starting from rock bottom

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by rabotaz, Dec 2, 2022.

  1. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Gil79, thank you for believing in me. Yes, it is the most important thing to accept the uncomfortable feelings. And that’s what I don’t yet grasp fully.

    I wish I could record day 12 tonight but sadly it won’t be so :-(

    I need some time to reflect and pick up my pieces.

    Will write another post when I have put together my thoughts.

    Thank you very much for your continuous encouragement.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  2. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    I am not going to let this fall take away my desire to heal.

    So, what happened? I ended up falling into one of the most classic traps: ‘let’s just watch some soft and ‘innocent’ material on YouTube… after all everyone is using YouTube, it’s an innocent place to be on’. As many have already pointed out, there is hardly a way back once you are on that road. But I knew that fully well while accessing YouTube. I think I had already given up by then otherwise wouldn’t have allowed myself to be on that road. Though I started with YouTube probably because I wanted to give myself initially the reassuring thought that I was still fighting.

    But every war, no matter the outcome, teaches us something.

    I have learned a few important things over the past 11 days:

    -PMO has something very childlike, immature to it. At least for me. It’s the child’s favourite game. He goes to it when he is scared, sad, overwhelmed… because he is not yet mature enough to handle things. I am 42 and handle a lot… but then there are many things I am meant to handle and I struggle with quite a number of them. So I tend to be immature about it, to find the easy way out. The confident and mature person on the other hand doesn’t shy away from challenges and pain.
    -Without PMO I see who I really am… and I don’t like it. What I see is a depressed, stressed, anxious man who is struggling with many hard challenges. Life has really become difficult in recent years (not just because of covid). More often than not I feel totally overwhelmed and incapable of handling the resulting emotions. Of course, one reason why I felt depressed during those 11 days is due to the withdrawal (especially in the last few days) but actually the depression was there right from the start. In fact I noticed very well, once I PMO’d, that the depression suddenly, as if through magic, left. And I felt calm, soothed and without any worries. Like a baby in mum’s arms. Indeed I have often learned that any addiction is really a replacement for mum. For some of us going through life without a sense of a soothing and comforting mum nearby can be very hard, so we find her somewhere else, in addictions. Obviously I know fully well that the soothing effect of PMO won’t last long and that afterwards I could even feel worse since there is the added feeling of guilt/failure to handle as well. And so the circle repeats, we all know that.

    My learning therefore is that I am not just battling PMO, I am battling with many hard challenges in life. Some came very unexpectedly in my life and are causing considerable stress and worry. Am I a man, able to handle all that? Apparently not yet, but I hope I will become one.

    I do still also think that I do struggle with hyper sexuality. I’ve tried very hard this time and still it wasn’t enough even to reach at least the two weeks mark. It’s really a difficult beast to tackle, it requires more than perseverance, it requires a precise plan.

    Going forward, how do I need to adjust my battle?

    I will use the same counter used so far, but with the following changes: the bottom part of the counter (eating sweets, etc.) refers to addictions that are as compulsory to avoid as PMO (not just something I am ‘trying’ to give up too… I haven’t been clear enough with myself on why I added those extra addictions/habits). Eating quite a bit of chocolate and surfing the internet were actually at the root of me failing my mission since they led to YouTubing in a particular and more relaxed way.

    There is no doubt in my mind, it’s a case of being ruthless: all or nothing! Once I start thinking ‘Oh well, what’s a bit of chocolate going to do? After all it also helps against depression’ I will already have set up myself for failure. I know myself, I know why I placed those added addictions there. Nothing is by chance. The battle has to be specific in order to yield results.

    Also, once the % of difficulty passes the 80% mark, I will raise the alarm and make sure to employ every possible mean to stay focused. This means that past the 80% I will try and avoid the computer/smartphone altogether, not just for unnecessary internet usage (I may therefore also need to be away from this forum for some time (hopefully briefly) until the % goes lower than 80.

    It really helps discussing things on this forum and one of its purposes is of course to help tackle those difficult times. But on balance I feel that being away from the internet altogether at those times is currently necessary.

    Next step: create the new counter as soon as I have a minute and add it on my thread. Let the second round begin!
     
