My way to Liberty

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Libertad, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Thanks Squire, I hope that it is that and that I get more motivated and enthusiastic about life.

    Yeah, There is a constant doubt and inner attack with thoughts like:
    I should be healthier after so many days free. I have not made enougth progress in other areas of my life. I eat as healthy as I can and do sports and take supplements, but I still struggle with my energy. My energy should be higher by now. Could it be that it is to late for me? Am I doing it wrong? Others feel better after so many day and have a faster recovery than me. I´m too slow, too stupid, too bad.

    I know the counter looks good, but at times I feel like shit. In parts it may be, that the longer I stay away from PMO the clearer I can see the the real me and this fills me with selfdoubt and anxiety because I see massive room for improvement in a lot of areas in my life.:oops: I was never good with Change.
    Before, when this thoughts became to unbearable I had the option of forgetting them with diving into the Fantasy land of P. and beeing numb for days afterwards. Now I have to face them with no medication. I think that means for me the saying to trust the process. Even when the only thing you change in the beginning is to stop PMO, the process will lead to a surface of all the other problems in the other areas of your life and it will lead you to a point where this feelings are so unbearable that you either make some changes for the better or you relapse.
    Because I´m aware of this now, the temptation to medicate myself with PMO is and was not very strong over the last months. I do distract myself with watching series of movies, working on things which should not have priority right now and so on.
    I go as slow as I feel I need to, to not to relapse. If I feel overwhelmed, I go for walks, drink a coffee or eat something, clean a small part of a room, very small things. But I feel constantly the inner pressure and unsatisfaction about the slowness of my recovery.
    If I´m honest, I make progress in a lot of areas in my life, but it is very slow. And knowing this and comparing myself with others which seem to make it faster and better, frustrates me. Thats where I´m at at the moment with my inner voices.:confused:
  2. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    You are doing brilliantly. Slow change is still CHANGE and it adds up. In what ways would you say you're different now than when your counter read 0? Even small ways?
  3. Oneway

    Oneway Active Member

    I somehow feel that you're putting pressure on yourself that is not necessary good. Even slow progress is 1000-times (at least) better than being in the grips of pmo. What counts is that you're moving in the right direction. We all have our own pace and path to go.

    From where I stand, you're doing exceptionally. Please keep going.
    Libertad likes this.
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I think this almost every day, bro'. I have sleep apnea, which I really should attend to, and so I think that's a thing. However, as I mentioned in my journal low-level depression makes us feel tired. Moving is key. Whether we move slow or fast is irrelevant, but we must keep our bodies moving. If we're at the computer then we need to make sure we take regular breaks to get up, even if it is just to walk around the kitchen. I sometimes stare out my living room window, then walk down the hallway, and maybe do a couple of knee bends. Anyone can do it, which is the point. :) At some point I like to go for a walk. Sometimes that's to the store to pick something up, or sometimes it's just a walk around the block. Some days I'm so tired I feel I need to go back to bed, though it might only be afternoon. Instead of napping I usually go the gym. It's amazing what 45 minutes of weight lifting will do. Sometimes I do a bit of cardio, but often I walk to the gym so that I don't have to use a machine.

    Fatigue also can be from allergies. When spring comes I am always more tired. But, then winter, with its lack of light also makes me feel sleepy. So, I guess I'm a sleepy person; I accept that. :)

    Yeah, those bloody inner voices. We have to create new ones. I read today that a single tiny spark can ignite the biggest stack of hay. That thought makes me smile. :)
    Libertad and dig deep like this.
  5. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    I kinda don't think your energy should be higher right now, mine was absolute shit (at times) well past the 1 year clean mark. But things were always improving, though I definitely did NOT always notice it.

    You're on track, and it's not a great idea to compare your recovery with someone else's. If you stay the course you'll get better, that's all anyone can say for sure!

