Neurons that fire together wire together

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Wabi-sabi, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Wabi-sabi

    Wabi-sabi Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

    So, no more figures of light for me - it's the hard work of self-acceptance. The parts of me that I've "denied, repressed or rejected."

    I'm still chewing over the lengthy quote in my previous post - it's interesting because it's a perfect summary of the entire book. I can relate to all of it. It's what my journal has been lurching towards: trying to hide but being slapped by life - porn addiction - and the subsequent need to show kindness to ourselves in order to "hold the pain of our losses, fears and vulnerability."

    The most amazing paragraph is worth repeating in full: "For most of my life I was quite unaware of the layers of wounds that I carried. There were parts of myself that felt incredibly tender and sad. Parts of my heart were frozen in fear, isolation, and numbness. Yet the more I opened to the spiritual path, the wider the chasm grew between the clarity and light I sought and the hurting places inside. The critic was my reminder, an indication that all was not well, a manifestation of how I had turned against myself. My search for the light was a defense against the sadness and pain within."

    Note the description of the critic as my reminder, an indication that all was not well, a manifestation of how I had turned against myself.

    In other words, I'm seeing the critic as I do porn addiction. Putting it a positive light, I can see both are red flags - my unconscious to urging me to face up to my fears and pain. Of course, both are themselves painful and self-defeating. Anything that causes fear, judgement and low self-confidence/self-esteem isn't ever going to help heal anything. But I feel that I need to embrace PMO and my inner critic in order to move on, just as I need to forgive the scared child within.

    First order of priority is to get over my fears of being seen as weak, or a loser, for my hurt. I need to get over the desire to be strong for other people, to not let anyone see that I'm dying inside.

    It's been a difficult few days at home, with the children highly stressed about going back to school and my wife stressed about her new job and everyone acting up and bickering. I'm also waiting to hear back from last week's job interview, and there's some work things that are falling apart. However, I've realized that I'm now immeasurably better at dealing with stress. I still feel stress, of course - probably more so, now I'm more attune with my own emotions - but it doesn't trigger me. I no longer want to hide from the world.

    But the game isn't won yet: it's self-pity that will get me. I need to face up to my deep-seated pain without launching into a pity party. I know that I'm up to the task. I think I'll get there with forgiveness and patience and mindfulness, but that's looking ahead. I should concentrate on what I've got now, and enjoy that, and be grateful.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
    Nuwanda likes this.
  2. Wabi-sabi

    Wabi-sabi Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

    So I didn't get the job - just heard that my interview last Monday was unsuccessful. (As was the phone interview the previous week.)

    I feel like I failed, but I don't regard myself as a failure, if that makes sense. I'm down about it, but I'm not beating myself up or calling myself names. I think that's a result - in terms of rebooting, at least.

    I need some work-related training, and interview skills sessions. I'm just not that good at spinning the bullshit bingo. Still, I'm taking it in my stride: not pity party, no despair, no blame, no urges.
  3. over_it

    over_it Active Member

    I relate to some of your post. I also struggle with the idea of accepting pain whilst wanting to avoid wallowing. It sounds like you have a really good insight and self awareness though. Being attuned to your own emotions is very positive.
  4. Wabi-sabi

    Wabi-sabi Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

    Been away from the site for a couple of weeks. Don't know why, really - I guess I created a habit of not visiting. (Twitter, and not having access to a computer in privacy, played a large part.)

    Every couple of months I need to walk away from YBR to clear my head of rebooting and just get on with life stuff. You know how thinking about not thinking about porn. . . is still thinking about porn?

    Difficult times at home and work, but I got through without much in the way of urges. Nowadays my urges entertain me - You again. . . why now? What's making me unhappy?

    Wife quit her job and was difficult with me. At the same time my new management at work were freezing me out on stuff, so I stopped participating in meetings and the like. Boss and I talked about it the other day, I made my point, and we supposedly dealt with my "negativity." It's interesting that, post porn, my emotions are flying all over the place. I've been numb for years, and now I'm learning how to contain my feelings, especially anger. It's weirdly teenager-ish.

    I'm getting back into running. I'm now back to 10k in 66 minutes. I've done 70k so far this month, my best since January. Running is where I find transcendence. It's like how they say sobriety brings everything addiction promises.

    I've not been diligent with my meditation. I want to get back into that.

