Shame-aholic

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

  1. Imfree

    Imfree 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. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh 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 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
    occams_razor likes this.

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