    Squire, A New Man, Oneway and 2 others like this.
  6. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Sorry Guys for beeing so whiny in my last post and thank you very much for your encouraging word. It really helps a lot in such low moments to come here and see that others can relate to the situation.
    I could not find out what was the trigger for my attack of self-pity. It was strange. There have been no big changes in my external circumstances over the last few days. Nothing that I could point out except that I was drinking to much coffee over the last couple of days, like five cups a day and noticed anxiety creeping in. And maybe I was not able to stay away from politics far enougth and discussing a few things with others about it.

    It was like waking up and beeing my old self with all the negative feelings again for two days, if this makes any sence. I was depressed and went even into it deeper because I was disapointed over myself, because I thought I was over this depressed feelings and this state of mind. I was always my hardesd critic on myself.

    There was temptation yesterday to watch P. I did not do it and did not touch myself, but I gave into the thinking to watch it and remembered a sequence of a P. clip I liked back than with my favorite P. actress. But before I went outside to the Code to unblock the filter on my computer, I remembered the horrible feeling and the depressed state I would be into after a relapse and I was able to distract myself and started to write the exercise from Dr. Sarno about the suppressed feelings and went here and read in a few journals.

    Thanks again to you all for your posts.
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  7. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    I know how you feel. The truth is, there are no shortcuts, it will take a long time to recover and you have to allow yourself time to heal. Having said that, I believe there are certain things you can do to expedite the process. Your day count suggests you've worked hard to eliminate these behaviours from your life and that's great. But maybe it's time to be really honest with yourself and start taking more actions (both learning and 'doing'). Instead of focusing on avoiding P, start focusing on better ways of managing your emotions. Learn about coping methods for stress and anxiety. Learn ways to overcome your self doubting behaviour and work towards getting your mind back on your side. Recovery is a personal thing and may be different for everyone, but those are the kind of things I'm finding useful at the moment.
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  8. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    "It was like waking up and being my old self with all the negative feelings again for two days, if this makes any sense..."

    Yes, it does! One million times, yes.

    I had awful days during my long 2 year clean stretch. Just simply awful, as bad as anything during active's not uncommon, you're not alone, and it will ease up as you continue! I promise you, my friend.

    It felt like my brain was un-mendable, broken, that I would never get to a place like I am now. That's how I felt a lot of the time, well past 12 to 14 months clean....I had doubts, brother.

    I am absolutely blown away that I relapsed three weeks ago at my 2 year mark, BUT I'm more blown away that I'm totally fine now.
    Virtually zero blow back. That's only possible because of those tough 2 years clean, and an even tougher four years of going in an out of massive addiction.

    Every day you put in clean is unwiring that awful shit in your head. You won't feel it, but it's happening, and it's pulling you towards freedom.

    I wouldn't have believed this was possible for me had I not lived my own recovery. When I felt like shit I read other recovery boards, alcoholics, drug addicts, any kind of addicts...and I saw people that had struggled with serious PAWS/depression for months and months and month during recovery.

    I realized what I was going through wasn't bullshit, and it was an awful, but normal process....but oh I had my doubts, brother.

    Getting to the point I am at now feels like a miracle, and I know you'll get to that point.

    Have no doubt.
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  9. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    200 days! :):):)
    You are my new hero. :cool:
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  10. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Thanks, but that is some havy weight you put on me there.:rolleyes: I was just struggling a few days ago and thinking about watching P.
    I hope we both can cross the line of a 1000 days clean one day.
    Squire likes this.
  11. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Thanks. This is such a relieve to know that this may be the normal process and that I have to have pacience. I was so disappointed about myself when I went into this deep depressed state a week ago for a few days. Mainly because before that I was starting to feel better almost ok the first time during this clean streak.

    This streak clean is very different from my previous one three years back. Then I had havy relentless urges to watch P and MO. This time after the first 2-3 weeks I have almost no urges, but a lot of Feelings surfacing, that I want to forget and not have to feel. It seems that I can understand or see it this time for what they are and I feel more in control or equipt with a better defence between my feelings and PMO but sadly still not much in control of my mood and attacs of depression.

