Shame, relapse, repeat

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by MissingSelfCompassion, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    This is fair. You do have to like yourself and that isn't always an easy task. One of the first things someone said to me when I came to the forum was "you have to love yourself." I didn't know that that meant, nor what that looked like. I still don't really know what it looks like. Sometimes I think I'm OK while other times I feel useless. Here comes the "but." :) But, we have to take a risk. We can't think ourselves out of this, nor wait for ourselves to get incrementally better; at least I do not believe we can. However, if we take a bit of a leap then we can sweep away much of the chatter that exists in the brain.

    I feel your resistance and honestly I would, and have, felt the same way. I've felt frozen, unable to act. So, I made a plan. I decided that on holiday I would bang the wife. I planned it like I was doing a bank robbery. I bought lube, new underwear, a different kind of deodorant, and got my hair (what's left of it) cut. The lube did not work and that's why the wife and I now use coconut oil. I'm pushing you. So, there's a risk you'll just shut down, or disappear and stop posting on your journal, or get angry with me. So, I'm taking a risk, too. I have no interest in antagonizing people, but I also hate watching people stay stuck.

    MSC, you are a great guy. You write incredibly well and make incisive comments. I really love having you on this board. You contribute a lot to the men here and I DO think you are on a much better track. Most people don't respond well to my pushing and I understand that because I also hate to be pushed. I have many walls of resistance that I can throw up. I should've been a mason I've put up so many walls. But, now I'm trying to smash them down.

    You and your wife have talked with a counsellor but that is just talk. Therapists love to get people talking and hashing through all manner of things. But, at some point we act or we don't. I believe you have it within you to take a leap of faith toward yourself. You see, having sex with your wife is for you.

    Anyway, I'll leave it at that. :)
    Outsider. likes this.
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Just as a PS:

    My wife did the same. "I'm old. I'm saggy. I'm not sexy." OMG, the list went on and on. Yes, it is to pile the guilt on, but it's also because the wife wants validation. I tell my wife regularly how cute she is, how young she looks compared to others, how I love her smile. Sometimes it's forced on my part, but it makes her feel good. It makes her feel wanted. It makes me feel good, too. :)
  3. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    GUILE, GUILE! I love it! Once you know where it comes from its kind of funny! Ask your mother- in- law why she taught her daughter ! Wait, better not ! Just bend SO over and plow! Wonder what SO will say then? Nothing I bet!:p
  4. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    Nail-biting again last night as I read my book. I wasn't sleepy and thought about getting up, but I knew where that would lead.
    What is something productive I can do if I get up?

    Jump on the forum, this is probably the best time to use it. Right?
    No, I could get triggered by someone's celebration of real life conquest or find myself in another tab looking at P-subs.
    P-subs? Like what?
    No. Go to sleep.

    This morning, I woke up eager to hit the forum. I typically read on my ancient laptop. I sat at the desktop this morning to eat breakfast while reading. Instead of coming here, I found some news to read first. When I was done, I popped into the forum on a tab and then felt the crawling of the urges. The desktop is probably where I've done most of my PMO. I read some alerts and then fought the urge to open a tab with something harmful in it. I still feel it now, as I type. There's an urge to go jump in the shower, to run. However, there's also a part of me trying to accept this. The urge surfing is a legitimate strategy. I believe urges last 7 seconds. Sure, the next 7 seconds can also be triggering, but can I sit with desire for 7 seconds? Can I let it be? It's something I've done since I was 12. This is a well worn neuro pathway. Maybe it's time for compassion, if I can do it.
    Hey man, you've been doing this for a while. It's really helped make a mess of your life and that sucks. I'm here with you. It's okay that you feel this way. You're not a bad guy, you're a human and we're all flawed. You're okay. I love you just the way you are. It's going to be okay.

