Rockhardington's Recovery Journal

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Rockhardington, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Hello, I am starting a journal on this site and will keep updating regularly.

    Background: Recovering sex and love addict

    Bottom-Lines: Inappropriate relationships, anonymous sex, paid sex, strip clubs, Porn, Masturbation, Fantasy, codependent relationships

    I DO NOT suffer from ED, my screen name is an old karaoke name. However, at the root of this disease, despite our different manifestations and symptoms, I believe all of us here suffer from the same thing- inability to manage our anxiety.

    I am a 35 year old graduate student taking a non-traditional path late in life and has been going through some major transitions in maturity and personal growth. I was compulsively into drugs as a teenager, found religion and was compulsively into that for many years. Was a serial monogamist for a few years, had a bad break up and found myself trying to up the dopamine level of porn by seeking out prostitutes which led into a full-on addiction and a lot of grief and depression. I started going to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and getting help. Then I started applying the methods of abstinence I discovered at reuniting/YBOP and have been slowly growing into a new way of life. I have been a series of relationships where I am sometimes trying to escape and other times trying to be escaped from. I have examined both sides of the coin for too long and I just want some relief from this disease and some clarity so I can focus on my work/studies. I am currently expanding my network and activities in the SLAA 12 step group.

    I have been at this recovery for about 5 years and have seen some amazing improvements in my life. I have identified some major tools in my recovery of personality. I am currently going through therapy, applying the abstinence, keeping with 12 step culture, doing as many healthy top-line behaviors as I can like exercise, eating well, meditating, refining social skills and even prematurely dating and even some PUA.

    I look forward to sharing my experiences and hearing others as well. I find journaling to be an effective form of personal therapy and have learned so many tools from being open to other people's ideas on these forums.
     
  2. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Its been about 2 days since PMO. I usually do not have much of a problem for the first few days. I usually just feel a little sick and a bit of a "shame bubble" surrounds me. Its during these times that I find it hardest to socialize with people. I did manage to spend time with my family tonight and that helped, but I could feel the compulsions creeping. It wanted to focus on food because my family likes to eat addictive and unhealthy things. The compulsion also wanted to isolate and go home as early as I could. The pain of family interactions can be intense.

    For some reason or another, Ive managed to focus my obsessive tendencies on servicing my car of all things the last few days. My car has been neglected for a long time now and now I have finally managed to get do the research and get professional opinion on it. Ive needed to do this for a while so I allowed the obsession to "go for it". I know it will wear off in a day or two, but Im using it to get things done today. Ive done this in the past for things like diet, cleaning, exercise, work, and school. Its like a weird way of managing anxiety/perfectionism.
     
  3. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Trying to recover from a slip and near tailspin. I was able to prevent more chaos tonight and not go for a complete binge, but it was close. The last few days I have been tending to my recovery and program and I think that this pulled me out of it. Having the habit of reading recovery and spiritual literature helped because I didnt disregard it completely. Pulling through a relapse and avoiding a binge in the moment is just as important as abstaining completely because perfectionism is a large part of this problem for me.

    Since I am both a sex and love addict, each of these activities can lead to the other for me, especially while I am so much in the cycle. Romantic intrigue and fantasizing or plunging and losing myself in unaccountable sex are both extremely intoxicating. And I ended up breaking my bottom line on the both of these. I was trying to give this girl I am seeing a little space so I can heal some. I like her, but she really wants to experiment sexually since she is new to it. When that opportunity is around, despite my intentions to not sleep with her, I do. I was triggered from watching an innocent movie. It happened to be a historical movie about her country and the actresses kind of looked like her. I ended up texting her to come over really late and we ended up becoming physical. Today I was handling my business and seeing the family trying to get back on track. I became stressed ove the situation that I was in with my family. I was watching my grandmother in the nursing home. She's an old alcoholic who cant drink booze (or even eat her sweets hardly) anymore, but you can feed her small amounts of soda or ice cream as a treat. She had me running all over the nursing home trying to get her her sweet fix! She had tried to emotionally manipulate me and trick me several times, then an emotional outburst. Old addict behavior in my face having to deal with it on a day that I wasnt feeling too great in my world. I get home and I text the stripper I met at the strip club the other night. She was trying to set up a date to do some kind of "benefits" exchange. All the more intriguing for me because our bonding resulted from her needing to be "rescued" and me being the "rescuer" to help her navigate certain social benefits and whatever other resources or skills I could provide her, of course in exchange for sex. Its basically prostitution without us having to acknowledge it as such. Strippers can be quite manipulative to get what they need. I had a friend in school who was writing papers for a girl who stripped throughout her program. This is not the kind of situation that I want to get myself into. We are meeting for dinner tomorrow, but I am going to cancel on her.

