Rat in the attic

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by A New Man, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Here again because i cannot sleep. If i get woken after 3am my night is pretty much screwed and the next 2 days are a drag. Thankfully my kids are not usually responsible any more.

    I have been wondering what the next thing for me is, since it's been over 2 years since i used porn. The Pema Chodron stuff is gradually sinking in more and more. The habits she discusses, of constantly bringing your attention back to the present moment and not "flying off" when your ego gets triggered by an event or other people, are beginning to take take hold. My attitude to my mother-in-law is a good gauge of this. She used to REALLY get under my skin (journal entries from about a year ago show this) but she doesn't so much any more. I'm not sure why this is exactly, except i feel more confident in my own worth on the whole (thanks to NoFAP and also the practice) and also a dawning sense of compassion for others (even her). If there was any doubt of the value of the practice, the fact it can change the way i feel about her is proof. Anyway Christmas is coming up, kids will be on holiday, I have heaps of work to get through, mother-in-law is visiting, so we'll see just how "enlightened" really i am...

    Also I'm taking new approach to my work and time. The project i'm working on right now is almost unmanageably big and i have been forced to organize my time more efficiently. What i do now is
    1) Measure my output every hour. This allows me to keep track of progress and also push for more output each hour.
    2) Take a 10 minute break every hour, regardless of how well it's going. During these 10 minute breaks I do small tasks around the house like water the garden.
    3) Go to bed at 10pm sharp and get up at 6am. My kids get up at 7am, so that gives me a whole hour in the morning to either work/go for a swim/walk to the shops to buy fresh bread/sleep in. It's amazing to get up at 7am and feel like you've had a sleep-in!
    4) Cook dinner at 4pm and eat at 5.10pm when my wife comes home. I used to try and work between 3.30pm and 5pm (cook at 5pm to eat at 6pm) but monitoring my output i see that my output at that time is very low because of dealing with kids, so I have written it off completely. This means I can now work solidly 4 hours from 6pm to 10pm and I can even play a game of Mariocart with my kids around 4pm without worrying about working.
    This type of time management might seem pretty bloody obvious to people who work in an organization, but for a guy like me who works from home it is a revelation.

    I haven't had much time to come here lately, but just knowing it is here helps keep me honest and focused on recovery.
     
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I will keep this in mind for when I wake up early in the morning: take the time to journal on healthy progress instead of having risky thoughts and fantasies. Very inspirational again ANM. Keep it up!
     
  3. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Cheers Gil.

    Funny you should say that because last night i almost relapsed to fantasy at 2am after waking up in the middle of a wet dream. Wetdreams are out of my control but they do throw a spanner in the works, waking you up with a raging boner. Thankfully i stayed mindful enough not to go all the way and eventually got back to sleep.

    Today i have had some intrusive thoughts, and have been oggling at women more in the street, but these are also symptoms of the chaser effect from a healthy O. Day turned out OK in the end.

    Fucking wetdreams.
     
  4. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Wow, this is so good. I've been so pissed off at work over something and I've had a lot of trouble just letting it go. The contentment with mediocrity, the lack of pride, the complete absence of leadership has really grabbed me by the balls. But, what has this got to do with me? This is just my ego. I'm looking outward, instead of opening up inward. In the present all is good. :) Thanks for that!
     
  5. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Cheers, Saville. Good to see you back.

    It's been about a month since my last post. I had another Relapse-Lite (TM) in the lead up to xmas. A lot was happening with work, the kids, lots of relatives visiting, and I started to check-out of my life with fantasy. The fantasy relapse lasted 7 days. I didn't MO for the first 6 days, which probably prolonged it... When I finally did MO it was like a reset and I was clean for Christmas day and all the days since. I really wanted to be clean for Christmas so i could experience it properly with my kids.

    My energy is totally different when relapsing. My wife noticed, my clients noticed, my kids noticed. I am literally not myself when I am doing it. It sucks not being there for them.

    Had SO this morning. 3 days before that i had a huge WD (cue Jack Nicholson "Is there any other kind?"). If the mid-December relapse had been to PMO there is no way i would have had a WD and SO this soon after. I'm not saying fantasy is ok... it's playing with fire... but it's better to relapse to something that's not going to blow all your gains than something that will. I dunno why i don't get urges to look at porn any more when I FMO- they used to be so strongly linked in my mind. Whatever the reason, i'm grateful for it.

    Belated Happy New Year to you guys. Hope it's a great year for all of us.
     
  6. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    First, I'm trying to learn the lingo here: WD = wet dream, I gather. SO=?

    Second, I hope you're not beating yourself up too much. This addiction is tough. And you're at 2 weeks now and one relapse in however long is not a big deal. Third: Personally? though I myself am abstaining from M, I don't think it's nearly as big a deal as PM. Humans have been self-stimulating probably since we had opposable thumbs. Maybe before that. In the absence of P, it's pretty natural.

    Glad you're posting again. I'm reading what you write.
     