    With the changes of ownership here I've lost my day count, and am considering not reinstating one. I might just put my last three PMOs in my sig.
    kira likes this.
  5. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    Had to read it twice, and yes that is how it is. (-:

    Yep, I know that one. I feel like I am growing up more and more (and learning better and better how to deal with my emotions). (-:

    Never heard that one but it is one to remember.

    Thanks for the update Wabi Sabi.
    Wabi-sabi likes this.
  6. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    I've also regained my ability to express anger...we have to learn new skills, brother. Glad to see you're doing well.
    Wabi-sabi likes this.
  7. Wabi-sabi

    Wabi-sabi Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete

    Thank-you. There was a great point made by TheUnderdog which used to be stickied over in the main forum about this whole rebooting process essentially being about learning to control our emotions. I hid from mine in addictive behaviour since I was 17 or 18 (before porn it was alcohol and, briefly, drugs). So I've not grown emotionally since then; I'm 47 and I've got the coping skills of a teenager.

    When you start rebooting you are still in the pink cloud phase, all unicorns and rainbows, and think you're going to get magic powers and life will be all happy after hitting the magic 90. Ha, ha, ha. . . it took me a couple of years to break the immediate porn habit, but now I've got to learn to deal with fear, anger and feeling down. So it's cool that I've survived a couple of low, angry weeks at work. (It would be cooler if I learned not to have a two-week tantrum. . .)

    I'm not missing the numbness of porn addiction. Thing is, you can't just hide from fear - that queasy feeling of inadequacy - without killing the good stuff, too. You can't rebuild your life post addiction without going through a bunch of no-one-loves-me weirdness.

    Always a pleasure to hear from you, 40New30 - you were there for me from the start. You've always been a step ahead of me in the process - it's been cool having someone to look up to.

    I love the way you mentioned expressing anger - it's not something to fear any more.

    Right now I've been rebooting six months. I last PMO'd at the end of March, this year. Although I'm not quite sure they are separate reboots - it all runs into one when you look back on it. It gets easier the less concerned I get about past and future PMOing, so I try to let go of all that.

    Speaking of which, I've been a bit weirded out at the media fanfare given over the death of Hugh Hefner. He's just another porn seller. It made him rich enough to pay girls to date him, but he still had to get them to sign contracts that they'd stick around at his place and not leave to find real boyfriends. Loser!
  8. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I agree. All of a sudden he's someone who was a pioneer, a cultural icon. He was a purveyor of smut and got rich because of it. He preyed on young women and men alike. No doubt there will be a movie about him soon and five or six documentaries. If one is famous then their history is sure to be revised.

    I agree with 40new30 and you that rediscovering that we don't have to be afraid of real emotion is one of the gifts of living a P-free life. My gosh, we're actually allowed to feel things. How novel is that! :)
    Wabi-sabi and Billy B. like this.
  9. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    I'm humbled to have you say you've looked up to me because a lot of times when I was relapsing you were killing it and I was looking up to you, bud. You were so disciplined right out of the gate, whereas my first 2 to 3 years of rebooting alternated between being clean and binging for weeks upon weeks.

    That side, the good news is that we're both taming our demons.

    Glad to have you along on this journey we call life.
    We all lift each other up, and truly make a difference in each other's lives. Powerful stuff.

    Wabi, I'm weirded about by so many things I see in the media/on TV. I know I'm not the first one to notice that getting rid of addictions in your life wakes you up to life a lot more, and the more awake you are the more you can see lots of things, like: faulty logic in 'news' stories, somewhat subliminal images in commercials, and of course, who the media tends to put on a pedestal...and surprise, surprise they are...virtually always trashy.

    Is this media trend of the last few decades pushing trash a coincidence? My gut tells me it's not; but I also feel that people are waking up and this awakening will change the playing field. That makes me hopeful.
    Wabi-sabi and Billy B. like this.
  10. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    Given the serious nature of what we're dealing with here, understandably, YBR can be a depressing place. I'm currently reading through your journal.

    Parts of it have had me in stitches. You wondering if PMO-ing to Etsy is a new low for the forum, the description of your vacation on page 8, the self mockery, the rants about your wife and people at work. I genuinely laughed out loud.

    Your honesty, self awareness and storytelling ability are truly impressive. And much of this journal is so beautifully written.

    Thanks for sharing.

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