    Frustrating day or two, but I know that pulling myself out of it tonight and away from porn is exercising the needed muscle. There was a time early in my attempts that I would actually use my will power! I havent for a while because I keep forgetting to recognize bottom lines. Actually, my entire program has been close to nil. I have still been journaling and attempting abstinence, but mostly for the benefits of harboring swagger, clarity, and focus. Not really to recover. I see the destructive tendencies of this again and I am really trying to do recovery for higher reasons like I had before.
     
  4. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Managed to keep myself safe enough today to start to experience some withdrawals. Its about 2 or 3 days since my last PMO and I was ramping up the dopamine pretty hard near the end with some porn and romantic intrigue with the stripper. I texted her to cancel with her early this afternoon after talking to my old SLAA sponsor on the phone. This was not easy, I am quite attracted to her. But I know that it is bad news for recovery. For the rest of the day I tended to my to do lists and stayed somewhat busy despite my foggy brain. Reading recovery literature was helpful today too.

    I wanted some kind of jolt today, but I wanted recovery a little more. I miss the sanity of being out of the middle of this addiction. At least when i am dry, I can somewhat function. Every time I have a slip, the first three days are insanely discombobulated and fuzzy. I lose cognitive abilities and I have a hard time functioning. Tonight, I am starting to feel some glimmers of coherent thoughts, but I just have a headache.

    Even though in this state I tend to eat unhealthier just because I am trying to manage the stress, I was able to eat decent today. After being in that kind of addiction whirlwind, Ive learned to value the small successes. That is where larger successes build off of.
     
  5. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    The emotional component of this addiction is always lurking underneath everything. When I am in my cycle, I am weak, and it is easier to get sucked into that nasty downward spiral. I started feeling some of the uncomfortable emotions that I have been trying to escape and this has been a little uncomfortable. I've been at a standstill recently because I've been so caught up in the addiction cycle and just trying to manage the rest of my life. Now some of the underlying fears and insecurities are surfacing again and I want to get through this uncomfortable phase.

    I've been exhausted at times. I find myself getting sleepy and it reminds me of some CFS symptoms I have had during some other withdrawals. It seems to be linked with depression and makes withdrawals much harder. The hardest part is dealing w ith this for weeks at a time. It does tend to subside when I have had time away from the addiction, but if I'm on a 2 week schedule where I PMO around the 2 week mark, I am perpetually in this CFS state. On the other hand, this correlation hasn't been entirely consistent. But consistent enough for me to be aware of some kind of association.

    I also started exercising again. I've slacked for a few weeks. This will help for sure.
     
  6. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Damn, relapsed with the PMO, but didnt break my major bottom lines and didnt use porn. This woman who I had met on the internet and had sex with a couple of months ago contacts me after I had not contacted her for a month. She seems to be a bit of a sex addict herself, but she tends to focus on one person at a time and I guess I am that one person right now.

    I was about 5 days in and starting to feel some coherency. I need a new strategy to deal with these situations. I have a hard time turning down sex if I have the opportunity, despite knowing that I will not feel so great afterwards and am willing to hurt the woman. Plus, I need to stay focused on my work/school and altering my state like this disturbs me.

    Qualitatively, my acting out with women who are into it differ from experiences with paid or stripclubs. For some reason, paying or being around a woman who is just with you for money is degrading in a fundamental way for me. Like it makes me feel like crap even though morally I am not opposed to it. Not sure why it messes with me so much.

    This relapse hangover wont be as bad as recent hangovers, but I expect some effects this week. I am going to try to go strong with things that help my recovery like working out and not become paralyzed with shame and depression.
     
  7. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Ended up meeting up with Forun girl later on in the evening and the same result. She really wants a boyfriend. I feel a little dishonest being with the other woman, but I am also not committed to her. I do not want to be exclusive with her and I have told her that, but she is persistent.