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    It's very easy to do, as we all know. Decades of habit die hard. Great job getting back on track!

    Energy really can take a hit, no doubt. I would rephrase the last bit: it sucks not being there for you!" :)
     
  8. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Hey Doofus, SO = sex>orgasm. Thanks for your support. I'm not beating myself up really. Just sometimes stresses still overwhelms me and i end up "checking out" by various means- these relapses are becoming less and less frequent thankfully (and less and less connected to porn).

    Good point. Works both ways. My youngest (6) is particularly sensitive to my presence/absence. She definitely knew something was up.

    Yesterday my kids had friends over. For once my work was not insane, so i had a chance to play some board games with them. I enjoyed myself so much it was ridiculous. I cried with laughter at one point. Then last night i had a very trippy dream which got me out of bed at 2am. Today has been a bit of a write-off as a result. My mind is a much more interesting place to be now i'm not fapping all the time.
     
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  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Saving that vital energy for thoughts is awesome, isn't it. Fapping is for suckers! :)
     
  10. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Youngest just woke me up after a nightmare about frozen lemurs. She is now sound asleep in our bed and i'm posting here.

    Turns out my relapse wasn't quite done with me. About a week ago i started getting very triggered from mild stuff on the internet. I reinstalled K9 which hasn't been on my computer for about a year, and patted myself on the back for thinking of it. Anyway the next day i did some searches on youtube for some of my old favorite stuff (notice how i just said it like it was no big deal like turning on the tv or picking up a magazine rather than the point at which my will faltered and all my new habits failed me) just in case it was there and lo and behold it was on youtube! Well well what a fucking pleasure it was to settle down and watch some of it again. I don't know what i was thinking- i wasn't thinking- i was checking out of my mind and my life because it is summer holidays and even as kids go my kids are very noisy and my workload right now is very large blah blah blah. To be honest i think the disruption of xmas was still in "the system" too and the after effects of the FMO (tm) in mid-December had not cleared. Excuses, but also reasons.

    I haven't reset my counter because to be honest i don't think it would serve any purpose. I watched p-subs (albeit hardcore p-subs) around day 800 and MOed in the bathroom later... so yeah. Anyway it was interesting to experience the relapse and the mental process of it as a reminder of what it is/how it unfolds. I got pain in my right temporal lobe after watching the p-subs (apparently that area is connected to non-verbal memory, so all my porn files must be stored in there), and i get a kind of "drifting" sensation in my brain over my left eye when auto-pilot mode tries to kick in. I didn't binge because i felt intensely BAAAAD afterwards. The addict voice was like "Dude i'll make you feel better" (helpful addict, always so obliging) but i knew the bad feeling would dissipate after a day and it did.

    When I relapse these days it usually lasts 3 Os and then it's business as usual. I dunno, i feel this cycle (is it a cycle?) i am in of long dry spells followed by short relapses may be something i am stuck in. Overall my health and happiness are much improved, but dopamine from fantasy (and porn) is still something i turn to when the going gets tough.

    Good to see the board coming back to life again anyway- goodonya Saville. Haven't had time for anything but work lately, babysitting and a bit of relapsing. Hopefully will post more soon.
     
  11. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    You're aware that's awesome ! Good to see you posting!
     
  12. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Saville, your comments kicked me into action.

    The weekend was great- i didn't have to work for once (being freelance often clients expect me to work weekends so they can get a head start on their week) so we went down to the beach. We don't go to the beach very often because it's so bloody hot where i live, but Saturday was mild and we dragged our pale hides down there to play in the water and build rubbish sand castles. It was fun and i felt it was fun which indicates my new dopamine pathways/balance is still intact after the recent slip (hooray).

    On Sunday morning had SO. It was very good, sensation was good, no fantasy intruded. Hoping this means i'm back on the wagon for another long stretch. Today feeling a bit down- it's the chaser, thankfully no urges coming with it.

    Recently my wife has been reading the Harry Potter stories to my kids in the evenings. I used to listen to music or Pema while i did the cooking and washing up, but now i listen to her read- and i really look forward to it, almost as much as (more than?) my kids do! My wife enjoys reading too and she's got a very animated voice. Pretty sure if i was still frying my brains with porn every day the simple pleasure of listening to my wife read a good story to the kids would have been completely lost on me. When i think about how shit i felt just 10 days ago and think that used to be business as usual for me... well, it makes you think... just how lucky we are to be given this second chance.
     
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  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I love this! :)
     
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  14. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Time for an update. The kids are back at school, i have a lot of work coming in, so the old routine is back in place. I haven't been feeling like having sex though. I think this miniflatline is probably connected to the fmo (+porn subs) relapse i had in early January.

    Staying clean is so important to me now. When I first had kids I didn't feel that connected to them- people talk about how having kids is a mind-blowing experience, that they instantly feel overwhelming love for them... well i got none of that. It's been growing in me though and now i can feel it more. Today i was playing a board game with my eldest and thought "How lucky am I to know you and to get to share so much time with you..." I never used to have thoughts like that. It means i'm changing and that's all for the better.

