Rat in the attic

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

  1. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    What you say is all true...abstaining is the only cure and we're always a step away from the pit.

    But it's not all doom and gloom, we can all live amazing lives by staying free of porn. Of course, I'm looking at the world with rose colored glasses right now because I've been porn free for awhile...on the other hand I've been sucked down many, many times over almost 3 full years, I have no illusions. I just have optimism, and yes, I am an addict. It's no dirty word for me anymore, just a fact.
  2. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Unless we see though the root of our so called addiction. Then it IS possible to see the craving dissolve.
  3. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Checking in because i feel a bit vulnerable at the moment. We're about to visit family in another city which was the trigger for my last big relapse. People there will put me under pressure about my new career direction and i need to see their opinions in the right light, as the opinions of people who are concerned about me and as not a true reflection of who I am or my potential. I respect some of these people immensely but they have never done what i am doing (starting a new business) so they cannot know or really speak with authority (the term concern-trolls comes to mind, people who are more about controlling you or maintaining their concept of you rather than helping you on your own road).

    On the ED front there have been some major improvements- i'm getting locking erections again in the morning and successful SO with the wife last weekend. The O-ing is nice, but there is always a price to pay in terms of cravings that come after. I found myself taking a second look at women on the street today, which is something i have not done for some time, and it tells me that the addict is there, waiting to step in. My porn blockers are an essential part of my recovery because visual stimuli are a huge problem for me and shove me into auto-pilot mode very quickly. If i can make it past 10-14 days i should be OK for another stretch.

    I also find my mind is clear again and thoughts bubble up constantly these days- porn desensitizes us in so many ways and it takes long periods of calm before all the negative effects wear off. trapped is right when he says we can be rid of the negative side effects but will never be truly "out of the woods" when it comes to this addiction. I was thinking last night what a pity it would be to be clean for the next 30 years only to relapse as an old man in my retirement and put my wife through the same shit in her final years that i put her through in our 20s and 30s. It is happening in my own circle- there are old men who are internet porn addicts and their wives who are aware and must live with the weirdness and strain it puts on their relationship. I do not want this for myself or for my wife- but the grim reality is that it is a possibility and must be prepared for in some way.

    Fight the good fight.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  4. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    I read it and htink, 'but wow… you're already at 168 days, and still you're describing about being tempted etc.' and then realise I'm also quite far like yourself. And also still feel how I may get cleaner and cleaner…
  5. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    My counter was wrong- i've just updated it.

    Doing it tough today after i woke up with painfully hard wood and my wife turned me down. Fantasized for a while- i wasn't deliberately driving the fantasies, just letting them occur, which is not as bad but still a very bad idea.

    Arizona, i did a 420 day streak in 2013-2014 before fucking up. I was under a lot pressure at work at the time (i lost 5kg over 1 month) and finally snapped. Recovery is about building emotional resilience/toughness as much as abstinence. I haven't taken up positive habits like meditation or regular exercise which is probably why i keep finding myself back here.
  6. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Hey New man. I hear you.

    Yeah, I think for you also, finding the roots what made you use porn in the first place is crucial for more permanent improvements. People come here to quit porn and use techniques and discipline to quit. For some that works, for some not. And for those that manage, most of them need other habits to still escape the reality that made them addicted to porn in the first place, like gaming or whatever.
    It's best to find what reality/responsibility of life you escape with watching porn. Some displeasure, fear 'feeling something is unfair' or whatever. Usually deeply hidden, otherwise it would not result in an addiction.

    I can't say I 'solved' mine, or found mine. But to a certain extent I did. It took a medium and lot of self study, monitoring…
    But all discovered in that process, will not just create a bandage on your problem, it will dissolve the addiction's roots and so also all expressions (addiction self).

    Newman888 writes nice about his journey.
    Hope you find yours.
  7. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Back home after 2 weeks around people who tend to drive me back to old mindsets and habits. I had a couple of urges out of the blue, couple of aborted wetdreams but no relapse this time round thankfully. I'll give myself a pat on the back for that- i knew what was coming and that helped when the urges did come ("Ah here you are old friend...now kindly fuck off!"). The major advantage of being clean is that it frees up the mind to think about your life in new ways and have the occasional realization-

    Only today i realized how much time i spend rationalizing to myself how i am better than others- i give myself points for being male, being educated, being in good physical shape- "therefore I am better than the person I am looking at/talking to". The thought process is totally baseless and pointless but it is has been with me for a very long time. Comparing myself to others in a negative way applies exactly the same logic and is equally futile. They are two sides of the same coin i guess and i am glad i have come to this realization. I suppose i've been trying to put into words/thoughts the vague sense i've had lately of not really being better than others. People react better to me these days and i figure its probably because they sense the lack of judgement in me. People who judge others now really stand out to me- especially guys who want to be "the man" in any given situation. I'm not sure where my thinking is going but i feel like i've stepped out of a dead-end and am growing again.