    Thelongwayhome27 and Gil79 like this.
  3. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    New counter

    Free from PMO+triggering material

    Day


    Degree of difficulty today (0-100%):
    Alarm
    on/off (ON if difficulty is on or above 80%):
    If alarm is on, leave the internet altogether immediately and stay away from it until % level goes below 80
    Symptoms observed:
    —————
    Never allowed while on course to conquer my addiction/hyper sexuality:
    Coffee/tea
    Alcoholic drinks
    Sweet foods
    Unnecessary internet usage
    YouTube (unless for videos WITH family)
    TikTok and any online program that shows videos

    After sex with wife, immediately alarm to ‘ON’ for 2 days

     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2022
  4. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    I forgot to say… another important element that appeared very clearly to initiate my downfall was the fact that I had sex with my wife once around day 7-8. As natural as it is to do it with my other half, it nevertheless sets off all those tricky ‘I want more of this pleasure’ mechanisms in my brain. It unbalanced me quite a bit, no matter how set I was on my mission.

    I observed a similar problem during previous attempts.

    Not sure how to tackle it right now: perhaps by setting the alarm to ‘ON’ straight after sex with wife, even if I don’t feel like PMOying at that immediate point - and to leave the alarm on for at least two days.

    Good luck Rabotaz ;-)
     
  5. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Well done for posting and readjusting your plan. You're still in the saddle and now even better prepared than you were some days ago.

    Do you have any plan to deal with the issues you mentioned? For me it has been the same and working on my problems with a therapist has definitely made me feel a lot lighter, better capable to deal with life in general and better capable of 'not using the P-medicine'. I am really not there yet, don't get me wrong, but this process of dwaling with inner issues has been an important process in dealing with the addiction as well.

    Be a proud rebooter!
     
  6. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Free from PMO+triggering material

    Day 1


    Degree of difficulty today (0-100%): 25%
    Alarm
    on/off (ON if difficulty is on or above 80%): OFF
    If alarm is on, leave the internet altogether immediately and stay away from it until % level goes below 80
    Symptoms observed: /
    —————
    Never allowed while on course to conquer my addiction/hyper sexuality:
    Coffee/tea
    Alcoholic drinks
    Sweet foods
    Unnecessary internet usage
    YouTube (unless for videos WITH family)
    TikTok and any online program that shows videos

    After sex with wife, immediately alarm to ‘ON’ for 2 days

    ——————————-

    After my relapse I panicked a bit and thought that it would be very hard to get back on track again. To my surprise, I managed to immediately take initiative and am looking forward to the battle.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  7. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @rabotaz Good for you to utilize journaling here so well. Its very helpful to be brutally honest with yourself. and thankfully your brothers will also help you to "keep it real" haha
    But seriously. Very sorry you are going through a tough period. The key is to find replacement outlets that give you both strength and distraction. Even something like online chess can be amazing during an urge. Also watching a movie, reading, going for a run etc.

    Keep a list of healthy outlets that you can focus on. It's is very helpful in "reinventing" one's self

    keep up the good fight! Your brothers are here routing for you!
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  8. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Thank you brothers!

    I'm sorry, my counter is quite specific and long and probably makes reading quite tedious on my thread. I plan on shortening the text of the counter and put it at the end of my posts rather than at the beginning.

    Gil79, you have a very valid point re therapy. Indeed I should know better, being a therapist myself. I think what puts me off right now is the fact that I had a lot of it (therapy) during my training. Restarting to talk about myself feels a bit tedious... but then, is it not what I am doing here?;-)

    Being here is especially therapeutic: it's that AA style thing where we talk in turns and tell each other where we are with the addiction. Also I see my supervisor every 2 weeks to talk about my work. She also helps me a lot with my personal life and stress. Though if things keep having an impact on my emotional well-being, I will consider a bit more the idea of seeing a therapist.

    Path-forward, thank you very much for joining Gil79 in encouraging me! Your post has given me a good dose of strength and inspiration as well as helpful ideas. In fact, I was already starting to think as to what activities could help me when urges pop up but I was pretty vague about it. One activity would be sports, have done quite a bit if it over the past few months and it really gave me a boost of confidence. But then I can't just always do sports when I feel urges - your idea of coming up with a list of possible things to do is definitely one I will implement!

    Hope you will all be having a calm and rewarding day today!
     
    path-forward and Rudolf Geyse like this.
  9. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I can imagine that these things are very different and also complicated when you're a therapist yourself. Last summer I had 10 sessions or so with a therapist online. I specifically searched and asked for a male psychologist. We had a great click and the sessions were as if I were talking to a friend who was supporting me and giving really good applicable advice. It didn't feel like therapy at all and it has helped me tremendously.

