Odds and ends

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by JustOneDayAtATime, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    I've enjoyed hearing about the experiences and struggles of the other people here. I've found it very encouraging and beneficial. So thanks to one and all.

    In my thread, I'm planning to use it as a way to work through all the ideas I have about this problem, and hopefully it will help me make progress with it, and if it's of assistance to anyone else, so much the better.

    I'll try to avoid looking at things too negatively, and for that matter, too positively too. It's important to avoid both catastrophizing this situation, imagining myself as a troll living under a bridge. But also, it's important to avoid thinking that what I'm doing is something harmless, liking playing solitaire with a pack of cards.

    For me, spending time watching pornography is the worst possible use of time. It never makes me feel better. Almost any other activity, is preferable. The way I use it, puts at risk all the other good things in my life. So the way I think about it, any day that I don't use it, represents an improvement on how that day might have been.

    I've made some real progress with this problem since the start of 2018. I slipped up a few days ago, but that's okay. These things happen.
     
  2. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi JustOneDayAtATime (might have to think up a shorter nickname for you ;)) - It's really good to have you here and great to hear you've been making progress. We're all fighting the same enemy but all from so many different stories - you're in the right place. Keep going!
     
  3. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    Thanks, Lowdo, for the reply. Sorry about the length of my name. When I was registering the only thing I was thinking (actually panicking about) about was not putting my real name down.

    I'm happy to respond to anything (e.g. "hey you"). So no need to use my name. When you get to my age, whatever you call me, at one time or another, I've been called worse :(
     
  4. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    When I was a child I remember watching a girl of a similar age to my own take out a box of smarties (a candy similar to M and M’s), open the box and take a single smartie out of the box and eat it. I then watched with amazement as she then closed the box and put it back in her bag, apparently satisfied with eating a single smartie. I’ve never been able to eat a single smartie, not as a child and not now, as a man in my fifties. Having said that, I probably could if that was the challenge I set myself or if there was someone watching me to see if I was capable of doing it. But having done it, and when there was no-one else around, then I’d want a lot more smarties. However with smarties, honestly a box would suffice. I’d eat them all in one hit, mind you. I’d open the box and pour them into my mouth, and they’d be all be gone sooner or later. But just one box.

    Watching a pretty lady walking by is one of the pleasures of life. If ever I overcome this problem, this is still something I’ll still enjoy and not feel bad about it. I mean doing it in a nice way – a quick glance, not more, in a way that doesn’t make the lady feel uncomfortable. That’s a single smartie.

    The thing that is still hard to believe about myself, is that I can spend a considerable part of a day, or the whole night watching pornography. In terms of smarties, we’ve gone beyond counting single smarties, even mouthfuls of smarties. It’s boxes and boxes of the bloody things. And when it’s over, I feel so overwhelmed with guilt and self-loathing. What a waste of time. I just don’t understand it at all.
     
  5. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hiya - please don't worry - your name is fine as it is!

    Impulsive behaviour is a funny thing in that it manifests differently in different people. I can definitely do the whole 1 smartie thing - when it comes to food and drink I have never had any trouble stopping myself. When it comes to PMO it's a different story altogether and I have in the past spent hours staring at a screen - as you say, time completely wasted!

    I think the key thing isn't to worry about why we are like that (cos, as you point out, you only get lost in self-loathing and guilt) - we just have to accept that that's how we're wired and then take steps to stop ourselves falling into it.

    Anyway - keep going - and keep posting!
     
  6. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Keep quitting until you quit. :)
     
  7. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    One of the things I wanted to remind myself, when I look back on this time, is how using pornography is a slippery slope, and sometimes using it leads you into places you could never imagine yourself ending up at. I won't even mention some of the things I've watched but what I'm referring to here is some of the activities that when your mind is clear, you wouldn't ever consider doing. I'm saying this, because often people will say that using pornography is no big deal and it's harmless. And it might be for some but for me it's always been something harmful and worthless.