    I´m reading (only till page 35 yet) The Power of Habit which @Joshua Shea recomended the other day and I think I know now, why it went so well during the first three months of this streak.
    In the book they say, that we cant eliminate a Habit, but out of the three steps a Habit consists of, we can put a different Routine in it.
    The three steps a Habit consists are:


    Without having read it six months ago, in parts I was doing what they recomend in the book.
    You recognize the cue. (In my case Feelings of not beeing good enougth, Feelings of sadness and Depression, Feeling alone, Chronic physical pain, the will to forget all, what is today and the past)
    You look what Benefits the Routine gives you. (time away from reality, beeing able to forget all for a few hours, not having to deal with bad feelings, beeing able to sleep afterwards, vacation from reality, a twistet feeling of beeing social)
    I became actually good at spotting the Cues, I became more conscious or more the observer when they came up, and so I was more in control to react as I wanted. And I found a Routine which gave me the reward I wanted mainly from PMO. This Routine for me was watching series.
    Now this would not lead to personal growth, but it was a way to avoid a relapse. It was actually a act of kindness to myself, and I think this was one of the biggest obstacles and in parts still is for me, that I was to harsh on myself, to critic, to mean with myself. Now it´s more like asking myself when this cues Surface, how much growth can I handle without a relapse. I go out, because Socializing is a big obstacle for me, when the interaction was not satisfying and I start to feel bad, I Analyse the Situation, look for what I can do better next time, but when it becomes to much, I am more kind to myself and give myself the time to watch a episode of a series and than come back to Analyse the situation again.
    The good thing with this methode is, that I´m still growing, but I controll the daily dosis of it to not become overwhelmet and this gives me a lot of my power back and prevents me from relapsing so far.

    I write it down for myself here also, because in case of a relapse I want to have this steps written down in my Journal.

    1. Become kind to myself and the inner child in me (give myself all the time I need to deal with my shit, no matter how slow I go or how fast others are, this was a big one for me, because I used to compare myself with others and than became discouraged and unmotivated)

    2. Recognizing and becoming aware of the cues and when and where they Surface (this gives me the time to react and to learn to be better prepared for the next time)

    3. Having a Routine in place which gives me almost the same reward as PMO, because PMO for me is mainly about beeing able to forget my reality (when I watch a new movie I almost forget everything around me so the methode of watching new episodes of series I like is almost perfect for me)

    4. Using the time and energy which this Methode gives me to change my reality (myself and my circumstances) in a one I like and want to live (Like the saying goes, if you like your Job, you dont have to work one day, in this case, if I love and like my life and the circumstances of it, than I dont feel the need to escape it.) Of Course there will Always be circumstances I dont like, but with better Energy and Motivation and self love and testosteron, I will feel the Need less to Escape and with time I will know that I can handle the things life throws at me.

    The currency of this is time:

    The disadvantage of this Methode is, that it is slower than dealing immediately with all the shit in the moment, without having an escape route or a valve to release pressure in case it becomes to much at ones

    The advantage is, that relapses become a bit less likely and that it gives me a greater feeling of self love and kindness to myself because I´m in Control of the Dosis of my daily personal growth and not the circumstances, I feel more in the Driver seat of my life with this.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
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  12. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, that I cant answer this question well, because I still have days where I feel like shit, almost the same way I felt before, but now I seem to have more Control over what to do about it and when I´m conscious in the moment I feel a bit more compasion or kindness or self love. So I´m not really different, I still have havy mood swings and Depression, but I feel a bit different towards myself.o_O
    But it could well be, that after a relapse I will relentlessly beat myself up again.:(
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  13. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Well I'm super proud of you man for reaching 202 days. It gives me such hope. Before I reached out for help on sites like this, I really didn't think it was possible for me or anyone else to have this degree of self-control. Examples of you guys who have achieved such levels have challenged me and helped me to start getting my life back.
    Libertad likes this.
  14. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    I'm so glad you picked up the book. It's so easy-to-understand and while it trails a bit from personal habits toward the end, it's still fascinating because it talks about how we think and act in groups. I feel like it's the kind of thing that should be part of every 12-step group, every rehab, hell....the government should step in and make everybody read this book when they turn 32.
    Squire likes this.
  15. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Thanks Squire.
    What I forgot to mention: I have a lot more days now where I feel ok, sometimes almost happy, it is mainly in the down moments, where I feel almost the same then before, like 40New30 confirmed was for him the same over the first 1 or 1,5 years. And even I dont often notice the difference, two People told me over the last two months, that I seem happier and more confident. So maybe the changes are so slow and small on a daily basis, that I myself dont become aware of them, but People who only see me from time to time notice them.