    The counter is long and specific, but that can be good. You have to find out what works for you. Myself I am keeping a spreadsheet with my progress on different fronts (how much I work, how much I sleep, how much time I spend on my phone, fantasy, porn, masturbation, sports, reading, meditation, etc.). I share that file with an accountability partner I met here on YBR. I am filling in the numbers without thinking too much things like 'I should do this more or less', but just monitoring. It is for me to find general trends and to keep my AP updated, also for feedback. Besides that I am trying to not focus on numbers too much, but instead on how I feel, and what I can do, right now.
     
    Mozenjo and Rudolf Geyse like this.
  10. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Thank you Gil79, I am glad to hear therapy was helpful to you. It was helpful for me too (alltogether I had 3 different therapists). Although with the one I stayed the longest at some point I felt I was relying too much on the therapy instead of actively acting on the changes I needed in life.

    Very helpful also to hear how and what you record so I can see different perspectives. I assume there must me innumerable methods to be found on this forum.

    Today was easy as it is only day 2 and I am at home.

    Day 2


    Difficulty (0-100%): 0%
    Alarm
    : OFF
    Symptoms observed: None
    —————
    No
    Cof/tea, Alc, Sweet foods, Unnecessary int usage, YT, TikTok/online videos
    Alarm ON for 2 days after intercourse
     
    path-forward likes this.
  11. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Day 3

    Difficulty (0-100%): 0%
    Alarm
    : OFF
    Sympt. observed: None
    No
    Cof/tea, Alc, Sweet foods, Unnecessary int usage, YT, TikTok/online vids
    Alarm ON for 2 days after intercourse
     
    path-forward likes this.
  12. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    @rabotaz Great to see man! Great work! Very happy for you. Keep up the fight!
     
    Rudolf Geyse and Gil79 like this.
  13. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Path-forward thank you very much for your encouragement!
    It’s early days but I am pleased I started immediately to fight back and to set my mind on battling mode. Usually it’s quite the opposite after a relapse. I believe being in this forum helps me to stay much more focused.

    I read a bit about the ancient Romans yesterday and there was a chapter on sexuality that I found interesting. It was interesting because I admire the achievements of that ancient culture and even though they also did horrible or questionable stuff, I feel that generally the ancient Romans were much more balanced mind-wise than most modern people are.

    In terms of sex in Roman times, apparently, everyone was free to live their sexual life as they pleased and what one was doing sexually did not define that person in any way. Sex and the value of the person were two very distinct things. It was Christianity that brought the concept of sin and guilt.

    There were however few exceptions on how free people could be sexually in Roman times. For ex. in terms of homosexuality, it did not matter if the emperor himself had male companions, as long as he remained the ‘penetrator’ in the sexual relationship and never became the ‘penetrated’ one. The latter would be regarded as a big scandal and a sign of weakness.

    The most relevant part I read in terms of PMO is on ejaculation (to use the book’s term). To ejaculate often was a sign of efeminism and weakness. There is for example a story of a famous Roman personality who sees a friend leaving a brothel and says to him ‘well done!’. Few days later he sees him again leaving the brothel and this time says: ‘when I said well-done, I didn’t suggest for you to go there so often!’ What was important was not so much what you did but how you did it.

    Furthermore it’s interesting to read how Julius Caesar describes the Belgian tribe of Gaul while on his mission to conquer that part of the world. There were a great many tribes on that land but this he says of the Belgians:

    “Of all these [tribes], the Belgae are the bravest, because they are furthest from the civilization and refinement of [our] Province, and merchants least frequently resort to them, and import those things which tend to effeminate the mind;”

    It’s questionable what Caesar meant by ‘those things’, perhaps he is referring to wine or items of comfort - though I wouldn’t be surprised if these merchants also brought along early drawings of pornographic nature. The Romans themselves certainly had much of that type of imagery - like it can still be seen in the ruins of Pompeii. When I was on an Indian beach many years ago, a ‘merchant’ tried to sell me a very curious piece of paper with a very pornographic image, that gave the impression of a sexual movement by the two characters if you moved certain parts on the paper. That item was clearly a copy of a very ancient Vedic image. Clearly, pornography has been around for a very long time and merchants could have brought pornographic items to the ‘other’ tribes of Gaul, of whom Caesar was much less impressed.