    These are the more intangible and valuable benefits of NoPMO that evaporate with a relapse.
  8. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Had a close call today. Slept very badly last night- not fighting urges or anything, just sleepless. Also had a sore back recently, not sure what's causing it. Anyway i took a nap this morning and woke up fantasizing. Contemplated acting out for a bit but got up and once i was vertical and in a different room the urges stopped. Later i realized it's exactly 10 days since my last O (wet dream) and like clockwork the urges arrived. If i can hold out a couple more days i should be good for another stretch. I let my guard down and my body reminded me that Day 10 is always a problem.

    It's interesting the amount of attention i get from women these days. I'm 41 and pretty plain looking but women in their 20s are showing me signs of interest- older women also are much friendlier. I don't really know what to do with it- in the past it would have triggered fantasy and ended in PMO- which is probably why i never experienced it before, i was always depleted, never in the present moment.

    I wish my wife showed as much interest in me. She seems angry a lot of the time these days- there are other issues in our relationship at the moment (work/money issues)- NoFap is great but relationships need constant work on many fronts.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  9. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    123 days- it feels a lot longer- i don't know, this time round i feel more stable, like I am really done with it...but pride cometh before a fall and all that.

    I haven't O-ed in ages, wet dream or otherwise- for must be 50 days now. The last O i had was a wet dream and it took 15 days or so for the urges to pass and to settle into this new streak/rut. My libido is pretty much non-existent, or rather I am crushing it completely whenever it appears. I'm not sure what place sex has in my life anymore- i do feel a lot happier and stable without it, and certainly without giving in to its every demand. I did a psychometric test online yesterday and the result was i was a "highly optimistic" person- which made me laugh because i am definitely a glass half empty kind of guy and always have been. It's a bit like being a kid again, having all this energy and interest in the opposite sex but not really knowing how to handle it or approach it safely. Obviously sex has to have a place in my life because I am married and i want to use it for intimacy, but for now i don't know how to proceed.

    In previous reboots i was pretty gungho about it, chalking up improved function and other milestones and celebrating them, but now i don't, probably because i relapsed after 450 days clean last time and I know it's all bullshit. It could be my ego is no longer in charge of me so much- i would like to think so- because that would mean i'm really on a different path. We will see.
  10. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Great to read. How come you have little (or no?) sexual contact with your spouse? Or did I read something wrong there?
  11. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    No, you read it right. I suppose she has become accustomed to my lack of interest over the years so she never initiates. When I was using porn regularly I would initiate once every 2 weeks or so but then get ED. My libido in those days was not a natural thing but a kind of addiction-induced fever which required constant fantasizing to maintain. These days I'm only good-to-go when I wake up (morning wood). It doesn't help matters that we have young kids and they get up before we do and so the window we used to have for sex has pretty much shut in recent months. I don't know what to tell you- it's a number of things that add up to no sex. Also she withholds sex from me if she is mad at me for whatever reason (lack of sex?), so if the planets align once a month (morning wood/kids sleep in/i actually feel like it) and she turns me down then it's another month or more before we get a chance.

    The only upside is i don't have ED anymore when we finally do get around to having sex. That's actually pretty cool.
  12. Arizona

    Arizona All answers can be found within

    Thanks for sharing in honesty. Yes, I recognise all from my previous marriage. No one to blame there. Not easy settings, but the setting that simply is there. If there's okayness, real acceptance, then a big first step is made. Then, slowly and carefully, steps to intimacy can be made, from a new you, a cleaner one. Non-attached, out of love. A clean healthy desire to connect and let the bodily desires flow. Without mental stimulant and expectations.

    Beautiful process… fragile, painful sometimes, rewarding at other moments.
    Can share more if you want, but otherwise wish you wisdom and patience in this. Cheers.
  13. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    I'm a bit all over the place right now. 2 weeks ago we had sex, which went well and was nice (except i fantasized to finish which is always a dumb idea) then 2 nights later i had a big WD which wiped me out mentally for about 4 days and led to urges. Around day 10 i got more persistent urges (i know this cycle so i was expecting it) but got on with things. Anyway last night i had another big WD which has put me back at the beginning of the post-O cycle. My plumbing is obviously sorting itself out (don't mind me, I just live here) which is good and all, but mentally i am fragile. It doesn't help that it's springtime where i live and women in public are putting out that vibe more.

