RadRacing's Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by RadRacing, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Hey there NCBob, great feedback and spot on, except sometimes I'd say I'd love to trade one addiction for the other! Instead I get them both, running full blast at the same time. I'm sure the real answer is that they are both learned ways of dealing with discomfort. I saw another member post something about all addictions having at their core a person wanting to be separated from their feelings, which often describes me to a "t". I may go find that video and watch it, instead of acting out, which I'm craving right now.
     
    NCBob likes this.
  2. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    Good move!

    Let us know how you get on. I’m still working through the Recovery Nation workshop, really slowly!
     
  3. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    There's something to be said about using a sharp knife rather than a dull blade, RadRacing:) Tackling two at once will get you much quicker to the root, which is always old, unwanted feelings, that need expression, and some TLC besides:D
     
  4. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It's amazing how resourceful we can be when trying to get a fix!

    I haven't heard of Noah Church, but I like the idea of the 'purge' step you described from his book. You've written about your experiences in an honest and insightful way.

    From what you've described, it sounds like your work can be quite stressful - the conflicts with colleagues, the financial implications of certain decisions.

    When you act out and look at P to avoid reality, do you know what it is you're escaping from?
     
  5. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Checking in, took a few days to try to find bottom last week and finally gave up Sunday night when I acknowledged that there doesn't seem to be a bottom anywhere in sight, the internet provides endless ways for me to waste away time and no matter how many times I PMO and to what, it is never enough. I did a 30. min guided meditation / relaxation exercise from addictedtointernetporn's youtube site and I found it to be really relaxing and affirming. Had a successful day yesterday for a total of 6 days so far.

    Forlorn asks a good question: When you act out and look at P to avoid reality, do you know what it is you're escaping from? I'm not sure I really do right off the top of my head, other than an ever-present vague feeling that I'm not good enough in a million different ways. Don't know enough, not sure enough, don't want to admit that I don't know where to start on this project or that, procrastinate too much, let things sit too long, don't follow up, everybody is annoyed with me, etc etc etc. Probably being much too hard on myself but thats how I feel a lot of the time. Also as Forlorn points out, some aspects of work can be quite stressful, but I've also had a bad habit of sitting on mundane, easy, nonstressful things for so long that they become stressful or embarrassing to admit Ive let sit for so long. Sometimes things like that have a way of being both a trigger / cause of my acting out and a result of the acting out at the same time, a negative reinforcement loop.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  6. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Learning what works and what doesn't work. Did the guided meditation again yesterday which worked in the sense that the 20-ish minutes I spent on it I wasn't acting out, although the urges were just ripping even during the guided meditation, it was all I could do to not switch it off mid-stream. Picture the image of the demons shrieking the loudest while the priest recites the exorcism incantations. My takeaway was that the guided meditation is good for planting positive, productive thought patterns, it isn't good for being present to and observing what it is that I'm actually feeling and experiencing that I'm trying to escape from.For this a better tool might be the progressive relaxation training that I've developed with my therapist to get to a point of calm and then try to observe what it is inside me that I'm trying to do when I have the urge to act out.
    I took a concrete step of emailing my therapist that I wanted to focus on this issue starting with our next appointment (tomorrow) and how it is affecting me, even saying that this is something that is hard for me to talk about openly and that if given the chance I would probably try to shy away from it in person.
    Ive been looking into various blocker options in the thread linked here as well as others, I think the router-level options would probably be best for me (and frankly the rest of the family too). I have a small amount of anxiety about implementing these options as I seem to have gone past the horizon where I don't always understand exactly how all of these things work and work together.
    I think today the best recovery work I can do is just get some shit done off my open items to-do list and try to reduce the ever mounting anxiety caused by my escapism.
     
    positivef likes this.
  7. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I share a similar feeling, that I'm not good enough, a sense of defectiveness. My therapist at the time gave me some good advice in terms of how to counter these feelings. In an example relating to feeling unworthy, he said:

    "Challenge yourself when you question if you are worthy of being loved. Remember this is a feeling installed by your upbringing and bears no relevance to the current day. Use logic and evidence to support the reality that people DO like you, love you or care for you."

    I guess this approach of using logic and evidence can be used in various ways to challenge our existing thinking.

    Yeah, a good strategy IMO. All those things you've been putting off, get them done and you'll start to feel less anxious. It's all about taking action.
     
    RadRacing likes this.
  8. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Update for today as I think there's something useful in here for future me:
    One of the projects I've been avoiding / sitting on was at the top of my list today. In trying to answer myself what was so daunting about it, I believe the issue was I was asked to provide a brief on something that I felt that I should know off the top of my head, but didn't. I had earlier learned the material, I did know it off the top of my head at one time but for whatever reason I had a block on it. I felt embarrassed to admit to anyone that I couldn't recall the information, hard on myself for forgetting something I once had total mastery over, and so avoid avoid avoid. And soothe those negative feelings of shame embarrassment and being hard on myself feelings with escape and PMO. Today I finally reached out to a specialist for a refresher and instead of being annoyed or condescending my colleague was happy to help, and sure enough almost immediately virtually all of the info I thought I forgot came right back to me. We had a great conversation, probed some new and different approaches and ideas, and sure enough all was good. As I was writing up my brief to the client I caught myself really truly enjoying this kind of work - walking a client step by step through a strategy, why it made the most sense for them, how we would help them each step if the way. Just good stuff. It is remarkable how having the constant balm of PMO has made me so averse to feeling and pushing through even the smallest amounts of discomfort or even "potential" discomfort. I felt good for pushing through it, I enjoyed the work while I was doing it, and now I have one less thing to stress about and beat myself up for sitting on. Not bad.
     
