting week. Whenever I have chosen to fight back after feeling like my back is against the wall and I have nothing left in my tank to give, I have always found another gear and have risen to the challenge and found a way through. I am grateful for that. One thing I am getting better at is catching my thoughts before the spiral completely out of control allowing it to lead me back to a complete life of unlimited PMO use. Although I have had several relapses over the past few months, in between relapses I have rarely engaged in PMO or even thought about it. Meditation always really helps deal with those out of control moments. Spending some time each day for that really helps. Going to spend some time in meditation and prayer now before getting to bed early.

    Much love to all...

    One day at a time...
  12. Abc

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

    Hey Musicman, thought I'd check in and say hello on your new journal thread. Gonna pick up my guitar and jam in a few, and will let one rip for you :)
  13. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!


    I just read through this post from the beginning and am stoked to see you havn't thrown in the towel.

    Sometimes we have to fail many times before we succeed. Like you said, we can learn from those failures and do better next time. As it seems you have been doing.

    My first time here I slipped up a couple times then bombed out completely after 100+ streak. I think I remember that I wasn't feeling the extraordinary benefits that I had been hoping for so, depressed and frustrated, it was easy just to fall back into it.

    I will remember this time (I'm about a month in) that stopping PMO isn't necessary going to solve all my problems but it's all this other stuff we go on about here, the lifestyle changes, the attitude adjustments etc. That's what's going to reap the most obvious benefits and that's what's going to make us stronger going forward.

    I can tell by your writing that you are gaining a good understanding of your triggers and how to better avoid future relapses.

    You're doin' great. Keep it up and you'll get there, I'm sure of it.


    Billy B.
  14. Musicman 2.0

    Musicman 2.0 This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon...

    Thanks Billy B. Yea I think deep down all my life I've been searching for a miracle cure for many things that I've struggled with. I was hoping that removing PMO from my life would really help with chronic anxiety and problems with PIED. I know when I got over 6 months I felt great, but many of my problems remained, as my thinking hadn't changed in many areas of my life. I was just a porn free man with many of the same issues so I eventually caved and went back to my old ways of doing business. My approach now is more balanced I feel. My expectation level is different. I'm still searching for answers but not expecting too much just by abstaining from PMO. I know I must stay vigilant in my approach to retraining my mind in how I deal with many of life's challenges in all the major areas of my life, not just with PMO. Staying away from PMO is a part of the process, but I know that alone is not enough for lasting change to occur...

    Nice bro! I'm gonna pull out my guitar tonight and do the same! Hope all is well my friend.

    Met another woman online that I think has potential. I've built a nice friendship with the other girl I met online. I think she is more of a friend than a potential mate, but I'm not limiting where it will go. Just enjoying getting to know her right now. Things have been really up and down for me this past week but I'm steadily climbing and I like that.

    Much love to all...

    One day at a time...
  15. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    One day at a time. 8)
  16. Musicman 2.0

    Musicman 2.0 This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon...

    Had a counseling session today and it helped me come to a few realizations concerning my inconsistent behavior in my life. As a child, I learned a way of being in crisis mode to get through some pretty tough times. The problem is, is that I never learned how to turn the crisis mode off... So I basically approach every situation like its a crisis, life or death. Having that mentality helps me a lot to start off strong and powerful, however that kind of driven, frantic energy is great for short bursts and emergencies, but terrible for long term change... Another reason why I always seem to burn out eventually, feel depleted and worn out then give up trying. So I'm working on more now than ever, having a more balanced approach to this thing. Not an easy habit to break, but with each realization, things get a little bit clearer and I'm happy about that... This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon... Slow steady progress is the goal... I have to daily remind myself that Rome was not built in a day...

    Another clean day without PMO in my life...

    Much love to all...

    One day at a time...
  17. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    Reading your posts teaches me about a deeper meaning for the one day at a time concept.

    Yep it is about slowing down. I am still slowing down in everything I do, walking, making a cuppa, loading my car for work, cleaning my house, thinking. Funny enough I get more things done the more I slow things down. Still I get caught in the frantic pace I often have, frantic in my head. And when I notice, I try and slow them down these thoughts. Makes for a lot less urges too as I get less stressed.
    One step at a time, and I take that step deliberately, with purpose.

    Some wonderful guy on this forum always reminds me to take everything 'one day at a time'. Brilliant.

    Sage advice ;)
  18. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Man, I can sooooo relate to this. And it's just what I needed to hear: thank you!
  19. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Brilliant. :)
  20. Musicman 2.0

    Musicman 2.0 This is not a sprint, but rather a marathon...

    Morning YBR brothers. Thanks Billy B & bobjes.

    I have another date set with another woman I met online. We've been talking all week and there is some nice chemistry there. I've had to resist the temptation to push her away from me. I have many thoughts in my head that my past problems will show up and ruin everything. So I've decided to just move forward and find out what will happen regardless of how I feel. Spending more time in meditation gives me a stronger place internally to make decisions in spite of the fear I feel. Anxiety, as I have journaled about before, has always been a huge problem for me and has sent me straight to PMO over and over for relief. I am getting better at sitting in the fear and letting it pass through me without reacting. Meditation directly increases my pain / fear tolerance. In therapy I learned how anxiety can be learned by our nervous system in childhood as a coping mechanism and it can be incredibly hard to unlearn as an adult. But the good thing is that it can be relearned. I am much much better than I used to be. Getting out and putting myself in uncomfortable situations on purpose, like the rejection training I did earlier in the year and meditation/prayer are probably the two things that have helped the most. I feel internally stronger than I have ever felt, even in spite of my recurrent relapses of late. I can deal with more stressful situations without losing my cool now than I ever have been able to in my life. What I want to do moving forward, is to stop relapsing when I reach my breaking point. I want to learn how to let those feelings pass through me without caving in. Getting into a healthy sexual relationship I know will help, but I know PMO will just follow me into the relationship if I dont develop the habits of abstaining from it.

    Feeling optimistic.

    Much love to all...

    One day at a time...

    "It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer."
    -Albert Einstein

    "I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking."
    -Og Mandino

    "A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying."
    -B. F. Skinner

    "If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."
    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

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