Shame-aholic

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Imfree, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    The addict was trying a new strategy. This was extreme minimisation/trivialization. I got up on Saturday and he was like "ah, it's the weekend. Time to relax, maybe go to the coffee shop, read a book, a pit of porn". For a second I fell for this, thinking "yeah of course, I deserve a break. After this streak a little session can't hurt anything. It's not going to become a problem again and I have tried my best to convince my ex to take me back and I have no obligation to stay away from porn at the moment". Then I thought "...hey wait a minute! You know that staying away from porn is the most important thing for me! What are you trying to pull? Even if I do keep it to one session, it will still have lingering side-effects. I need to be clean for many months to even start to get the benefits".

    This is a sign that my true self is distancing from the addict. Before it would have been assumed that the angel and devil had been in constant communication and that they knew exactly where the other was at. Now they are becoming estranged.

    Last night I dreampt that I had a kid, but that he was a walking, talking skeleton. I dressed him up and was always worried about people finding out what he was. Parts off him kept falling off and we worked together to distract people and put him back together with nobody noticing. I was worried about him. I have been having dreams of romantic relations with "real" women every night now. When I was PMOing, it was very rare for me to have a sexual dream that was about a woman and not about porn. The women in my dreams are either somebody I just met who is exactly my type/ best I could hope for...or they are women I know or have been involved with, but they look much more attractive than in real life.

    Today was probably the most productive Sunday I ever had. I was really getting shit done. By 6pm I could really relax, having done all of my weekly chores, plus a number of things that I had been putting off for a long time. I was out walking around town and feeling much more comfortable being around people. Really, this was the most "normal" I had felt for decades. I wouldn't say that I was particularly happy, just feeling fine. My mind was clear and not troubled.

    I made a non-intrusive, but sincere (and I would say thoughtful) gesture to see if my ex would take me back. I still haven't heard anything from her, so there may be really nothing I can do at this point. I was doing laundry and I bumped into a woman who I had never seen in the building before. I was quite startled when I saw her because she looked exactly like my ideal type (as far as considering a serious relationship). I put my laundry in my apartment and came back to clean out the lint trap out of courtesy. This is what I normally would have done, but when I got back in the laundry room I started feeling really akward, thinking that she looked perfect and I looked and smelled like a slob (I was relaxing at home and not expecting to see a beautiful woman). It was a tight space and I didn't say a word, though she did make a brief aknowledgement of the gesture. I can't even begin to describe the extreme sense of failure I had leaving the room and realizing that I hadn't said anything to her.
     
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I have experienced such laundry room situations many times. Beutiful women often make me feel nervous and even when I say something it comes out wrong anyway. E.g. making a joke with a serious and nervous face. But I think the best way to deal with it is to just laugh about it. It is one of the funny, peculiar thing that comes with being a human being.

    You write once befire that you were doing imaginations. Maybe imagining actively how you would have wanted that situation to go, may help you next time in a similar situation. You could picture yourself being relaxed, smiling, saying hi, how are you, etc. I really believe in the power of such imaginations.
     
  3. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I agree with you on the visulization/"imaginations". This really works, but I don't know why it is so hard to do.

    I made my trip over the hollidays. I had worked up some irrational dread about the trip. Being the middle winter, not having that strong of a justification for going, etc. I saw friends/family/acquaintences (I had lived in the area, but not for long). There were highs and lows. Overall, I would say that the trip was a resounding success, but I was fixated on the loneliness and uncertainty coming into this tiny town that I had stumbled upon in a semi-random manner. I was beating myself up over things I should have said or done, but bottom line I had people willing to take me in and others remembered details about me in this outpost. On the drive there (crossing the border), I was on the upside with recovery, feeling not so much ashamed, but a mellower version of this. It was more like feeling a bit silly, mildly foolish. Like, "is this really my life? This is a bit ridiculous, but what are you going to do?"