    Another thing i noticed recently was a slight shift in the way I react when i see hot women on the street. I have made it a habit to look away from them pretty much since i started rebooting back in 2013 because i quickly learned that looking fed the wrong wolf. Lately though i look away not for practical reasons of not wanting to relapse, but because i dislike that impulse in myself, and feel it is morally/ethically wrong to objectify people, even if it is just with a look. I hope this is a new front to lock in the reboot and noFap lifestyle (I'm not saying it IS morally wrong to look at hot woman, but i feel it is, and that is not something I have felt before). It might be time for me to move on from my old porn-addict identity and accept that I am no longer the same guy who used to do that (there is still the danger I will relapse, but there is no way I will ever return to being a regular porn consumer again).
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  15. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    Carry on bro'!
     
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  16. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    It’s interesting to see that you are finding changes in your reasons for not looking at women.

    It’s nice to see that you are not objectifiying, I hope that I will get to this point and just see people as people.

    I think media in general whether it’s tv ads, posts on social media or P itself, really feed a mentality that try’s emphasis visual appeal over any other trait.

    Sounds like your moving to a new phase of your journey :)
     
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  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Boo yeah! You've changed, no doubt about it. The old identity has been shed like unwanted skin. I don't think looking at women with desire is wrong, but we don't live a natural life, anymore. Everything has been objectified, everything has been consumerized, everything has been pornorgraphied. So, in light of that, yeah, we need to keep our eyes on other vistas.
     
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  18. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Going ok. Had sex once still my last post. The sex was very good and not much of a chaser after thankfully. I notice my wife gets grouchy the day after we have sex. Dopamine come-down is the same for us both.

    My wife finished reading the Harry Potter series yesterday. It has been a bit of a shared experience for us as a family- my wife comes in from work around 5pm and offers to read a chapter and the kids shout "Yeah!" and then she reads for an hour before dinner, and then sometimes for an hour after dinner. The TV has been turned on a lot less, and we have conversations about the story, sometimes deep conversations about dying, betrayal, etc. Our quality of life over the past 3 months has been better, thanks largely to the book-reading. We're wondering what to do next- thinking C S Lewis Narnia books might be a good one to follow up with, then maybe the Hobbit. Immersing them in good books will help them. I suspect they may want to work in creative fields when get older and regular school education is not necessarily going to help them with that.

    Turned 45 last week. The wife made a chocolate cheesecake. Gee it was good but i felt bad eating a piece each day. By the end of the week i felt not that well, and i think it was connected to the calorie overload. Been swimming twice a week to stay in shape, and also avoid shoulder pain. Last week i missed a swim because of work deadlines and shoulders started complaining again. I need to make an effort to keep moving because my day job is so sedentary.

    Lately i have been connecting better with people, new people met through kids sport. I used to worry all the time about what people thought of me, did they give me my "due" respect, did they like me etc. Meanwhile I didn't take much notice of them- they were like shadows, and only real in so far as they related to my own internal dialogue of being better or likable. Egocentric thinking really does make you miserable and shutting it down means you can be more present and real with people. Of course after i have a good conversation with someone the old impulse is to think "haha, i got this!" which is the inner jerk, the not-actually humble program running beneath the new trying-to-be-humble program.

    Today I read this very Buddhist idea, expressed by a Christian-

    “This is the mark of Christianity: however much a man toils, and however many righteousnesses he performs, to feel that he has done nothing, and in fasting to say, ‘This is not fasting,’ and in praying, ‘This is not prayer,’ and in perseverance at prayer, ‘I have shown no perseverance; I am only just beginning to practice and to take pains’; and even if he is righteous before God, he should say, ‘I am not righteous, not I; I do not take pains, but only make a beginning every day.’ He should every day have the hope and the joy and the expectation of the coming kingdom and deliverance, and to say, ‘If today I have not been delivered, I shall tomorrow.'”
    + St. Macarius the Great of Egypt, Homily 26, 11

    The trick is to recognise ego and starve it of oxygen, stay humble, stay in the moment. It sounds like weakness, but it's not- it actually makes you resilient. Those meek bastards really will inherit the earth.
     
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  19. chrism

    chrism It's time to make a change.

    That sounds really nice that you are reading together as a family! My parents used to do something similar when I was very young and they are fond memories.

    Not sure what kind of schooling your kids have but even if they do go into a creative field it’s still nice to have a base knowledge of other aspects of education to influence creativity. I recently heard of an artist who uses scientific data based of stories to produce bells that creative tones relating to specific times during the storms.

    Glad to hear things are going well for you :)
     
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  20. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This really resonates with me. Isn't it funny how we want people to live up to our expectations (fantasy about ourselves) and feel completely bound by them?

    This why giving up PMO is so necessary. It is the first step in us truly finding ourselves. I'm still stuck using fantasy at times and have succumbed to MO, from time to time. After three years "I am only beginning to practice and to take pains." And, it is painful...but so worth it.
     
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