    NCBob likes this.
  9. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Good progress. You faced up to things instead of burying your head in the sand. Hopefully you can build on this, keep learning to be kinder to yourself and accept the fact you don't know (or can't remember) everything.
     
  10. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    It's amazing what happens when we're able to step up to the plate and ask for help, RadRacing. Good for you:)
     
  11. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Checking in. Tired as shit. I drank too much yesterday and acted like a real asshole at home. I decided to give AA a try starting today. I've known for a long time that I have a problem but just couldn't muster the desire to do something about it. I just want to let it go. So far I've accummulated 12 days with no PMO since starting this journal with some deep dives into darkness in between. I'm not in a great place for reflection right now but just wanted to update.
     
  12. Cali

    Cali Active Member

    Hi RadRacing, I am also a recovering alcoholic and have not had a drink in over two decades; I would never have quit without AA. The mistake I made was not addressing my emotional maturity, so I did successfully quit alcohol, but I just substituted more PMO. If I had to do it over again I would of addressed both my alcohol abuse and PMO together by working on the underlying issues that caused my addictions. What I am trying to say is please do not substitute one addiction for another like I did, address the underlying issues.
     
    RadRacing likes this.
  13. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Hey Cali, thank you so much for that message. I haven't had a drink since Sunday night but just like you mentioned I've just been substituting PMO. NCBob also reinforced the idea of cutting it all out and going to heart of the matter, at first I thought that might be too much at once but now I see that it is necessary and would very likely be more effective. I have a scary feeling that without PMO and alcohol I haven't got the faintest idea who I am.
     
  14. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Fuck me. Does anybody else go through periods when you are not only not having success abstaining but you just don't even care? You don't even want to try even in the slightest? I have that a lot, enough where I don't even feel like I should be around people who are actually trying to recover because I don't want to be a bad influence on them. The only thing that keeps snapping me back is that my "escalation" takes me into rough territory, rough enough to scare me into some temporary sanity for at least a little bit. Sometimes I think that if somebody had a near-perfect life and was trying to throw it all away, they would behave exactly like I behave.

    Agenda for today:
    Delete stash from computer
    Delete profiles from sharing sites
    Cancel subscription to filehosting site
    Delete burner email account once I confirm recurring credit card charges are canceled
    Find a 12-step program that I can participate in (this was my agreed upon next step with my therapist, with whom I opened up about this struggle on our last visit)
    Find an AA meeting that I can attend
    Restore computer to factory settings for some version of a clean slate. Probably useless but it seems to matter in my head.
    Install filter / blocker on my computer and phone. I have to be honest I don't truly understand this stuff that well and with kids learning from home I am worried that something I do will mess up their setup. I know I need to just do it but I get anxiety worrying I'm somehow going to pork something in the process. Despite being an absolute ninja at hunting down porn I get truly bewildered by the array of apple IDs, google accounts, school google accounts, family share, xbox accounts, and how they all interact with one another. It can feel overwhelming. Although if I'm honest with myself that is all the more reason why I shouldn't be fucking around with the shit I'm doing if I'm not sure how all these devices and networks are interconnected.
    Review finances to make sure budget is square for the next 2 weeks.
    Funny how there's a part of me that says "If I do all of that when AM I EVER GOING TO GET ANY WORK DONE?" and yet I've thought nothing of flushing a whole day on PMO without the first thought to getting work done.

    Fuck me.
     
    positivef likes this.
  15. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    And it can never be enough. That is the nature of addiction. I found that part quite scary, the fact that I kept looking at more and more to try and get the dopamine hits...stuff that would have appealed me before.

    It is a really good question - and worth spending some time on. It might be something obvious or something deeply buried. For me it has changed somewhat over time. I thought at first it was due to my lack of confidence/success with women when younger. Later when I started dating more successfully and getting involved with relationships it was still there. Then I thought it might be something to do with fear of failure, as an addiction I’d something you think you can mistakenly control. Now I think part of it may be due to fear of death. I suppose it I wanted to really find out, it would be a job for therapy. I’m not sure if I need to know or not in able to reboot successfully.
     
  16. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    That all sounds totally familiar to me. I’ve heard elsewhere that addiction is really boring, because you keep hearing the same stories over and over, and keeping repeating the same patterns again and again. I’ve certainly done enough of that.

    Keep going, it’s all part of the process.
     
    RadRacing likes this.
  17. Cali

    Cali Active Member

    I can totally relate RadRacing, but for me that is the reason for this journey I need to take; I want to build a new me, a me I can be proud of being.
     
    RadRacing likes this.
  18. RadRacing

    RadRacing New Member

    Went to an AA meeting via Zoom last night, I was glad I did. Got everything on the list above done except the budget, that felt good.
     
    positivef likes this.
  19. Clovis6

    Clovis6 Well-Known Member

    Good for you!
     
  20. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    The escalation is undoubtedly a factor that keeps you coming back, but maybe it goes beyond that. Perhaps a part of you is deeply dissatisfied with the lifestyle you'll been living and the chaos that comes with covering your tracks. Leading a double life is exhausting. The fact you're here (and attending those Zoom AA meetings) indicates that you have a desire to better yourself.

    Maybe we need to change our mindsets, not to see recovery as a way of feeling like our lives are in order - but as an opportunity for genuine growth, to learn about ourselves, to build positive habits into our lifestyle.

    Good effort on getting through those items in your list.
     

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