    A Guy a lot of us who started around 2013 have been looking up to and who was super helpful to us all with encouraging posts was LTE. He made an amazing recovery and later moved on to another forum after three or four years sober. @40New30 You sure remember him 40New30.
    It is super helpful to have a few People who are over a year or more sober, like Saville and 40New30 now, who post regularly, even if they have small setbacks, so that we keep in mind, even in our darkest moments, that it is possible to recover and become free from this nasty addiction or habit.
    It was so helpful for me when 40New30 posted a few days back, when I had a very low moment, that this was normal for him also, even one year in, to have days where he felt as bad than before quitting PMO.

    A post from LTE on my Journal from page four is attached below and it shows clearly that we have to commit into this for the long run.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  16. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    I continue to read The Power of Habit and want to have another important Point About it here in my Journal.
    Repetition from my last post:
    In the book they say, that after understanding that we cant eliminate a habit, but we can change the routine, it is not so hard, like I wrote in post 873, to change it. When I did that, I also structured my life in a way to have as less stress as possible. I know this will not be possible over a long time and it isnt even a Goal. With a girlfriend there will come also more stress and so on. I think the following point out of the book will prepare us better for what life throws at us.

    They found out with alcoholics, that when times become tough, the stress is high, like the death of a beloved Person, an accident, financial Problems, a lot of addicts fall back into old habits, even if they have been sober for a long time.
    The alcoholics who didn´t relapse had one thing in common: believe
    After we change the routine and trust the process to really succeed Long term we need the ingredient of believe. This does not have to be a believe in God, but in something greater than us, and that things will get better in the future until they actually do.
    The guys who continued to go to AA meetings sometimes came to the believe that if this guy can do it, so can I.

    I think, this is why it is so difficult to become free alone, because alone it is very difficult to build a belief to trust the process, that things will get better. Saville and 40New30 told me many times to trust the process and that gave me a spark of believe to overcome the first few bumps on the road of recovery. I hope that I will never have a relapse again, but if so, I hope that I´m better prepared to jump on the waggon again, after knowing this.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  17. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    Trusting the process = belief that it WILL WORK. Many have overcome so that itself is proof. This crap that it's not scientific is just that crap. Everything in life does not have to be scientific or proven. Love for example: explain it, describe it, or prove it scientifically. Can't be done
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  18. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Exactly. And I really think that it is a good idea to ask ourselfs, do I really trust the process? And if I have doubt, than to read success stories from other guys, remind ourselfs about our own progress in different areas since starting the journey, thinking about a streak we where able to accomplish and remind ourselfs that if we can go for a month, than maybe we can go for another one. Everything that helps to build a firm believe in the process to be prepared and able to stay sober when the big obstacles like very stressful situations in our life come. The believe that we can do it and the believe and trust in the process that it will work and that it is possible is crucial for the long term journey. Of Course the trust in the process will growth with each day sober, but it can help to build activly on our believe while we are sober and see it as a tool of the process which can be trained before the dificult situations arrive.

    And btw who said anything about not scientific? Not sure if I understand what you wanted to say or what triggered it.
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  19. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    There are,some people,who feel this process is not scientific, thats,who I,was mentioning.You didn't mention it.
  20. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clarifying.

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