Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by NewVerse, Feb 10, 2014.
Love that one LTE
It is conditioning. You can do it, especially if you know how it all works.
bit of a rough day as far as urges, but I'm re-focused. This whole staying clean thing is really only as difficult, or easy as we make it, and for some reason I feel like i've been somewhat self-sabotaging today. I mentioned before there's a battle over this weekend going on in my head. The little devil on my shoulder is planning and epic binge this friday. The better me is making other plans to assure this can't happen, even if i think i want it to.
Before I fell asleep, vivid memories of a couple chats i've had came rushing back, and dopamine kicked into high gear. I managed keep my hands off myself (that sounds weird), and go to sleep. When I woke up, I remembered how shitty I used to feel when I'd wake up after a binge, and contrast that with how good i feel when I wake up clean. Then, a couple hours ago the same memories came flooding back again. But this was my fault because I was browsing tumblr (i know, i know). Not porn, but like Rex mentioned before, tumblr can be like swimming with sharks. Mostly I can admire pretty girls without worrying about triggers, but when I either see too many at once, or a certain one that will spark a memory. That trance state sets in. The dopamine sets in. It's like sticking a needle in my arm. I just want to let go, put my head back and rub one out, but i snapped out of it, and started posting here.
The thing is, as soon as i make the decision to knock away those urges, it's simple. I just re-focus. It really is that simple. That part becomes easier, and it's something I couldn't do a month ago, but in a twisted way, I've been trying to purposely put that new skill to the test today.
I'm good now, but definitely have to stay off tumblr, and make some weekend plans.
A couple of thoughts here.
First off, stay away from Tumblr. Second thing, don't dwell upon the thoughts of relapse.
The thoughts of refocusing are very good. Likewise for keeping your hands off yourself.
One last thing, remember that porn will never satisfy you.
I've been stubborn about the tumblr thing, but looking back over the past month its easily been my main trigger source of any urges I've had. It's sneaky because it doesn't happen right away, it just sort of sneaks up. Overall no tumblr is a small price to pay. Trying to keep the mindset that relapse isn't even a possibility while still staying vigilant.
As far as not touching my junk, that's one thing I've been really good about that so far. pissing/cleaning only haha
I would suggest trying to adopt the mindset that you don't want sexual excitement from anything except a real-world partner.
NV, I like the devil analogy. It fits. But if you want to cut that devil down to size, think of him this way: that devil is actually a younger version of yourself that never grew up and still craves porn. I wish I could claim credit for this idea, but the credit actually goes to George Collins, author of "Breaking the Cycle." He calls these nagging voices in our heads "sub-personalities," stunted versions of ourselves that continue to cut down our self-worth or our determination to reach our goals, or that just want us to look at porn. In one memorable exercise in the book, he asks the reader to confront the porn-crazed subpersonality in an imaginary room, talk to them, and note what they look like. Many people describe seeing their teenage selves in that room, meaning that the nagging voice in their heads that's urging them to look at porn really isn't a devil or demon of any kind; it's just the pathetic, needy, little teenage boy inside of them that never grew up and still craves porn.
Anyway, sorry to prattle on about that. I just thought that was interesting. Highly recommend the book if you're looking to demystify the devil sitting on your shoulder. Just think of the devil as a mini-you -- you as a young man or a teenager. See, not so scary anymore, is he?
I wish you well getting through the weekend. If nothing else, you know you can find refuge from your nagging thoughts on YBR. Stay strong, friend.
@ LTE - that is the goal, and THE reason I knew I had to remove pmo and chat from my life. I allowed this addiction to destroy my real world sex life, and my dating life. Any chance I have at future relationships rests first on me rewiring. There are times I lose sight of the reasons I began this journey. Your reminder is right on time.
@Cosmo - thanks so much for sharing that. I feel like it will be a useful tool. I'll look into the book as well. It's amazing how so many of us have allowed lesser versions of ourselves walk all over us for so long.
The notion of an immature sub personality driving my base urges resonates with me. Perhaps that's what still attracts us to what we all know is destructive, and essentially useless activities; that desire to feel like a teenager again.
That yearning is in all of us at some level, don't you think? For me, the trick is respecting the consequences of getting caught back up in those habits. Also, when I think back on it, there were no three hour porn-fuelled sessions back in my youth. I'm sure things were over in a matter of minutes.
If I'm going to try to re-live my misspent youth, you'd think I could at least do that accurately.
Stay the course NV. I've been struggling through these past two months, and as you said, it does feel so much better waking up clean, than the alternative to that. Lately I find myself shouting a loud "fuck no" if I begin the procedure that initiates PMO. Shocks me back to reality every time.