    Otherwise my life is going OK. My relationship with my wife is improving as i am bringing in more $. Things are good with my kids too- yet somehow i still feel stressed- my mood is a lot more stable than it used to be, i get angry less easily and also negative self-chatter has dried up, but the improvement is subtle and hard to measure/appreciate day to day. I need to learn to manage the O-cycle (from sex or WD same deal) because right now i feel happier in a flatline.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  14. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Great report, it takes a long time to climb the mountain, great progress. If you can stay away from any type of P or M things keep getting better and better. :)
  15. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    I'm in a major flatline right now, but i'm enjoying the stability. Honestly it's almost like i'm asexual. I still have to step in mentally sometimes to divert attention from attractive women in public but it's second nature now- i can even talk to attractive women without objectifying them for the first time in my life. In the past I would have "filed" the memory of the interaction away, but now with no prospect of a wank on the horizon my brain no longer bothers. It's a weird place- a foreign country (Nofapistan).

    There was a health emergency in our family recently (older generation) and i had to fly out of town for a few days. It was a very stressful time and i had to be mindful that I didn't fall into old habits. In fact my thought was "If this goes really bad i want to be present for it, to experience it fully." I owed it to the person involved to not run from the situation. Anyway they are recovering now and i am still on a streak.

    The only trouble with my contented flatline state is my wife and I are not intimate anymore. It's been weeks, maybe months between sex. I worry what she thinks- but there is nothing i can do- i just don't feel like having sex at all right now. I mean I probably could, functionally speaking, early in the mornings, but i'm a bit wary of what it will trigger. I remember on my first marathon reboot (450 days or so) we started having some great sex around the 400 day mark. And honestly i am only just over 200 days clean and so it's early days.

    On the positive side, the most noticeable thing lately is my temper is almost zero. The other day, through my own stupidity, i destroyed something i intended to sell and i just thought "huh" and shrugged- in the past i would have gone ballistic. So this tells me i am on the right path. I wonder if anger will return with libido...
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  16. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    I navigated Christmas OK. We were back in our hometown surrounded by family and friends (and associated expectations/pressures) and I had to be real careful. Last year I was acting out all holiday and can't remember anything about that time. So 1-up there i guess.

    4 nights ago I woke up at 4am with painfully hard wood and lay in bed not able to sleep. I started fantasizing, mild real-life stuff, nothing too serious or porn-like- then i remembered something someone wrote on here a while ago, after I relapsed in exactly the same situation (along the lines of "why not just let yourself have one O and then get on with the reboot?") so I wandered off to the bathroom and MO-ed with no fantasy (took about 20 seconds) and headed back to bed. The next day i had no urges and thought i'd dodged a bullet. But the second day I was a mess, yelling at my kids and crying at local news stories (lol). The O really threw me. Yesterday and today i looked at some very mild youtube stuff ("what was she thinking?" compilations) but i know the behaviour is the same (escapism, dopamine) and the thin end of the wedge.

    O-ing messes me up, whether it's done properly (SO), wet dreams or MO, the pattern is always the same- P urges on Day 2 and Day 10, mood swings for about 3 weeks after, then flatline. It sucks to be honest.
  17. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    O's still mess with me a bit, but they also bring back morning wood and libido if it's been more than a few weeks without one. Much improved for the first O I had after my first 30 day reboot, I quite literally thought I was going insane.
  18. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    About day 15 now after the MO. Urges have died down, only a second or two each day to deal with. Getting serious morning wood and middle of the night wood but just don't feel like initiating because, well, i don't feel like it, and second the O is more trouble than it's worth atm.

    I may have mentioned in another post ages back i am a stay at home dad and have worked part time from home for many years. My partner has stable work and brings in a decent wage (above, but not a lot above, the average wage). I have combined freelance work with raising our 2 kids who are about to start school. Nevertheless i am experiencing a lot of pressure from family and people who know us to go out and get a full time job, even though our kids still require quite a lot of looking after. A generation ago it was socially acceptable for one partner to earn and the other to look after the kids, but today cost of living makes it a lot harder.

    There is also a double standard- today if a woman decided to work part time from home while her kids were growing up no one would question it, but there is still pressure on men to earn a full time wage, and stay at home dads are viewed as something like loafers or wasters. It saddens me because i have invested a lot of effort in bringing up my kids- i have kicked this fucking habit (not completely, but i'm a lot better than i was)- my kids seem happy and they know stuff and yet this work (and it is WORK) is somehow invisible and does not count. "Welcome to the club" i guess women will think reading my comment, but i'm not in your club because it's socially not ok for me (in my circles) to choose family over career.