    I'm crying now. Maybe I'll have that shower.
    A New Man likes this.
  5. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    It is at these moments that we can change. You demonstrate how. Great job!
    Saville likes this.
  6. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    Reading @A New Man 's journal and some others I'm empowered to share. Treating my reboot as a project is interesting, but I think one of my mistakes is not going back and reading my own journal? Do others do this?

    I ask because a lot of times journaling is about emptying myself of the stress and worry "out loud" and seeing that much of it is unfounded. It helped in that moment, but maybe I need to go back and revisit, especially to celebrate the positive?

    Though, I'm curious if sharing the daily temptations is also a trigger. Yesterday, I spent much of my day fighting the urge. I tried sitting with it and that worked 2-3 times, but I was stressed and down. Thus, it just kept coming back at me. It was a close call. I opened a tab and started to type an address before remembering that I used the hosts file to block all my regular haunts. I got up from the computer and meditated. I tried to go back to work on the computer after, but I was shaken and distracted still. Today, will likely be a challenge.
    Gil79 likes this.
  7. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    There have been a few guys here who have used a blocker called K-9. You install in on your computer and then have the password hidden somewhere you dont' have access to. Some have given the password to another person, someone they trust, obviously. @40New30 who used to be a regular poster here swore by it. In fact, his journal is excellent and I would highly recommend checking it out.
    Gil79 likes this.
  8. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Last year I have been rereading my entire old journal in the 30s section. Found it really helpful to see that on the one hand I have made significant progress but on the other hand going in circles. Also the old advice of fellow rebooters to you keeps its value and rereading that with different eyes in a different setting is also very helpful.

    Thank yourself for blocking those sites! Great job for nof acting out. If you really wanted to, you would have.
  9. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    I usually think this about myself, but yesterday I was feeling it during PMO. I broke. I felt I was headed that way. I could have done more to stop, but I'm trying this compassion thing. So, I'm not going to focus on that. No, I was not feeling any dopamine, or enjoyment as I tried PMO yesterday. I was going through the motions, and literally my body felt ill. So yes, I broke the chain in my streak. However, maybe my neural pathways are changing ever so slightly. Maybe, my new pathways are strong enough to disrupt the old routine. My streak wasn't that long, true. However, I've been working on rebooting and gone 2 months sober in previous attempts. So there is evidence that I'm building new neural pathways.

    So, I don't like me. I've always thought I was a gross perv. Yet, I'm trying to hold onto this new "gross" feeling. The physical feeling I had yesterday. The reward, like in most addictions, has diminished over the years. Yesterday, there was no sign of the reward at all. I want to remember that. Too many times I've PMO'ed and felt like garbage after because shame and guilt are how I've learned to motivate myself to change over the years. Unfortunately, that doesn't work. I'm trying to remember how gross I felt in a new context. I didn't enjoy myself.
    titan_transcendence likes this.
  10. Outsider.

    Outsider. Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    Don't be confused between perversion and addiction. You PMO because you were an addict, not because you were a pervert.
    My father, May God have mercy on his soul, fighted against cancer for around five years.
    As he lived far from my house, I used to go and visit him at the hospital when the Doctor told me he was about to die. Several times they told me that my father was about to die in the next few days or weeks. So I slept at the hôtel nearby and guess what?
    While my father was literally dying I was watching P in my hotel room. PMO while I'm losing my father, can you imagine ?
    Was it because I was a gross pervert ? Or just because I suffered from an addiction ? I let you answer.
    MissingSelfCompassion and Gil79 like this.
  11. Lowdo

    Lowdo Well-Known Member

    Hi @MissingSelfCompassion. I want to give you loads of advice but keep typing stuff and then deleting it. So instead I'm just gonna say I'll be praying for you - I know that doesn't fix anything but I know you'll get through this. Keep going; even (especially) when you fall.
    Gil79 likes this.
  12. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    If there was no dopamine rush, what made you continue? Just habit, or were you really trying hard not to be in the present moment?

    Good you posted!