    I can remember sitting in a sleazy adult cinema. I was pretty much alone and I was looking about and I realised that I had a real problem. Sure most men I know will have at one time or other watched pornography on their computer but it's only me and a handful of other fellows who are spending their day watching this filth in an adult cinema. I had to ask myself, what am I doing here? The place I live is a big city but out of those millions of people there's only a handful in this cinema watching this garbage. Other people are out there and they're having a great time together. Maybe they're at one of the mainstream cinemas or shopping or going for bush walks or music concerts or art galleries or watching the football. I know they're having a better time than I am because if everyone really thought that pornography was the best activity that's available, the adult cinema I was sitting in would be full to bursting and all the mainstream cinemas would be empty. This happened a few months ago, and actually to be honest, it happened lots of times in the past too. Sitting there, wondering how on earth I got to this place.
     
  8. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    Jodaat or Jodat works for me as a name (-:

    Smarties and dark, dirty lonely cinema's. Yep I know those places. And the question too. How did I get here? (Talking Heads!) (-:

    And as to why? For me it was to cover up that uncomfortable feeling of being me.

    How to get out of it? Yep one day at a time. And setting up self support to slay the demon.

    This is the best place I know to get that support.

    Wishing you courage, strength and compassion on your journey!
     
    Saville likes this.
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    So true! The great benefits of releasing oneself from P, which you are already beginning to see, are increased engagement in areas that feed one's soul. This can be as simple as playing games with the family, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or doing the jobs one has put off around the house.

    P is absolutely harmful. The internet has proven to be the perfect weapon toward emasculating young men and exploiting young women. There is absolutely no upside. I am not against P morally any more than I'm against razor wire. But, I'd be a fool not to realize that climbing a razor wire fence is likely to result in injury.

    Great progress, Jodaat!
     
  10. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    Thanks, Saville. I really do appreciate it.

    One of the things that had a remarkable impression on me was the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal. I can remember reading articles about how incredible it seemed that someone who seemed to be on top of the world, with such success in his career, handsome, fit, with such a beautiful and accomplished wife, would throw it all away for such a sordid and pathetic pleasure. People who don't use pornography, or get ensnared with addictions like these, have no idea. When I read about him, I thought to myself, there but for the grace of God or just blind luck, go I. And to be honest, it chilled me to my bones.

    I imagine being caught in some of the online places I've visited and then people who care about me would ask, "What on earth were you thinking? Why? Why? Why?". I'd have no answer. I can't say I really enjoyed it. Perhaps at the moment I sneezed, then. But not really before, and certainly not afterwards. If this time, I break free of it, I'll be grateful. In terms of apparent costs, I will have got away when others have lost their careers, family and reputation. I don't deserve it, but it's really possible now, I got away. Talk about a prison break.
     
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Wow, this is heavy thinking, my man. I did get caught whilst having my affairs and the fallout was not pretty. But, what I realize now is that I neither deserved it, nor didn't deserve it. You aren't getting away with anything. What has happened is that you are waking up. You are transforming your life, which is so exciting. Anyone who has ever been party to P or sex addiction has already paid an enormous price. We have lost huge amounts of time and have lived powered down lives, lives that kept us stuck in a sewer. Now you are awake, and gaining new tools, the possibilities for a wonderful life are endless.
     
    JustOneDayAtATime likes this.
  12. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    When I was growing up the only pornography available was that provided in magazines and newspapers. I remember walking through the back alleys looking for it. You could always guarantee to find it there. Men would throw it away in alleys because they were ashamed to be caught with it at home. I can remember walk up and down the cobbled stones of the alleys looking about for it. Some of it was really hard core, so much so that I was pretty disgusted by the raw and confronting images. Everyone used to have an incinerator in their backyards. I can remember feeling overwhelmed by guilt and taking my stash and burning the lot there. It takes some time to burn magazines when you're a kid and all you have is a pack of matches. I can remember the fright I'd feel trying to burn the bloody stuff without being caught. From time to time my parents would catch a piece of not completely burnt magazine.