    As far as my overall recovery, that gets pushed to the side when I am sleeping with them. I have a hard time doing recovery when I am active like this. I am cautious that I will try to deal with these emotions by acting out at the stripclub or something.

    At day 1 today, getting back into school/work this week so I will stay busy. Tired though. I get tired from all of this.
     
  8. 7maw4

    7maw4 New Member

    Very thought provoking. I'm rooting for you!
     
  9. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Thank you for the support. I like this community because we all tend to root for each other. I hardly do that in my life!

    Had some thoughts and urges tonight and even peeked a bit at the escort ads, but they all seemed like too much trouble. And they usually are. Its been a couple of weeks since I acted out and I want to keep coherency, the last few weeks have been very foggy. It can often take a month to get out of this kind of fog. And its deep fog too. i have been scattered in my thoughts and actions. Starting to get back on track a little with work and school. It was a nasty week this week though. Lots of brain worms and feeling tired, I was able to barely get by on my assignments and my work, but it has taken a lot out of me to do it. But the feeling of accomplishment is there and its a little something to build on.

    Damn, I have a date with this girl I met on the internet on Saturday. I just went on for a second and she emails me and we start texting. We are attracted to each other and vibe pretty well. Im going to go and enjoy her company, I can tell she is inexperienced with the dating scene and is in a bit of fantasy. I cant believe that I am good at getting these kinds of women into bed now. Hopefully I will enjoy her company so much I will just enjoy her company. If she messes up, I really start pushing up on her. If I like her, I might become paralyzed. Ironic, all of it.
     
  10. Gucci

    Gucci Guest

    Wow, I love your ability to go into things full on. And yes, I realize it has it's backside - in other words it can (and has, in both our cases) lead to addiction. I believe there's a process for people like us though: we have to go through a long dark tunnel, but when as we gain self-awareness and insight in how we work, we have the option to turn our drive into making our life really, really good.

    I've turned my energy that used to be consumed by porn into excercising, school and trying to eat healthier.

    First I've got to ask what participating in the 12-step group is like - what's your experience like and what's the participants backgrounds like?

    It's not a weird way, it's the way anxiety is meant to be handled :)

    It sounds to me like a big part of problem is getting offered the opportunity even when you don't want it - but falling for the temptation. Long-term that's an issue all in itself that needs to be dealt with, but have you thought about "setting up" your life in a way that minimizes these opportunities?

    I'm talking getting off the internet, changing your phone number and just handing it out to people that should really have it etc.

    Anyway, I really like the way I've seen you comment on people's journals - you're very insightful. If you have the time and interest, feel free to take a look at mine and post a few lines.

    Peace
     
  11. Rockhardington

    Rockhardington Persistence not Perfection

    Sorry for the delayed response (a friggin year).

    Slowly, recovery happens. Even if you are not putting as much into it as you feel that is necessary. Fundamentally, my personality is healing from this wild shift. More time is spent in soberland and less time in chaotic and destructive states of mind.

    I relapsed by going to a stripclub a couple of nights ago. It hurt. I have been scattered in my thinking and it is hard to concentrate. Even though I know these are the results, I still find a way to rationalize the behavior. I will stay away from PMO for 2-3 weeks and then orgasm with my girlfriend and it has me hankering for more, which is when I seek out PMO in other ways. I come close to seeing a prostitute, but I dont end up going that far. Too much trouble and the consequences and dangers are not something that I want to risk. Am I free from this danger? No way, it can still happen. It's just that I found a way for stripclubs to work for me now.

    I'll recover from this as I have with so many of my relapses. But I put myself through a lot more strain than I need. I am at a crucial juncture in my career and when I'm sober for a week or two, I'm effective and impressive in my work. When I am struggling and in the immediate throes of the addiction, it is the opposite.

    But I have experienced triumphs in recovery as well over the last year. They certainly arent as definable of an event as relapse, and arent as exciting, but it is recovery nonetheless. Simple habits like adhering to a bedtime, remaining consistent to my word, or seeing things in a better light are all things that I owe to steady progress in my time away from acting out on my bottom line behavior.
     
  12. Reginald

    Reginald 34y/o____________ STICK 2 THE SCRIPT

    DUDE. I think I remember you from the reuniting.info days...in 2011 or some shit. Good to see you're still at it. What happened in the year off?
     

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