    I spent New Year's with my family and I was presenting myself more honestly: "Yeah I smoke weed, I'm a bit strange, etc." I came back on New Year's day. I was struck by the worst despair of my life taking the ferry back to a place that is nearly as remote, but less friendly. I had the typical experience of the last 5-10 years, noticing how everybody was paired off and completely indifferent to me. ("I know that they must have all somehow met their partners, but it is inconceveable how there could ever be any opening in this totalitarian monogamous hermetically sealed system.") I was really in a state when I came home, reactivated my phone, and found zero messages. I made the most sincere and heartfelt communication towards my ex and went to bed. I thought "I made it. I got throught all that. There is no more challenging situation that can come up. I'm totally on track and over PMO." All I had to do was go to sleep at 10pm after a long drive and return to work the following day. I was in the clear...

    But sleep didn't come. I had a spontaneous spiritual experience where I was 100% convinced that I was visited by my dead father. I started to cry. I cried for 8 hours straight. Then I realized that it was time to go to work and I hadn't slept a wink. From all the crying, I had a headache and a stuffy nose. Then I felt really off. I called in sick for work, but I felt like I was malingering and they could see through it.

    All of a sudden I was completely overwhelmed. That's when the PMO starts. When you're ready to throw in the towel. When you're completely exhausted and you have no idea how to proceed. I felt the worst I had ever felt in my life. Hysterical, with contorted expressions on my face, jabbering and sobbing (neighbors could probably hear). I was terrified to turn on my phone to see if my ex had responded and if my family had responded to my email which seemed foolhardy in retrospect, describing my views on reincarnation and the afterlife. I became ill, feverish, delerious. One giant relapse. Two huge sessions, a day of recovery, then another huge session. Penis left tender and swollen. I escalated into all the most extreme genres. I tried to push myself into genres that I had restrained myself from exploring. But my heart wasn't really in it. I wanted a good dopamine hit so badly, but only got the slightest fizzle. PMO is just what you do when you are giving up and are out of ideas. It's just a desire for oblivion, a desire to be dead. To be unacountable. To excape.

    In the middle of the relapse (day two). I heard back from my ex. What proceeded was the most loving and tender breakup possible. We will meet again as friends, once things are processed. It was really left in a good place. I was given a great show of support in recovery (I had told her about PMO). I thought "how terrible that she is supporting me in recovery, but now I feel entitled to relapse when it's reached a resolution". Then I thought "she would understand with the relapse and everything". Really, I was on day 80. That's quite an accomplishment. I was heartbroken about relapsing and wished that it could be otherwise, but I didn't feel that much shame or sense of personal shortcomming.

    Yesterday I started getting some things done and feeeling like I couldn't wallow in that anymore. I visualized how I wanted things to happen in the near future (why is this so hard to do when it always turns out nearly exactly as imagined?) I felt so exposed after my communication to my family, but they gave a very encouraging response, like we had moved onto a new level. I was also dreading checking my bank balance after burning so much gas, etc., but it turns out I am just fine. I felt compelled to tell people how I really feel about them, so I sent out more heartfelt communication. (One to a woman I had a crush on, still haven't checked back on those.)

    Today I had recovered from my illness. I was up at 6am. Went to the coffee shop and the gym in the morning. Went for a walk in the woods at lunch. Had more interaction with co-workers than usual. In the city where I am living, I saw the women as stuck up and pretentious, but really not all that. "What did I think was so great about them? I would rather have a real woman, somebody down to earth." I got home cleaned my apartment 100% within an hour. I was short on ideas for what to do, but I couldn't tolerate being at home alone (was feeling this way to a lesser extent the day before). I stepped out to smoke a joint. I was debating driving vs. walking to the store. In spite of the weather, I made the walk. It was lovely and quiet. I could see the stars. Much better than being home on the computer. I popped into the pub for a drink. People there talked to me, but they were old booze hounds, and a bit sad. I thought "It is completely undertandable why I had to come here rather than stay at home, but this is not what what I was looking for". I went to the grocery store, and thought that it only felt right to buy strictly fruits and vegetables. I got into a twenty-minute tri-lingual conversation with some people I had just met. I carried this energy forward without thinking and got into a real conversation for five minutes with the cashier. That was always my goal in life: to feel like I had the social skills to connect with somebody anywhere I went, to be free and secure, not bored, isolated, and trapped.