    What I am trying to say here is that I have always believed very strongly that there is a link between manhood and sexual control and the Romans seemed to agree with this. What this is telling me personally is that when I give in easily to PMO, it probably means I am not handling life in a manly way but give in to the more emotional, ‘effeminate’, weak side of myself.

    I therefore have started focusing more on how to ‘increase my manhood’ and have noticed that sports and workout are a good way to do so. Also I find it very valuable to read books on the army (and for example on the mental tests done by candidates who want to join the army). It gives me a good sense of what manhood really means.

    That’s why you may see my counter being so specific - perhaps I have been reading too many military books ;-)

    ————

    Day 4


    Difficulty (0-100%): 0%
    Alarm
    : OFF
    Sympt. observed:
    There are no relevant symptoms in terms of cravings or withdrawal symptoms but the depression has hit very hard yesterday. Though as quickly as it came, similarly it also left.
    No Cof/tea, Alc, Sweet foods, Unnecessary int usage, YT, TikTok/online vids
    Alarm ON for 2 days after intercourse
     
    path-forward and Mozenjo like this.
  14. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Something I recently heard or read (maybe here on this board even) is that when domestic pigs escape into nature they start growing tusks again, like their wild counterparts. So yes, search for your inner Belgan. Be a brave and terrifying warrior. No mercy!
     
  15. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Thank you Gil79, that’s quite an encouragement!

    Today was pretty calm. I have done a high amount of sports - including a run under the heavy rain.

    I too started a bit of meditation Gil, even though it is basically just myself being in bed and trying to be mindful of my breathing and body sensations. I’ve realised I really have to start controlling my wandering and distracted mind. Mindfulness helps.
    ————-

    Day 5

    Difficulty (0-100%): 0%
    Alarm
    : OFF
    Sympt. observed:
    none
    No Cof/tea, Alc, Sweet foods, Unnecessary intusage, YT, TikTok/online vids
    Alarm ON for 2 days after intercourse
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  16. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    At the moment I feel in good spirits and eager to do well in my battle.

    Did some more sports today morning and am working on finding ways to relax and calm my mind.

    Had an ex-client contacting me by email to ask me how I am. Last time I saw her was 7 years ago at which point I often felt sexual attraction towards her. I responded politely and tried not to be overly kind in my response - I know I have to be careful. I expect her to want to communicate a bit more - supposedly to ask for advise with her anxiety.

    Also, today I went to a Christmas fun fair with family. There were a number of good looking women around and I could sense my inner instinct wanting to look with curiosity at their faces and bums. Managed to keep my eyes under check and in any case also had a strange new feeling which told me that these are just people with many imperfections like the rest of us!

    Life is super stressful and challenging at the moment - it's hard but at the same time I can see how all these challenges are making me stronger.

    Am also trying to keep those other addictions under control. The result is more physical strength and overall good health.

    It does however become trickier to post on this forum. I had originally agreed with my wife not to use the internet/smartphone at all until the 7th Jan. She sees me daily on the phone (when I am on this forum), plus she sees me typing a lot... she looks a bit suspicious and keeps telling me to stop being on the phone. So far I came up with some excuse to explain away what I was doing here, but I sense it is getting harder (hiding while typing is also not going to work well). There could be a chance you see me less on the forum in the coming days but I still hope to be able to check-in as much as possible as this thread is an important part of my recovery...

    Day 6

    Difficulty (0-100%): 10%
    Alarm
    : OFF
    Sympt. observed:
    like in my previous attempt, now that I am at day 6, flashes of pornographic images started popping up in my mind very briefly and unexpectedly. It happened today morning when I woke up; had a bit of a hard time to brush them away, not because I was entertaining the images but because they kept popping up a few times despite my best attempts to think about something different.
    No Cof/tea, Alc, Sweet foods, Unnecessary int usage, YT, TikTok/online vids
    Alarm ON for 2 days after intercourse
     
    Rudolf Geyse, Gil79 and path-forward like this.
  17. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    What about a paper journal to write down your thoughts and keep track of your counters? Besides staying aware and accountable to yourself, it is also just a really nice way to calm down the mind
     
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  18. rabotaz

    rabotaz Member

    Good idea, thank you Gil!

    Am preparing a journal right now.
     
  19. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

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