    It seems to me as though it's someone else, this memory, that boy in the backyard and doing those things. But I feel a fondness for him too, that boy there. What I am doing now is not such a very different thing to what I was trying to do back then. Burning the stash didn't turn out to be the solution - I'd always end up starting to collect it again. Regardless, I think it is good not to ever give up. When you give up giving up, you don't always stand still. Hardly ever, in fact. Actually then you often start using it more and more.

    Like others, I think even if I had some vague idea of the difficulties it was going to cause me, I think I would have persisted. When you're a teenager you're in a fog of hormones and confusion and desire. Each age has its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and snares. I think on the whole, I'm glad I'm older. Sure I'd love to have a young man's body, but it's not easy being young. I was always angry. I can remember I'd be angry at my mother about something or other, and I'd sulk about it for a week. I wouldn't speak to her, apart from the barest courtesies. After a week, I wouldn't even know what I was angry about. I was just caught up in my anger. I still have a tendency to act in this way, but not for nearly as long. Sometimes I'll be angry about this or that slight, but I'll wake up in the morning and decide to just let it go, and in a little while it is gone and I'll have forgotten all about it. Thinking of this, I can beat myself about it, and hate myself, or I can think, I'm making progress with this flaw. Similarly with the use of pornography, this is something that's been with me all my life and in a sex obsessed society like this one, will probably be with me to the very end. But it's good to realise I'm making progress. Last year I really reduced the quantity and offensiveness of the images I watched, and now this year and so far, apart from a single lapse, not watching it at all.
     
    dirtmeister likes this.
  13. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    I was having some drinks with friends and we were having a great time. I had a few drinks by then and my inhibitions were down. A good looking girl walked by and I made a crude and loud remark about how she looked. The friend I was sitting next to me told me that what I had done was out of line. I felt humiliated by what I had said and done. I don't always act this way, but I often think this way. So then I apologised to my friends and said that I appreciated them telling me that the way I had acted was out of line. I told them, if I ever act like that way again, I want them to call it out. I said to them that this was not the type of man I wanted to be and I was grateful that they were looking out for me, and are helping me to act in the way I should. Of course I feel ashamed for what I said, and how, if the girl had heard me, how I may well have offended her too. While I truly regret what I said, the one good thing about having this happened, was that it showed me what pornography and the way I have been living is doing to me. Again I am reminded, not everyone lives and thinks the way I do, and that it is possible to live a better life, and I really want to live that better life.

    I often struggle with the idea that I'm giving up something I really enjoy. I need to remind myself regularly of the effect it has on me (encouraging me to act in a boorish and uncouth way) and that the way it affects others (the offence it might have caused this lady if she had heard what I said). So while there is no excuse for the way I acted and nothing good for this, the one thing I can take away from it, is another proof, if another is needed, of the need me to lift my game. I know it's not just "trying harder", but that's part of it too. Change is difficult and unpleasant. But when I change for the better, if that happens, I am going to save myself from situations like this one and I'll feel so much better about myself.

    It's hard to confess this. I can find excuses for myself (e.g. I didn't mean to offend her, it was a joke, I didn't mean to say it so loudly, I was drunk, etc.). But the truth is, I acted badly, and I need to do what I have to make sure I don't continue to act this way again. I'm really sorry about it.
     
  14. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is huge growth.