    So, I need to keep up with the the visualization and getting out of the house more. I'm feel like I am reaching a tipping point where I have had enough and I hope that this is real this time and not just fantasy. 3 days relapse after 80 days sobriety is nothing. If I can do 80 days again I will be in good shape, but I am hoping to make the full year this time. It would be easy to remember the first week of January as the starting point. Good for a New Year's resolution.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  4. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm strong on no PMO coming out of the relapse. I didn't get into a relapse cycle. It was just one large relapse really. I have no desire to PMO now and can't imagine wanting to at the moment. I'm on day 11 now. I'm doing better at no non-porn masurbation as well.

    Psychologically, things have been very difficult though. I'm not feeling too bad today, but I had a few nights where I wasn't able to sleep because I was feeling so much emotional pain and then I was exhausted the following day. I've been engaging in a lot of good behaviours, but not seeing much improvement in my mental state, maybe even a deterioration.

    I have all of a sudden not felt like drinking alcohol whereas I was thinking earlier that I would have to accept a certain low-level of alcohol abuse for quite a while. Perhaps related to my body getting accustomed to sobriety, my stomach has been giving me a bit of trouble. I have done much better at keeping organized and doing all the daily tasks that need to get done. I got up early and went to the gym some mornings. I've been getting outside more, in spite of it being January. I was doing visualization/meditation/positive thinking most days (or several times a day). I did some dancing in front of the mirror in my apartment in hopes of feeling more comfortable the next time I am expected to dance in public.

    These are still solitary activities, but they should make some subtle and gradual changes to increase the likelihood of more social success in the future. I gave up many years ago on the idea of (non-toxic) friends being a regular part of my life. I'm not sure to what extent it is me specifically, cultural changes, or getting older, but I don't think that regular social opportunities can be expected as a forgone conclusion. I had completely given up for a while though. I need to be open to the possibility, but not to get too discouraged if satisfying interactions are few and far between. I try to keep up borderline "friendships" and people that are somewhere between friends and aquaintences. I would consider a friend to be somebody who makes the effort to contact you more than once a year (if ever). Things are really one-sided, but I make my occasional attempts to remind people that I'm still here and wanting to hang out. I have made baby steps and getting more interaction into my daily life, just the occasional sentence spoken to somebody new and feeling a bit more comfortable talking to co-workers and people like that. I may have to accept that the life I envisioned could never come, but it would be easier to bear if I can honestly say that I did everything in my power to improve the situation.

    At the moment, the PMO issue is not feeling like an epic struggle. I suppose that I crave the struggle to a certain extent. While I have won epic battles, it's hard to avoid sometimes thinking that it is partly just age/developmental related changes combined with exhausting the possibilities with porn. I would have felt better about beating porn at a young age when the urge was still pervasive. The information wasn't out there back then though. I intuitively knew that porn was the source of a lot of my problems, but nobody could confirm and legitimize these feelings, so the addict was able to deceive me and trivialize the issue (or make me think that there would be negative physical consequences from staying off porn). I'm sure that the cravings and flashbacks will return, but right now when I think about porn, it's just like "why would I have ever wanted that/ thought that it would make me feel good". In these times the only emotions towards porn are subtle fear and regret. That is the appropriate response to porn, to be afraid of it. It was wierd how it used to seem comforting.
     
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  5. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Day 23.

