Shame, relapse, repeat

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

  1. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    Thanks. I want to be enough. I;m so tired of feeling like a burden.
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    If you want someone else to like you, it really helps to regularly do something nice for that person and say nice things. This will also help for liking yourself. Make yourself a nice lunch. Put effort in it. Buy yourself a nice shirt. Try to do something nice for yourself every other day. On a daily basis you can write something nice about yourself. I am sure you can find good things about yourself. This will help! Do it even if it feels wrong and do it consistently.
    nuclpow and Outlier like this.
  3. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    The new medication is mowing me down daily. Supposedly, the psychiatrist said it should only last 2-3 weeks. I'm getting headaches, drowsiness, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Maybe those last two will slim me down. :rolleyes: The only real permanent side effect is low sex drive. Heh.

    Anyway, I have felt like garbage all week. I'm surprised this didn't send me to P for dopamine, but I just want to have my eyes closed all the time. I can see why some people quickly ditch antidepressants before giving them a chance. I was feeling like there was no end to my suffering before, now I don't want to get out of bed. That's not an improvement! I'm going to at least give this medication a month. The last one I was on made me numb and I felt it was locking my emotions down completely. The doc is hoping this brings my brain chemistry up to get me out of the dark, suicidal thoughts.

    I don't know if I shared this before, but I heard an author talking once about her time in a psych ward after she attempted suicide. In treatment, she casually mentioned that suicide was always option D and the doctor treating her said not everyone thinks like that. It really shocked her, and helped her realize that she had a mental health issue. Hearing that interview shocked me as well. Like her, I believed everyone thought of option D. Thus, I am now monitoring these thoughts more. And, why I decided to try some new meds after taking nothing for 5 months. So, I brought this on myself. It just really sucks right now.
  4. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    Fear and loathing.

    "Am I doing this right?" A question that eats me alive, each and every day. Of late, I've been controlling my male gaze. I only noticed because today I heard the voice when I saw an attractive woman. It was a hollow urge, the fantasy to imagine myself with this woman. Then, I realized that these fantasies have been absent. Immediately, I started questioning my methods. Have I been too busy to bother? Have I allowed the urges and told myself "it's only biology and natural to have these urges?" Is it the new meds which are supposed to affect my sexual desires?

    Meds? Well then, interesting side effect, but what affect with this have on my tension-filled marriage?
    Acceptance? Sounds good, but I don't see evidence that I've been doing this really.
    Too busy? Yeah, I have been moving and shaking a lot. The meds are messing with my head and I've been trying to fight it. Correction through avoidance.

    Three ideas and three ways I have shut myself down. These three possibilities have all been warped into harming me. Not fantasizing is a good thing, but I'm not giving myself credit. So how can I make this more realistic?

    I have noticed I'm not fantasizing about strange women as much. Maybe it is the meds? Hey, that's a plus considering all the gross side effects I have been having. Honestly, deep down, I do recall catching myself getting a bit lusty and the opposite, being judgemental of women I'm not attracted to, yesterday. I labeled it as judgement and and fantasy and kept walking the dog. I have been busy. Is the motivation to forget about P and my depression? Is the business anxiety filled? Hmm, I have gotten many things accomplished. That's great! I can't say I'm avoiding addiction and depression if I am here posting, and meditating. So, hey, let me try to give myself some credit. I am scared, but in this moment things are not as bad as my mind would like to paint it. This is recovery.
    NewHorizon likes this.
  5. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Love this post. Great suggestions for slowly building up your self worth.

    See how you get on for the first few weeks, if you can tolerate the side effects, perhaps after that you will start to feel the benefit of these tablets. Keep us updated :)
  6. Outlier

    Outlier Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success

    @MissingSelfCompassion how are you doing?
    Looking forward to reading from you very soon. Take care my friend. :)
    Gil79 likes this.
  7. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    Hi @MissingSelfCompassion... Just catching up on your J... As @Saville mentioned you write very well... It's a shame you've been missing for the past month... Not an unusual occurrence in an addiction thread. Been missing from here a couple of times myself:rolleyes:... But it doesn't take a genius to figure out what's happening...

    Porn (pmo) is a strong beast to conquer no doubt about it... For me, writing out my demon everyday is key. It's easy to see. Stop posting - poof I was gone... So whether it's in my J or someone else's, I write... I do hope you return soon and continue to write out your demon... For me, I was gone a year. Then it was 6 months... Now this poor thread has me for good...Because porn is no longer going to be a part of my life... I deserve/want the freedom from it's hold... So do you... We need faith that giving it up works... But the struggle is real - as it is in giving up any addiction... Life throws us curves, and withdrawal from our substance of choice just adds a pile of shit too it... We need to take it a day at a time... Minutes at a time... Support each other.... And eventually, life will level out... Maintenance mode is where the joy is. When the fight is over...

