On a mission to become authentic

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Gil79, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information. Yeah, I hope you can find that balance. I didn't know that having children was so hard on sleep. I've been trying to figure out how I can help you, if I can help you, but you seem to be having problems I don't know how to solve. I think you're doing great with 30 days no P or M, and practicing NoA! Maybe you should reward yourself with something non-addicting. Romance with the wife? Is she affectionate if you want it? Your stress level still sounds high-ish, maybe your wife and kids could do nice things for you for all your hard work.
    path-forward likes this.
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Thanks @nuclpow. Don't worry, you're already a great help by reading my posts and supporting me. I really appreciate it and it strengthens me. The stress is a thing that I just have to learn to deal with. Sports help and reading too. Also just some moments of being alone. I think I should also just accept a baseline of stress.
    nuclpow likes this.
  3. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Alright, first month is behind me: no fantasies, no masturbation, no porn, no porn-subs, not too much looking at women's body parts on the streets and 2 times actual healthy romantic sex with my wife. If I can do this for one month, I should be able to do it for another one, and another one, etc.

    Last night I was awake for a while though and all of a sudden felt quite a strong urge to fantasize. Also a part of my mind was rationalizing that I could do it. Fortunately I was able to just reach out for my e-reader and read a chapter. These kinds of moments are the most dangerous. The addicted mind will catch you off-guard. And it only needs one moment to pull you over to the other side and you're hooked again. For me, one time giving in to F or M is just the beginning of the end, getting me back to fully addicted in a matter of days to weeks.

    I got to stay proactive and plan my days, especially my evenings and nights. I need to tell myself every day that I am not going to act out. I am going to tell myself every day that when the urges come, I am not going to give in, no matter how bad I feel, no matter how much I need it and no matter how innocent it seems to self-medicate a little. I am not going to do it.
  4. Montesquieu

    Montesquieu Member

    Congratulations, @Gil79! Nice work!
    Boxer17 likes this.
  5. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Well-Known Member

    Good on you sir!!! I salute you
  6. Caz

    Caz Active Member

    That’s a Great accomplishment and an even better realization.
  7. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Thanks for letting me know I'm being helpful, I hoped I was. As far as the stress from work and family, I can only suggest God stuff. I'm not sure that's wanted.

    Great! Excellent job! This is almost exactly the same list as my goals, which surprises me. I guess if we work on quitting porn long enough we end up with similar goals.

    I've never been married and don't know what a normal sex life is like, but can you have sex more? I think it might help with your stress, your relationship, and your temptation to act out sexually.
    Yes, having a handy bit of electronics for a healthy activity (reading) sounds like a very good idea. I should get one.
    I also think rewarding yourself for all this hard work is good. Maybe you can have pizza or ice cream, or play video games or watch a TV with no cable connection. You're doing really well, I want it to be sustainable, too.
  8. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Last year I started writing down some values that I want to integrate more in my life and the life of my family:

    - Nature: spending more time in nature helps me to stay grounded
    - Challenge: I need challenges in my life, otherwise I get bored and frustrated
    - Connectedness: staying connected to others feels like an anchor in life and takes the power away from my addictions
    - Suffering: this is a part of life, and I should stop trying to avoid it. I can handle reality, also when it is just raw

    The 5th one that is really becoming clear to me during this reboot is 'authenticity'. I have never really been myself. From a very young age I became a typical 'nice guy', a people-pleaser. It sounds so innocent, but basically it just means that I am a liar: I tell people what they want to hear and I behave in a way that I think that they want me to behave. The other day I became fully aware of it when we went to a party in the village. I didn't like it at all, but we went for the kids and because it felt like an obligation to not be the neighbors that don't go to the party. Later some friends asked me about it and I told them that it was nice, that we enjoyed. But I also noticed how the words just didn't come out. How much effort it took me and that my pace and tone of voice changed. A day later I realized that I had just been lying to them. I didn't like it. it was a ridiculous party and we felt completely out of place. I should have said that. Why not? Why lie about it. And this I do all the time. I tell people what I think they want to hear. And there are many more examples of this. So, yeah, integration of authenticity is going to be one of my missions for the upcoming period.

    Thanks @Montesquieu, @Boxer17, @Caz and @nuclpow for your support. It means a lot to me

    I am not religious and I don't think I will ever be, but I am open to anything you feel like you have to say

    I definitely can and my wife is also up for it. Now things with the kids are getting easier, we both feel that it is time to rekindle that.

    I have one with adjustable backlight (although maybe all of them have that now), so that even in the middle of the night you can comfortably read without getting too much light in your eyes.

    At the moment I feel like I don't need that. All of this is rewarding by itself. It is the long-term satisfaction over immediate gratification. I also like this line from the Tao Te Ching: 'when no reward is taken, accomplishment persists'
  9. Montesquieu

    Montesquieu Member

    I think a lot of us can relate to struggles with authenticity. I know I do. It’s been a point of mine for several years now to be more authentic. I’ve definitely improved on that front but have plenty of room still for further improvement. One of the many reasons I’ve given up porn is precisely so that I can be more honest and authentic. I usually lied or downplayed how much time I spent watching porn and in order to be authentic I either needed to own it and risk problems in my relationship or quit so that I don’t need to keep secrets. We’ve all made the right choice. I think quitting porn is one small step to greater authenticity.
    StarWarsFan and Gil79 like this.
  10. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I was afraid that my new running and working-out scheme would really suck up too much energy, but actually this week I have been really good. Yesterday I felt tired in the morning and not ready for my run. I went anyway and it kind of washed the tiredness away. Last night I slept like a baby and now I feel calm and steady. Also some urges have come up though. Got to stay vigilant and maybe get some action in the bedroom going with Mrs tonight.