    I've cut out porn and all my other bad habits, including:
    • procastination on cleaning/organizing the house, personal grooming, etc. (place is now always spotless.)
    • problematic use of drugs and alcohol
    • eating to alter my mood
    • wasting money
    • excessive non-porn masturbation
    I'm getting up earlier, going to the gym more, getting outside more, and getting more guitar/piano practice in.

    I'm improving on not fidgeting and obsessing, but there is a a fair bit of room for improvement there.

    I feel much worse overall though. Today I got home and started crying as soon as I got in the door. I suppose that there have been times when I have felt better in certain ways. It is a relief to know that I'm not intentionally hurting myself anymore. I am having trouble imagining scenarios where I could have any social interaction with people who aren't family and having trouble imagining getting a date through means other than online dating. My libido has recently increased (could be related to porn, alcohol, exercise, or all three), but I have nowhere to direct it. For a while there, I wasn't pereceiving any of the women I was seeing as attractive. That's the main change: I'm checking out women again.

    I am really beating porn this time, but this has been very difficult for me because as long as I was continuing to act out periodically, I could imagine that life would be fantastic if I succeded at that one thing. I wouldn't say that I have any real friends at the moment, at least not any who live in the same city, and I haven't had much of the way of casual conversation. I had a pretty deep and honest converstion with my sister yesterday. That probably wouldn't have happened if I was still PMOing. I didn't feel like it was of much use, but I did have good dreams afterwards...or there were good parts to them. At least I was able to sleep rather than waking up after a few hours from a dream of drowning, suffocating, or being in a war zone. So, maybe my subconscious thought that I had accomplished something.

    I still have a tiny bit of hope that things could get better, but this may be the extent of it: More order and enjoyment of solitary activities, but zero social interaction. A private victory so far. I feel like I'm past the point of trying to escape from suffering. The thing that gets me is "what could I have possibly done to deserve this, when there are so many lazy, irresponible, weak people and assholes who pretty much have it made." I've been trying to repent for something for so long, but I can't get to the bottom of it. Opportunities are diminishing quickly, but maybe I could get things together somewhat. I don't know what I'll do if I'm in this position at 40.
     
  6. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    Not to make you feel worse or anything, but I had similar thoughts when I was approaching the 40s... and then 50s. What ever happens, happens. We tend to beat ourselves up about social expectations. For example, at 35, a "normal" man will have a house, wife, and children. At 40, he will have promotions at work. At 50... Personally, I have met none of those goals and often feel like a loser. Similar with friends. I never have had many close friends and often feel lonely. So, what is the response: accepting yourself as you are now and being gently if you have any relapses. This is not to say you should give up striving to improve yourself or rid you life of addiction. The struggle we face is with our glorification of the future as some kind of golden path whereas it is probably more like a muddy path leading up a mountain. And that is good too!

    I get the shame bit. It is a nasty game that is going on in your head. Get out of your head!
     
  7. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Definitely a worthy goal. Any suggestions on how to do this? Lately I've been just trying to keep busy.

    I did have a social outing today which was quite satisfying.

    I'm approaching the month marker now (day 29). Over a month is always a good position to be in. That's the cutoff for feeling like I am really getting a streak going. I was getting fairly strong cravings a few minutes ago. These cravings for not for any wierd or extreme genres, so that's a good thing. Just focused on the kind of women that I want to look at. I've been feeling like I haven't been seeing many women with nice bodies lately, just a lot of sticks. This is triggering. I am feeling like the sight of a nice figure is a vitamin that I am becoming deficient in.
     
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  8. Caoimhín

    Caoimhín Winter's coming...

    ummmm.... I was hoping that you knew...

    Definitely my general state of mind.
     
  9. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm feeling quite a bit better at the moment. I'm feeling a bit excited for no rational reason. I was in bed at midnight and up at 5, but I don't feel tired. My mind is still telling me that things are very boring and it's just a bunch of the same old shit coming, but I just feel different.