    There are a lot of success stories here... Some of the successful ones still post... But, many more reach maintenance mode and slowly disappear because they feel they've added all they can... IMHO that's why a thread slows... Providing support requires a commitment that only a few can supply as it's draining to support those not willing or unable to take the measures they need to actually quit... If we weren't broken up by age category, the site would probably seem much more active... Follow the successful quitters... Serial slippers will add no value... They just make it seem like an impossible feat to stop... I'm not saying they shouldn't continue to post and trying to quit, it's just that they won't be helping us...

    Until I level out, I'm going to tell porn (my av) to fuck itself everyday! Yep... That's how I will end my rants... Fuck porn... Why - "because I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore"...

    See you later:cool:.

    Fuck porn...
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  8. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    It's funny how our brains work. The PMO is associated with a version of me that was working in a stressful career and striving to go above and beyond. So, whenever I find myself pulling myself out of a depression and establishing a routine, there's a fear that the PMO will return. The fear is then something to run from using PMO. So there's the feeling like I don't want to rock the boat. I don't want to get out of bed. I don't want to be productive or take on responsibility. It's this ugly stuck feeling.

    There's no doubt that journaling here can help me. Making time for myself and coming here is difficult because I still don't like who I am. I don't deserve to be better. I don't deserve compassion or help. This is what it comes down to. The medication is helping, but sitting with these feelings and exploring childhood memories in mediation helps. However, it's a lot of painful work. It's not easy. I'm still here. I haven't hurt myself physically. I just have to work to stop doing it emotionally.
    Boxer17 and nuclpow like this.
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Good to see you back @buildingselfcompassion. Hope you stick around!
  10. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    So much of my journey is here in my words. Journaling has helped me so much. Though, it helps because it is challenging. This window into who I am is not flattering. I've spent a few weeks in blame and that wasn't helpful. We can only change ourselves in this moment. The way we were treated in the past is not unimportant. I have to sit with those emotions of the younger me. I meditate and search my memories for pain. I observe the events, listen to the younger me as he pleas to be loved and held. I try to give myself the validation that I need. Then, I thank the younger me for getting me this far. And I remind myself I am not that child anymore.

    Yesterday, was a stressful day of filling out applications for work. It is very difficult because that plays right into my self-hate and loathing. These feelings were instilled in me as a child. Thus, the idea is that I'm reliving those emotions from the past as I write cover letters and send out resumes. I'm not being present. I made it through the day, but I was practically incapacitated by the end of the day. I couldn't log into the forum then, but I figured out the issue today. I'm a mix a sad and anxious as I write this. Sad about all this pain I put myself through. Anxious about the applications. I'm going to go for a walk and clear my head.
  11. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I have been applying for jobs lately as well as I want to change jobs. I noticed here how much I confuse what I do with who I am too much. Got turned down twice. And although totally expected (different discipline than I am in), I felt really personally rejected and angry. Crazy. But also good lesson too disconnect who we are (valuable unique human beings) from what we do (basically run around as chickens without a head :D).
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  12. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    So true. We are not our thoughts. I hear that a lot and it certainly seems like an important distinction. Yet, our minds really want us to engage.
    ME: I screwed up. Damn it!
    MYSELF: Okay. Breath. I am angry. That's okay...
    MYSELF: Damn it! Now, I am angry at myself for being angry!
    ME: Welcome to the party.

    It feels like one must be constantly vigilant to counter, or combat our destructive patterns. I suppose this isn't the true case. We are only human. I wish I gave wins in my life, no matter how small, as much weight as I do the perceived fails.
    nuclpow likes this.
  13. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day


    Have you tried saying and writing positive affirmations?
    nuclpow likes this.
  14. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    You know I read The Six Pillars of Self Esteem and there is exercises similar to what you're asking. I did these exercises for a month or two last year and did find them helpful. It feels like another one of those practices to do in the morning, along with meditation, exercise, cold showers, eating breakfast, and walking the dog. I wake up overwhelmed with all the things I should do. I start thinking,"Other people don't have to do this, what's wrong with me?"
  15. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    I just finished a phone interview for a job. I was talking fast, my mind was in a state of panic asking if I was saying "um" too much and telling me to answer quickly so they don't think I'm stupid. Regardless, I think I did alright. They asked me about availability for an in-person interview. It's not a guarantee because they had more phone interviews this week, but I'll take it as a good sign.

    I'm here, though, because of the urge to power down. The thought, "Holy shit that was stressful! I just need to let some steam off. Maybe I could look at some P?" Incredible how that thought just appeared. Stress = PMO. I want that dopamine hit to calm me down. It's a habit. The thought is an urge. I came here instead, just to share. I can still feel it. "When I finish this post, maybe I could..."