LOL! Funny stuff, SOJ. Maybe what's really happening is that your teenage self is the one who is re-living, only this time instead of acting out with stacks of mags like he used to in the old days, he's got the whole high-speed internet universe at his fingertips.
I think it's high time we knuckle down on these little out of control teenage a-holes in our heads. They've been running the show for far too long!
Day 33: I feel back on track today
My work situation has been scary for the past year or so. Fear of lay-offs have been looming over my head, and since i'm already hanging by a thread/digging out of a hole financially, a step back would wreck me. Between the job, and family situation (I have no kids but i'm kind of the rock, and the get-shit-done guy for my little family), I've had many sleepless nights, worrying about money and what i will have to do if I have to "start over" carreer wise. PMO and chat have been my bad medicine so i can get away and feel something else. Anyway, I got a great email today from the bosses' bosses' boss about some training I'll receive for the next couple months, hopefully assuring lay-offs won't be in my near future. It's just another huge weight lifted off me.
What i'm really getting at is I'll need to be on my game. The jerk-off porn binging, self hating, low confidence canbarelylookpeopleintheeye me will not be able to handle that. I will need the top-of-my-game me, next week and beyond. This is just another thing that should help keep me on the up and up.
I've had a couple periods in the past few years where just dropping chat (i still PMO'd but chat is my real killer), things were so much better during those times. I still had problems but i always had more confidence and a sense of momentum in my life. This is the first time i've dropped everything (pmo, chat, masturbating), which i feel can only make things better. I'm not naive enough to believe life is fair, but there are times when i feel like i'm aligned just right with the universe, and things are just clicking. i need need need to keep this momentum going.
Today is a good day. Hope it is for all of you as well
Sounds like you're really getting all your stuff together. You're setting conditions for success in your career (company paid training is always a good sign they're investing in you) and you're getting the internal teenager in line. (I really like that analogy too!) It gives me hope to read your blog and get the insights. It sounds corny, but thanks for doing this. It is good for you, me and who ever else might be following your progress.
I really appreciate your words, man. Knowing I can help anyone here (even a little bit), has been a huge inspiration to keep this going. You and many others here have been really supportive and it means the world to me. You've got 24 days so we're almost in the same place in this. Keep pushing through and you become more aware of what your triggers are. The last couple days I was fucking around on tumblr and I damn near fell off a ledge. Today between the work situation, and staying off tumblr. my urges are damn near zero, and i feel more focused, and less anxious about this weekend. We can't avoid all triggers, but no need to swim with sharks if we don't have to.
A few thoughts on relapse...
Not going to beat myself up too much over this.
If I'm being honest, I‘ve been planning to relapse all week. I‘ve also been fighting this plan to relapse. A battle went on in my head this week, and the better me lost this one.
Before it happened, I convinced myself that I needed this (in some ways I still feel this is true)
Friday, I was feeling so good I felt like there was nothing that could change that. I tested it. I was wrong. I'm disappointed, but i'm not a wreck.
In many ways this was a personal experiment. I needed to see what I’m (not) missing out on
Friday afternoon I was filled with energy, strength and confidence. It took about 2 hours into a binge to drain all this built up momentum. It literally felt like someone opened a drain plug and drained all the good energy out of me. Both psychologically and physically
I paid close attention to how I felt during this binge. Even in this "trance" state, my awareness was active.
My body sensations....all weak. I feel it in my arms, my head my throat my stomach my chest. I felt frail, and drained, and weak. I'm actually kind of fascinated by all of this.
Like i've said before, my demon is chat. Chat is a bit different from just PMO, but it's all the same addiction. I'm not addicted to sex. I'm addicted to the rush. the hunt, the chase... I fish for a time, I get nothing.... I get more and more exhausted. then I get a bite, and that dopamine shoots up. Euphoria, energy…finally...but it never lasts it drains more.... I get more exhausted. i chase my fix to get the some engergy back. this has been the pattern friday night and this afternoon.
I woke up this morning feeling pretty blah. I had a dream that I left my laptop open and some people saw it. When I went to grab it they were trying not to laugh at me. I felt like the biggest loser. I woke up and jumped back at it....
These are random thoughts that aren't really fleshed out. My head isn't quite clear yet. Some of this i actually wrote down during binges because i was monitoring myself. Another problem is that I had PE pretty badly. Like I'd barely rub and I would be ready to blow. This concerns me... but it's something to deal with once I reboot.
anyway, like i said, I feel this needed to happen. I'm not endorsing relapse, and in some ways it's just an excuse, but personally I need to remember and embed in my brain how shitty this feels. I don't feel the normal shame and self hate as deeply as usual, because I know I'm on the road to recovery, and still inspired, but just in terms of how my body reacts to this, it's the fucking pits.
but i'm definitely irritable, and bummed having to come here and 'fess up. particularly when people on here have told me that my recovery is also helping them. for this i deeply apologize.