    Most any state of affairs will put me at risk of relapse for different reasons. How I feel now reminds me of how I felt when I was young and got my first exposure to porn. I remember how anything I saw would be unbeliveable and I felt like it was more than harmless, but actually beneficial. I know that this is just an illusion though. I was young and full of enthusiasm for life and I directed that energy towards porn. I felt like porn was causing those feelings, but it was just an association. I didn't have the means to overindulge back then and I never would have even if I could because I still had a lot of self respect. At that time I went out of my way to find porn when I was feeling particularly vigorous (had built up reserves). I thought that porn was feeding that energy, but it was slowly draining it.

    Even if I could somehow convince myself that accomplishing things in life and having interpersonal relationships is of no value, I would never be able to get back into the same kind of dynamic with porn. The most recent relapses were so difficult because the porn was so unsatisfying. Even if I went to full escalation right away, I could at best grasp a few fleeting seconds of the old rush. I was thinking "I'm not conflicted about this, I really want to binge to porn, but this is absolute crap, not even worth masturbating to". I thought that something good was around the corner, but it never came. Right now I am going through flashbacks of material spanning the whole range of "cores" and I believe that any of it would be incredible, but I know that it would be the same as it has been for years. I would get too detached and critical while watching the porn, not being convinced that some element of the scene wasn't faked, or criticizing various attributes of the performers. It gets too clinical and I'm trying to intensely observe that the acts have truley been played out to their full extent (even those that are difficult to document visually). I have no idea why this matters. Most of the time I'm not fantasizing about the scenario at all, but for some reason I feel a need to believe that it actually happened as depicted somewhere and the woman "must have" enjoyed it.

    It's quite surprising how much I am still motivated by this breakup. After four or five months, I am still seeing our time together as idyllic. It's surprising that love can actually do these things in this day and age. Of course, I took it for granted at the time or got stuck in the same loops of grumpiness that I was in when I was single. The sense of acceptence is what moved me. That it was really over and there was nothing stopping me from seeking out rock bottom, that objectively I had little reason for hope in this aspect of life or in any others, that she knew that I was stuggling with this and probably would understand if I relapsed...but that I knew somebody was supporting me...that I could learn these lessons the hard way. That's what's keeping me on track. The fear of a complete loss of meaning. When the relationship was getting going, I meditated and prayed every night that things would progress. If I said, "actually I don't care and I would rather watch [censored]." That would be a very fitting prelude to suicide, but if I can stay sober that in itself is irrrefutable proof that there is a point, that people can change. If we're just slaves heading towards evolutionary dead ends and free will is an illusion, there's really no reason to continue, or to not take up a life of crime. I have to stay out of this at some point. The only time it could ever happen would be now.
     
  10. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    While on a rational level I'm am feeling defeated these days, my subconscious seems to feel differently. The extreme nightmares have stopped for a week or so. Several nights in a row I have had dreams where I beat a video game or some really challenging puzzle. Something like on the original Super Mario Brothers, the trick where you keep kicking the turtle shell coming down the stairs and accumulate a practically unlimited number of lives. It's like I'm so hopeless and defeated that I have looped back around the other side. I'm not focused on or expecting a satisfactory outcome, but just trying my best out of stubborn defiance. "This is just what I do." I had another dream where I was being crowned and dressed up in priestly robes and there were helpers who were arguing amongst each other "who does he think he is?".
     
  11. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I mentioned having a "deep and honest converstion with my sister" a few posts back. That really backfired. She seems to think that I am mildly autistic and/or schizophrenic and that I might become violent. I tried to get into analyzing the source of psychological difficulties and she vehmenently denied the experiences I had had (what people had said to me). She basically said that I was full of shit and that I had some kind of genetic brain defect. I think that there is little validity in what she is saying and this adds to the sense of betrayal that I have relating to her. This is probably a positive on the whole though. It has forced me to stand up for myself and to have more compassion relating to the things I have gone through. I did get somewhat negative in trying to describe what I was trying to sort out. I brought up some aspects of nature and society that she would have trouble accepting, so it was easier for her to say that the problem was entirely with me.