    I'm of two thoughts:
    - I could get busy starting dinner early or walk the dog.
    - I could sit with the urge and meditate.

    Is the walk/cooking just a distraction? Would sitting with it be more productive or lead to a slip? I guess I'll let you know.
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  16. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    I ended up grabbing a few new books I've had on my list after the interview. I got a Brene Brown book and a couple of others on shame and self-esteem people have recommended. Then, I went for a walk.

    Today was my psychiatrist appointment. It was helpful to contrast a couple of shame situations with the doctor. Somewhere along the line I've decided that if I am going to process shame that it has to be draining and bring me to tears. I felt if I wasn't doing that, than I must be ignoring the emotions again. The doctor helped me realize that maybe I am seeing my shame for what it is and processing it quickly in some situations. Other times that have more baggage, like my relationship with my parents may be a deeper dive shame.

    When I spoke with a rational mind and said that I understand that I'll never eradicate shame from myself completely, I felt as if it really is a core part of me. Every thought is filled with shame. As prompted by the doctor, I said I think my family used shame to teach me things. Shame is integral to how I learn things. The doctor said that if this is indeed my lifeblood it would feel very threatening to challenge it. Thus, it may be why I am struggling so much.

    I know that self-worth is a tremendous issue for me. I have always tried to find this through being productive and reaching for more. Like me, it is never enough. More than once, I have read authors, like Pema Chodron, who say that humans have worth from birth. I think this is a focus that I need to work on via a mantra or something.

    Every morning I need to wake up and say:
    Yes, I am imperfect.
    Yes, I make mistakes.
    That doesn't change the fact that I am worthy of love and belonging.
  17. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    "Guilt says you did bad. Shame says you are bad."

    Others on this forum have shame, maybe a lot. In my opinion you're doing well by publishing this information about yourself. Maybe you can add "I am perfectly imperfect" to your meditations. I think you are right to say your shame runs very deep and that you need to work on it. The good news is, knowing the problem is sometimes half of solving the problem. Once you know what you need to work on things often go better. All that said, I'm not sure you can solve this deep shame on your own. Can you join a men's group of some kind, get a counsellor, or read the No More Mr. Nice Guy book, or maybe just find some mature, good male friends to tell you you shouldn't have shame?

    I am thankful for your post to my journal.

    I hope you do well.
    MissingSelfCompassion likes this.
  18. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    I got turned down for a program to help me, but found a local foundation that has classes and groups. There, I met a psychiatrist who has agreed to seem me every other week. So, I do have help.

    One of the issues I have struggled with in the past is the "knowing." It loops back to the shame. Oh, I am feeling shame right now as I type this. Noted. That's okay. So how long does it take for me to get a handle on this? Shouldn't I already be past this? Wow, you can't even deal with your shame correctly, you suck. I feel powerless at times, like I am watching myself from afar saying "that's shame, don't fall for that, what are you doing?" Something I picked up yesterday from a podcast was "I'm not responsible for my first thought, but I am responsible for my first action." So, I'm trying to hold onto that.

    I'm back to working on accepting things as they are. Shame may be my first thought, but I don't have to change it. I merely need to reality check it and let it be. I don't want a war with myself, I want to like who I am. I think that's why I have not found myself reading NMMNG. I know it has been very helpful for many here and I am glad for my friends. I guess I can't get past the title, it just sounds toxic. I need to demand better from myself, not others. I want to respect myself and others. I'm tired of the gender wars and I don't want to blame anyone. We're all in this together. Of course, I haven't read it, so I am judging a book by its cover. ;) I did hear People Pleasers: Helping Others Without Hurting Yourself is good and I am interested in it.
    NewStart19 likes this.
  19. MissingSelfCompassion

    MissingSelfCompassion Active Member

    One of the things I am finding most troubling at the moment is not abstaining from P, but believing I need it. The tension and stress of the days tasks, the work ahead, the upcoming events weigh on me. Those neural pathways in my mind all lead to relief through PMO. Just take a few minutes to relax, get the dopamine and then get on with the day. Adding mindfulness here or meditation would probably be a good step, but I guess I get wrapped up in my shame at that point. I think I am weak and that others don't have to do this. I've been having lots of headaches lately and start to wonder if this is some sort of physical manifestation of the urges. I could choose to believe that the headaches are a sign of neural pathways reforming, but I've been sober for over a month before and relapsed. So, it is hard to imagine that is the case.
  20. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Having to do these morning 'rituals' wouldn't make you less than other people. If anything, the opposite would be true, as not everyone has the discipline to do them consistently. If you feel overwhelmed don't do all of those things - just do the ones that you think are most important.

    Again, practicing mindfulness or meditation doesn't make you weak. Practicing meditation potentially gives you an edge over people who don't do it.

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