    You're not gross or a perv. It is just a label you think you have to put on yourself. You're a man on his way to live life to the fullest and according to his values. Looking forward to the day you have changed your name and journal title to something really positive :)
  13. Outsider.

    Outsider. Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    Exactly what I've been thinking since the first time I saw it as well :p
  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    That's rough. But the story illustrate the point you're making - to cope with a traumatic event you self soothed in the only way you knew how.
  15. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    Yes, I agree. When we have trauma we go to what we think will comfort us. Don't harass yourself about this. You had a very traumatic event and you were trying to cope. Coping for all of us comes in different fashion and ways. Move on bro you will be ok.
    Outsider. likes this.
  16. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    To answer your question @Gilgamesh, I think that the dopamine rush is in the search for P. I think I was trying to escape the presence. I feel as if I found this in a previous reboot. There's no rush in the O, it's all in the search for fantasy, the newness.

    It's a good illustration @Outsider. Thank you for the reminder. I know, at least in a rational sense, that I'm not a perv. I think emotionally that I'm still working through that. So I appreciate all the comments to remind me as such.
    Outsider. and Gil79 like this.
  17. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    Perv is a classification that the world would like us to believe. Saville writes about " toxic masculinity " which appears to be the " in" thing today. A name classification means you must believe everything about it. You are YOU, perv is a classification the " feminazi would like you to believe. Remember you ARE YOU! Fuck them folks!
  18. Outsider.

    Outsider. Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    MissingSelfCompassion and Gil79 like this.
  19. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    I've been in a funk of self-loathing and denial.
    I was ignoring my mother for over a week. That was feeding the shame. I should be a good son and call my mom.
    I somehow got through my US taxes without crashing. Yet, when it came to doing the CAN taxes with the spouse, I broke. The feelings that I am less than, a loser, and a burden all boiled up. I used PMO to forget. Hated myself after and could barely get out of bed. If I didn't have to walk to the dog, I might not have gotten through the last week or so. Topping it off, the spouse and I have been working through a book for the last 2 years. This book has exercises in each chapter and we both have a difficulty wanting to work through it. That's because it is about dealing with an affair. We worked the second to last chapter on the weekend. It was about whether we should stay together or not. Of course, we decided this ages ago. Thus, the book hashes up some old pains. I don't doubt the usefulness of it, but it's fucking difficult. We were to list things that need to change and some strategies to move forward. My employment came up. As did her trust issue. She said she's not ready to renew vows or anything yet. So, that fucking hurt. The thing is, it's really hard for me to direct any anger or frustration at her. After all, I am the one who broke the trust. Plus, shame is my game. I always turn it on myself.
    Guys, I'm hurting. It's lonely. And, I didn't come here to isolate myself further. I see that now. It's hard for me not to turn that around on myself as well. There's a voice saying I let you guys down. Another saying that I am pathetic for giving advice and sharing ideas here that I don't follow myself.
    Finally, my psychiatrist has pointed out how I have a pattern of victimizing myself in this way because our unconscious brains don't like change. She also pointed out that I am noticing my patterns and that is progress. I was advised, once again to respond, not react to my emotions. That works well in a model where you've separated rational thought from emotions. However, that's a model. My mind is emotions and rational thought. So, thanks for the advice, but right now it doesn't seem possible. I've been in worse states. And, I've been in a better places mentally. Sure, it's possible for me to get better. My next thought is, "for how long?" It's the negativity in this moment. It's the sort of emotional outburst that I am to respond to, instead of react. I'm not sure how to handle that fear. "Hey, no one likes to be scared. You're not alone. Do what you can in this moment."
  20. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I think we're all "guilty" of this at one time or another. It's quite a human thing to do.

    I don't have much better advice to give specifically on your situation but I'd say focus on handling the current day (even if it's hard) and you will slowly get to a better place. Give yourself time. Take it easy. It's okay to be afraid, it's okay to be angry. The important thing is to keep going.

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