    It's taken me years to really get going with No PMO, so still think that it is possible that I can really distance myself from it and people will see a dramatic change. I have been feeling more at peace with my thoughts lately. Still keeping up a lot of good habits. I'm dancing every day because I would feel a real sense of accomplishment if I could get really comfortable with it and surprise people the next time I go out. Meditating every day. Going to the gym every other day. Today is day 35 no PMO. I was getting some cravings today, but generally they haven't been so bad. I am able to cut them off pretty quickly and I haven't really been thinking about porn scenarios or wierd sex acts in any detail. Progress has been slow, but before I wasn't able to cut the fantasizing short and it could build over the course of half an hour or so.
     
  12. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    For the past week or so, I have been feeling quite differently. I had one old friend who really came through for me, which was quite heartening. I can say that I haven't really felt ashamed at all, just a few momentary resurgences which I was able to push away. I've been really sad about my situation, but not blaming myself for it. It's too early to get my hopes up about this and it just feels quite strange at the moment. Really, this has been going on for the better part of 30 years. I rememeber at age 8 often coming home crying thinking "I'm not good at anything" and believing that I had some kind of disease that made me weak and bad at sports.

    If this is a real turning point and not just a false hope, I can attribute it mostly to becoming impeccable in my habits and behaviour, eliminating all self-harm and self-handicaping. Most people can be very forgiving with themselves, but I can't let it go if I am currently slipping up in any way. Also my sister's comment motivated me to deny her assessment and believe that I am basically normal but that I have been a challenged by unusual circumstances. I have been shifting from thinking "I must have done something terrible to deserve this" and "the world is an awful place" to "how can it be that I'm still not getting what I want? I have been working very hard and it seems only reasonable that things would turn around eventually".

    I'm at day 44 now. I've been mostly posting in the monthly accountability thread.

    I made a return to online dating yesterday. I just updated my profile and sent one message. I need to be careful to set limits on the time spent on the dating site. Definitely not good to make it a daily activity. I logged off and saw from checking my email that I had received a significant response after a few minutes on the site. One would think that this would reduce my cravings, but it greatly amplified my sexual frustration. While I might be on the road to getting into a relationship or getting laid, it seems like more work than it's worth. I was fighting the psychological intertpretation of "oh yeah, there are women out there who would be interested in me, don't take things so seriously, you can PMO a bit and then puruse women when you are ready." The dating site is dangerous territory. Before logging off, I saw some lingerie shots on the top and clicked on one of them. From what I gather, these are prostitutues posing as women looking for a fling and the website encourages this as a means to boost their revenue.

    I made it through a very rough night of cravings last night without masturbating or PMOing.

    I'm at the point now where my brain is desparately seeking out porn to the point where it will project porn onto things not intended to be pornographic. I was reading a library book just now which had a small black and white photo of a topless woman. Something about traditional fertility rituals in India. The epitome of innocencent male interest, like National Geographic years ago. I did stare for moment. More troubling, I saw an ad in a newspaper with only shirtless men. For a second the dopamine kicked in and my brain though "maybe a gangbang is about to happen".

    Generally, I'm going crazy with desire for my ex. I'm not very motivated to find somebody new. Well, I am seeing women around which I find very attractive (been thinking of one at the coffee shop since this morning), but I imagine being only physical and not worth the effort and risk of rejection. It wasn't a bad breakup with my ex. She just wanted a commitment and I hesitated too much. Now I'm thinking maybe I should propose to her, but I'm probably very far the past the point of that being appropriate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  13. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    My brain is getting pretty desparate now in clinging to the porn. It's telling me "past attempts at moderation haven't been that successful, but surely there must be some schedule you can get on that would be infrequent enough to not cause any real problems, but still give you a bit of a break and something to look forward to". "PMOing once a month over an extended period of time still caused problems. The last streak was 80 days and you felt great at the end of that. How about getting onto an 80 day cycle with planned relapses?"
     