    What makes it worse is that a lot of this pressure to go out and work full time is coming from my partner- but she also assumes (takes for granted) and benefits from the fact i have been there for the kids (last week for example one of our kids was injured at daycare and i had to run her round to the doctor- meanwhile my wife was having coffee with her colleagues with her mobile left in her office). I look at my life through her eyes (based on her comments and general attitude) and I see a waster and a leech. I feel like saying to her out of the blue "You're welcome" because it is clear she does not value what i do. Obviously I don't look after my kids because I want thanking for it, i do it because I love em and it is the right thing to do, despite the fact it is not valued.

    I went to a career counselor last week and laid down $150 so I could basically get the same stuff off my chest. This way is a lot cheaper.

    Fight the good fight.
  19. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    WD 2 nights ago. So far no urges to speak of. WDs tend to be a little different imo from other Os- i do get less urges afterwards. There was no associated dream which probably helps. The night before i had a dream which was probably my brain trying to O but my NoFap persona was right there and instead of "banging" said naked wench I hugged her and said "You're lovely" and woke up completely dry lol

    Getting to the point now in this reboot (250+) where i'm really hopeful of improvements of EQ and libido. I can't believe i did all the hard yards 2 years ago, enjoyed the best sex of my life for about 3 months, before relapsing and frying those hard earned pathways. Part of the issue is the reboot takes so bloody long you can't perceive the change and grow accustomed to each level of happiness and energy. Then when you relapse and you're like "Oh yeah, this really does suck..." There are deeper issues in my life and personality that drive me towards PMO and i haven't quite figured out what those are yet. I have felt very conflicted lately about my work situation (see above) and i look at men my age on Facebook who i went to school with who have been successful and i feel a slight pang of jealousy. Last night i had to get real and admit that watching porn for years and years has probably derailed my career, whatever that might have been. Now i have NoFap drive/mojo and i'm spinning my wheels, not knowing which way to go. I think this hesitance/uncertainty is part of my character, regardless of the addiction. I don't think i could have discovered this fact if i was still addicted, so i guess that's a good thing. As they say NoFap is not going to fix all your problems but at least you get time and some clarity to figure out what they really are.

    A lot of guys start down the NoPMO road to overcome anxiety. I find the longer i am clean the more intensely i experience my life which tends to lead to more anxiety, not less. Then again for the past decade, at the height of my addiction, i never ventured out of my comfort zone so how would i know if i had anxiety?

    I just read a post on the success stories section basically asking for people to post real success stories- i.e. ones where guys regain their libido and their dick starts working properly again- instead of "i got a semi" or "I had PIV one time!". I can sympathize. We're all here for one reason (or at least many of us came here for the same reason) and anything short of that is a partial success. Success for me will be when i get arousal wood back and i can handle my libido without resorting to fantasy. I almost got there in 2014 before my November relapse- regular, enjoyable sex without fantasy. Even then i did not meet my own criteria for recovery, and considering what happened, a Success Story would have been premature to say the least.

    I don't know what's really different this time. The initial motivation was different i guess. First time round i was all about "beating" the addiction. I was doing it for my kids and wife too. This time round there was a lot less bravado at the beginning- knowing you can fail at 450 days has that effect. I was just so sick and tired of it. I failed 5 or 6 times before this streak happened and when it did i was like "Huh! Fancy that..." Now i'm beginning to feel the end is in sight- not the end of the struggle- but the end of the struggle with nothing to show for it.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  20. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    Came very close to a full PMO relapse this morning. Got as far as PM, so at 297 days you could say I am in a bad way. It began yesterday when I woke at 4am with a boner and started fantasizing. I should have got up out of bed and started work instead of lying there but I didn't. It felt like harmless fun, "oh yeah, this is a nice feeling, I can handle it.." Yesterday was OK, no serious urges, telling myself it's OK, then woke up at 3.30am this morning feeling asexual. Got bored so started fantasizing- this time the fantasies were more vivid and porn-like. I was thinking "It's ok, fantasy is ok, it's not porn, porn is miles away". Fantasized for an hour or so, started edging, got up and (>>>>) looked at porn for 30 minutes while edging. *That escalated quickly*. I don't know why i'm surprised. It happens EVERY. FUCKING. TIME.

    Part of the issue is i can't seem to handle natural libido and restored levels of sensitivity. Just last week I started getting spontaneous boners (i'm 42) and sensitivity is finally returning after my last major relapse, 300 days ago. My life is finally getting under control, work is good, wife is happier now than she has been in ages, and i choose NOW as the moment to relapse to porn. WTF. I'm confused.

    I'm not resetting because it would be too demoralizing at this point. I will slam the door on it and walk away. I've done it before, come very close and stepped back to continue a streak, but i need to be extremely careful for the next few days and weeks because dopamine has flooded the system and the old circuits are "buzzing".

    I was really looking forward to some great sex with my wife in the coming weeks and months. It's been a long 300 days- i've come too far to slip back this easy.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.

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