    One week without coffee now and I feel that my body is still adjusting, especially my intestines. I kind of feel a bit of constant nauseousness. Actually I have never really been able to quit coffee for more than 1 week. Going to push through and see what comes out. Interestingly I don't feel that quitting has influenced my cognitive abilities or work at all. But i do feel more calm and less tired in the evenings.

    Yeah, that sounds very familiar! Somehow I also feel that porn-use is a way of dealing with not being authentic. Kind of that that negative energy that goes inward when you're not being able to express yourself, goes into this kind of addictive behavior.
  11. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    These seem like insightful goals. Yeah, suffering is unavoidable, the key is for it to have meaning.
    I remember you or someone else loaned to me No More Mr. Nice Guy. Very good book on being "nice" as a social strategy, but how that makes you not very nice at all. I should buy it and reread it. Authenticity sounds like a very good goal.
    Thanks for saying so, you're welcome.
    I think that praying and trying to listen to God's suggestions has led to me having a much cleaner, more organised, and less stressed life. An example of praying working for me was praying for help in quitting pornography addiction. I think God showed me the Your Brain on Porn site, twice. The first time I discounted it because it said "evolution has not prepared you for today's Internet porn" in the header, so I might have spent 2 more years addicted than I needed to. But later I saw it again and I binged on its website (in a good way) and I even think that God wanted me to come post to my journal on YBR every time I relapsed. I really think it helped me quit.
    Okay, I've never been married, but you don't seem to have PIED, right? Do you still have porn cravings? I don't want to give you bad advice to have sex just because I'm not getting sex and I'd like someone to. I seem to recall YBOP talking about staying away from orgasm while quitting P, because it helps permanently unwire from P and for you to recover from P addiction (and also PIED).
    Sounds wise. I wasn't able to help you as much as I was assuming, but that's a good thing, because you're making really good progress without me.

    And I think the backlight is a good idea.

    Edit: I see you've changed the name of your journal, seems good.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2023
  12. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

  13. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I went out for diner with my wife yesterday. Since recently we found a good babysitter that gets along really well with the kids. So, now we finally have some room to do these things. It was really nice. We had such nice conversations and laughed a lot. I really feel that our connection got better since I gave porn up (again) a month ago. Same holds for the connection with my children.

    Porn is like a cancer that really interferes with everything that matters to you. It stops you from getting the best from life and it stops you from giving the best to others.

    Yeah, you're right. I really valued that book. I started reading it again once, but then it didn't really speak to me anymore. Maybe I should give it another go

    That is really interesting and powerful and I do believe it. I believe in the power of prayer. For me it is just difficult to give the right name to it

    I have never had PIED. I did have PE though, which I think was also masturbation related. Fortunately I don't have that problem anymore. I think that on the one hand orgasm can slow down the rewiring process. On the other hand I think it is really beneficial to have actual sex with another person and rewire to that directly.

    Thanks @nuclpow and @mailboxsam!
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  14. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I dreamed that I was kissing another woman and that I even told her 'don't tell my wife'. I woke up with a boner and then had strong urges to fantasize. I noticed that I had a 'I don't care attitude towards it' but fortunately I fell asleep again without giving in to fantasy or worse. Probably this is still a bit chaser effect of the sex I had on Thursday, but I got to keep my head clear on this. No slacking, at all.
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  15. Montesquieu

    Montesquieu Member

    I have a lot of these kinds of dreams, and sometimes I’ll dream of porn scenes that I liked. Since I don’t fantasize or MO, it’s one of the few times I think much about sex, and it’s a bummer because we try to be so good in our daily lives only to have our dreams undermine our goals. I always wake up a bit stunned and bothered by it and I’m usually more vulnerable to a slip on those days but so far I’ve been able to stay strong. I suppose in some ways it’s good. We need to be tested from time to time. Hang in there!
  16. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    As one who doesn't remember many of my dreams, when I do remember them it's usually because the messages they're sending are pretty clear, even if "jumbled" to involve weird circumstances or even people substituting for others.
    So your dream sounds like it may have been guilt over viewing porn (substituted in your dream by kissing another woman) and not telling your wife about it. Armchair psychology, I know, but dreams are fascinating and worth analyzing.
    path-forward likes this.
  17. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    The last couple of days, and especially today, I feel really insecure and negative. I think this really has got to do with the reboot. I took half an hour this AM, to do breathing exercises and meditation and now I will just do the things I have to do and wait till I feel better. It would be good to pick up on the breathing and meditation again on a regular basis.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  18. Caz

    Caz Active Member

    Don’t lose hope. Re. Breathing and meditation- That sounds like a good plan.
    Gil79 and path-forward like this.
  19. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Has this happened before? Do you think you can figure out the cause? You're doing great as far as NoA, and you have a job and a wife and a family... I was going to advise that you don't be hard on yourself and maybe try to figure out the source of these feelings.
    Gil79 and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  20. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I have been dealing with strong urges the last couple of days. Still in the game. But I really hope that the urges will disappear. Going to bed. Tomorrow early morning a long run. Looking forward to it.

    Thanks @Caz and @nuclpow! Yes, this has happend before. It is really part of stuff going on in my brain. The last couple of days I felt quite strong and confident. Too bad that it was accompanied by urges. Got to keep going and heal . . .

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