  14. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Back on the dating site this evening after the planned 48-hour break. While it can lead to a real relationship and it is not that over-the-top stimulating, it can be problematic. I can spend longer on there than anticipated, just clicking through a few more profiles. It is the dopamine hit in a certain way. Or it can just be very frustrating as it seems like there very limited options. You get desparate and waste more time on there, and then feel like a fool for doing so, but then think that now you should continue since you are invested and expect something to show for it. Plus there is a fair amount of actual soft porn on there (ads and certain profiles). No nudity, but very revealing. Since it's right there, I will click on the image to enlarge (profiles, not ads). This could have triggered a relapse earlier, but now it's just a temporary setback. It could have been worse, I was only on there for half an hour or so. I have a conversation going with a woman I am probably not very interested in.
     
  15. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Things are going better. I'm on day 59 no porn, day 9 no masturbation.

    I'm feeling better, but still getting intense attacks of grief and regret over this breakup. If there was any way to get back together with her I would. It seems like there should be a way, but she said several times not to contact until she eventually contacts me because it is too hard on her emotionally.

    I'm still super productive, probably moreso.

    I'm having a lot more success with online dating than I did in the past, probably partly due to the fact that I'm not trying as hard. I should be getting some meetings going this week.

    I was practicing dancing at home, and this paid off. I went to a party a couple weeks back and danced all night. It probably won't lead to any new long-term social connections, but I was a lot less awkward and/or detatched then I was at most of the parties I've been to. So, in this case my approach of always working on self-improvement, even while alone and with no plans, seems to be a good one.

    Cravings have been less overall, in the last couple weeks, but they have been of a different type. Today it was an all-body thing. Not feeling like I needed porn to deal with shitty things, more like I got excited at the thought of accessing porn. I'm flip-flopping between feeling like I might relapse relatively soon and thinking that I "just can't". At certain times, it seems like porn would be practically impossible because I immediately start thinking about the consequences.
     
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  16. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    As often happens when I get a streak going, I'm cycling backwards through various ways of relating to porn. At the end it was just a means of escape, but early on it was something exciting and rebellious. I feel like I'm at risk of relapse in the next couple weeks, because I'm getting back to that idea: "I want to be naughty". Really, watching porn is the complete opposite of rebellion. Porn could replace Soma in Brave New World. At the moment, I'm being saved by wanting to be in good shape for the online dating meetings and by the idea "I won't find the porn I really want". I got too blaze and critical about porn and couldn't fully get into it even when I wanted to. This is what I need to keep in mind: I'll go through pages of videos which I've already seen, pixelated videos, pop ups, pop unders, downloads that don't click through, buffering, things I don't want to see, etc. It's always the same, hours of clicking though things and judging everything to be sub-par, thinking "I would stop if I could find something good". Then if I do find something good, I think "now I'm getting results, I'm sure more of the same quality is a few clicks away." You can't win and escalation is a one-way street.
     
  17. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    Cravings have subsided just writing this. Right now I'm glad to have the evening in front of me. If I PMOed, I would think "What a waste. Now I have just as much shit to deal with, but less time and energy." I would want to redeem myself and work hard to get organized. I'm already at that point. Just time to relax, no need to complicate it with this roller coaster of falling and then struggling to pull myself back up.
     
  18. Intothewild89

    Intothewild89 Active Member

    Wow I could have written this. Sometimes I’ll get 4 hours deep in a binge and think “I just know that video is right around the corner, if you find it you’ll be set and you can end it”. Sure enough I’ll find it, but it doesn’t end. I’ll think I can find more like it. By that point it’ll be morning and I haven’t slept. Yup, you summed up 98% of my binges. :D
     
  19. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    I'm really out of ideas. I have all this positive energy most of the time. I get really active with doing things that I think will improve my life. I don't know what those might be, but I get ideas and I try them. I'm not lacking in motivation, willpower, or courage. I just can't perceive any opening for improved socialization or dating. I have no idea how much of this is circumstatial, how much of it is due to my character, and what control (if any) I have over it. I just know that in my 37 years on this planet I haven't found anybody who I respect who actively seeks out my company.