    It's hard to know where the line is these days, especially in light of how women are absolutely going after all men with the intention of emasculating us all. I wasn't there, so I can't say whether what you said loudly crossed a line or not, but I like to think of my buddies as safe-zones. If they can't be that for me then they can fuck off. There is simply too much shaming going on and many men have been unfortunately indoctrinated by the #metoo movement. You are 27 days clean which if awesome, wonderful, amazing! You are doing great things JODAT. Don't beat yourself up about this kind of thing. You don't have to be sorry about it, either, imo. We are all learning new skills and the man you'll be when you're a year clear of P and M will be vastly different. Keep doing what you're doing and feel great because you are making a real difference. Anything that makes us feel ashamed or unworthy is noise, even if it comes from the mouth of a friend. Peace!
     
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  15. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    Thanks, Saville. I really appreciate it. I had been really stressed with what happened at the bar but your words calmed me down a lot. It's kind of stupid to get all agitated about what was just a momentary lapse. It's probably just related to the changes that are going on in my mind and life.

    Anyhow, my friends are great. They didn't blow it out of proportion. It was just more a suggestion to use my "inside voice" than any difficulty with my indicating that a pretty girl was walking by. If I was a little less pickled I could have indicated what I wanted to say with a smile. In the past, my sexual fantasies have just filled my days. I've spent much of the day rolling around sexual scenes in my mind. No-one would know this mind you. I told no-one and I hardly ever acted any of it out., and besides, with the way P&M works on you, you don't ever have to worry about a hard-on. Anyhow when I called out to my friends about the pretty girl walking by it seemed to me that the sordid dialogue that was so much a part of my life, had momentarily escaped. For so many years I've had this fear (this dread fear) of letting what I got up to online getting out and being exposed. So when I called out this action went against everything that I had been doing for the past twenty years.

    Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and played inside my mind with these fantasies for a while. I shouldn't have done this, but I'm not going to beat myself up with it. It didn't involve P, M or O, and I'll have a look into ways of avoiding this sort of activity over the next few days.

    Anyhow, in the past, I have always got up and gone to the computer. But last night I realised I had my beautiful wife next to me and well you can imagine what happened next. So this morning she's glowing with love and happiness, and me too, and I feel great. I imagine if I'd gone to the computer instead of her, I'd be full of regret and disgust for myself. This is the way to live, as a good man. It's strange, but not unexpected (if you read the journals of the men who post here) that I find her much more wonderful and attractive since I gave this other filth away.

    I'm sorry for any readers who don't want to know about this, but it's amazing how hard I am now. In the past, I'd always (always) needed a blue pill as my indispensable helper. Not for the past 28 days.

    I've started reading "Your Brain on Porn" and I can't put it down. It's like the book was written about and for me. I'm finding it really helpful. I like the fact that it doesn't presume to tell you how to live your life. I'm in my 50s and I don't need anyone telling me what to do. I'm always interested, however, in hearing about what others find helpful and unhelpful, and hearing about their experiences. Anyhow, that's my recommendation.
     
  16. JustOneDayAtATime

    JustOneDayAtATime New Member

    Sometimes it is easy to become overwhelmed and even crushed by the waste resulting from my years of using pornography. I remember how upset my wife was when I using it heavily, because she felt (rightly) neglected and that I didn't love her or find her attractive. I remember her crying and crying. An unpleasant and bitter memory, without a doubt.

    Nevertheless, it's part of my journey, what happened, and the consequences of my action. I don't know what I was thinking and why I was acting that way. I can't change that now, but I do regret it, a great deal. Thinking of it right now, and knowing how ruinous it all is, I find it incredible that I would find it so easy after writing this post to start using it. I could find excuses so easily. That's the bad. But looking at it, from a distance, I recognise that it's still part of my journey. It gives me insight into both myself and my culture and society. If I manage to overcome it, I am stronger and in a way, better than I might otherwise have been.

    Having known and been possessed by darkness, I'll be glad to have broken free of it. Not everyone can say that. I don't mean to say that I'm puffed up with conceit and arrogance. I was foolish, allowing myself to become ensnared. But still, and hoping that it turns out for the best, it's an accomplishment that I would take pride in, with gratefulness with all those (here and elsewhere) who have helped me along the way.
     
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