Going out tonight and trying not to let this get me down too much. Physically i feel shitty, and I need to really take note of this. Were I to relapse again, my self hatred would be through the roof. Another thing I need to take note of.
I have to just shake this one off, though.
Many steps forward, one step back... now, forward.
Your progress continues... you tested your limits and now know , or have confirmed what you suspected... don't do it anymore unless that is what you want. Simple , right? Well not so much. It is a tough go , I don't care who is making their way down this path it isn't easy.
It's an addiction and that "addict voice" will use any lie any bullshit any temptation to convince you, the real you, to give in. It seems from your wonderfully well written and honest account that "the addict voice" did a number on you. Yeah, I've been there as well, heck most of the men here with any degree of recovery progress have been there, and over and over... till the new mindset sets in.
You most definitely are helping your brothers here at YBR... your integrity and leadership are impeccable in my opinion.
Your progress continues friend!
Thanks for those honest thoughts. Your explanation is right on to my battle. I think I speak for all of us, because we've all been there.
I call what you experience "the funnel" because your mind becomes so conflicted and tired that you just want to "do the deed" so you can get it off your mind and become productive again. At least that what I've experienced.
I want to ask you, during this last week, has you mind been plagued with fantasies or how well were you able to control your thoughts?
NV, It happens. I'd be lying if I said I haven't been on the brink of relapsing a few times myself since I started this journey. I think a lot of it is situational. As I recall from earlier posts you were fixing for a fight with the devil on your shoulder this weekend, anyway. Weekends used to be killers for me, too, so I can completely understand how having a weekend to yourself could set the PMO wheels in motion.
As you said yourself, you just have to shake this one off and keep moving forward. No apologies are needed, friend. We've all been there.
thanks, everyone. i'm a bit scatterbrained at the moment. One interesting thing I found from this was not only did I feel crap after, but for the first time, i paid really close attention to how i felt during my binge. Every sensation. the weakening of my body phsyically. the way my head felt, the way my body felt. the depleted energy drops to the point of miserable exhaustion, and then spikes of dopamine that kept me going. Ugly..all of it. These aren't new feelings either. It's always this way if im binging hard. I've just chose to ignore it for the most part so i could get my dopamine hits. It's also why I don't feel I have a sex addiction. I never felt bad like that during real sex. If anything, real sex always makes me feel good during, and after (when i'm 'up for the task', of course)
fcjl8, you mentioned the "addict voice" The funny thing about that is I've spent a month figuring out all its tricks. sometimes it would get to me, but I overcame because I understood the tricks. so it tried something even slicker. My inner addict convinced me that it wasn't my inner addict speaking to me. It had me believe this was my decision because I need to experience this, get this out of the way, document it, study it, etc... in some ways I still believe that, which has me a bit screwed up
dannoj59 - i'm not sure i'd say this week was plagued with fantasies but i did have two days where memories were flooding my brain. i was somewhat back on track before i binged though. I'd say it was a combination of the funnel phenomenon that you mentioned, but instead of just pounding one out and getting it out of the way. I became convinced i had to go on a long binge so i could study it (and get it out of the way).
Cosmo - Yeah, i knew the little devil would come calling. I prepared for him, and he took the back door, and hijacked the "lets think about this" part of my brain. It told me this wasn't something irresponsible, or impulsive. Walked through the whole process, scheduled it, pictured me hating it, pictured me posting here about it. and told me it would be worth it. But on some level, i still knew it was a trick.
My head and stomach both feel shitty right now... even my throat (and of couse, my poor dick). If I could sample this full feeling before a binge even for 10 seconds, the bitter taste would keep me from going there. All I can do is write this stuff down for future reference.
Anyway, I really appreciate the support, guys.
From my experiences with relapse NV, you appear to be a lot more cognizant of the processes. That trance you speak of still mystifies me; when I'm in it, I know there's little I can do to gain control, yet I cannot seem to pinpoint where the compulsion is coming from. Perhaps it is, as you said, a general weakening.
I was close to PMO, and very close to bingeing several times over the past three weeks myself. There were triggers, and urges, but I cannot lay the blame there. It was as though I had to find that trance.
All that kept me from giving in completely was my need for control.
I am impressed with your reaction to slipping. Stay mindful. Stay wary. Most of all, stay on here with us.
NV, I'm sorry to hear about your slip. And I'm glad you're right back here ready to move on. I wouldn't spend too much time analyzing it. The inner addict wanted his fix. Even when he starts talking like a lawyer (no offense to lawyers), sounding supremely rational, that's still all it's about.
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