    I had a relapse on Friday and Saturday which I had planned several days in advance. I was getting worked up over the online dating thing. I have been barely sleeping at all. Maybe four hours a night. I had set very ambitious goals for a serious streak, but I couldn't handle the pressure anymore. I'm really not well. I was sabotaging myself when there was still a potential for something to happen, but I really got mistreated by a couple women I was supposed to meet. This has worsened my perceptions of women. I can keep up groundless optimism for quite a while, but at some point despair becomes preferable to false hope. I can only switch between negative emotions, but I can't find positive ones. I get supper intense, obsessive, manic, then angry, then I give up. Fear is definitely the best emotion that I have access to.

    After getting jerked around by this woman on online dating, I had a joyless relapse. I'll never get into continuous binges again, that's not an option. I can't maintain interest in porn anymore, but on the rare occasions when I do relapse I really try to get back into it. Right away, I get into watching super fucked up shit that doesn't even arouse me. I'm just looking for something new. After many hours I give up and then de-escalate. I still have trouble stopping even though I feel nothing. When I finally finish the binge I am glad to be done.

    Apart from trying to dull the overwhelming emotions associated with the online dating efforts, I also fell into the old trap of thinking that I need to PMO just to "make sure the equipment is still working". I don't have those kinds of problems though. I can perform quite well when I get the chance with a real woman. I get the expected physiological response to porn as well. I'm able to orgasm quickly masturbating without porn, but this is non-exciting to the level of being completely pointless. Physically things are working just fine. When the appropriate stimulus is there things work and always better the longer I go without sexual activity. "Use it or lose it" is not true in my experience. Porn is psychologically devestating for me though. One session can have serious repercussions for my views on relationships, on my self-worth, and on my entire worldview which last many months. Evey time I PMO a part of me dies.

    People on the forum are concerned how much they wind up looking at penises with PMO, but I can understand why I do this and it doesn't really trouble me. I want to see uncircumcized penises because of a very deep (and appropriate) desire to be intact. That was the saddest thing about this last session. Watching on screen what I can never have. That really cuts to the core of my being.

    After finishing the session yesterday morning and confirming that the "date" wasn't going to happen, I was so depressed that I didn't get off the couch all day. I took hard drugs to try to get through, but I was too depressed for them to have an effect and I still cried myself to sleep.

    I was glad to have the capacity to get out of the house this morning. I came back home to eat some lunch. I was standing at the kitchen counter and I litterally collapsed and started going into convulsions on the floor due to the emotional pain. My mind is trying to kill my body, wishing that my heart could stop or that I would fall asleep and not get up.

    I went out in the woods. I was hoping to get mauled by a cougar. That's when things really get bad, when I would take a gory death and not just hope to snuff it. I won't ever actively kill myself though. That would just be demonstrating that I am a loser. I took my shirt off even though there was ice and snow on the ground and did some rock climbing. I got into a somewhat dangerous situation. That was the best part of the whole weekend, having some genuine sense that I could die and choosing self-preservation, carefully climbing down. I can experience physical and mental discomfort like that, but I can't apply it to altering my social circumstances. It's not that I'm afraid of people, it just seems non-sensical and pointless to try to approach them. They're always trying to prevent an opening.
     
  20. Imfree

    Imfree Active Member

    That was overly dramatic.

    Things aren't going that badly, even the offence I took was baseless in one out of two situations. I was getting in to emotional difficulty to the point where it was a risk to my health though. I slept maybe one hour last night.
     
    -Luke- likes this.

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