Tea-man's search for meaning

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Tea-man, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So... I am still being triggered by porn, but a lot of intrusive thoughts that have plagued previous reboots are gone. Which is great... I'm just left with this dull feeling that I sort of want to pull up a porn site when i have a dull moment - I mean, just then my girlfriend left the house and I felt the urge... only briefly and pretty minor... but it's still there. This is nothing to do with arousal, nothing to do with sex, just purely looking for some dopamine, and something to fill the time.

    Can I really imagine a life without porn? Can I accept that I've watched my last video one month ago? A video I can't even remember now... It feels like a loss but I know it isn't, this is one of those moments of weakness where I question my decision. Is it that bad? Am I missing out? I feel the temptation to do it 'one last time', like a final hurrah. You know, like the last time... and the time before that :) Of course, when it comes time it is always disappointing, so then a month later I'm thinking, 'I should do my last time right! make it memorable'... but of course, it never lives up to expectations. It can't.

    It's strange feelings. It's almost like once upon a time I was in love with these girls, and now I'll never see them again... But I guess this is how it feels every time you lose your training wheels. Time to go off on my own, and not retreat to the safety and comfort of the screen. It's time to face the discomfort. In another thread I put this quote up from CS Lewis, I really like it and I'll paste it here because it has more truth now than it had at the time it was written.. because I know that part of the reason why I retreated to porn was the comfort, but it was also the certainty. I didn't have to put limits on my desires, I didn't have to discuss feelings with another person - I could find a video where a woman was acting exactly how I wanted her to act, doing exactly what I wanted her to do, and not have to satisfy her in any way. I had no limit to my selfishness... without porn I have to have real discussions; and face real rejection. My desires do not always allign with my girlfriend's. So, that's a conversation I need to have, not a problem I need to avoid with porn.
    The feelings I have now, boredom and lack of direction, need to be addressed with real action, and not just pushed under the rug whilst I live in a fantasy land inside my own head. I guess it's a part of growing up...

    It's funny. All the talk about 'growing up and forgetting porn'. The irony of the porn industry is that most of us started watching it as kids, and now we're adults we recognise that we need to grow up, and eventually leave it. Adult entertainment my arse haha.

    Anyway, the quote!

    "For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back: sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival. Among those shadowy brides he is always adored, always the perfect lover: no demand is made on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly adores himself…. And it is not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized, forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination.

    The true exercise of imagination, in my view, is (a) To help us to understand other people (b) To respond to, and, some of us, to produce, art. But it has also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for virtues, successes, distinctions etc. which ought to be sought outside in the real world—e.g. picturing all I’d do if I were rich instead of earning and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all, almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the little, dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger is that of coming to love the prison."
    -CS Lewis
     
  2. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Annnd it can happen just like that...
    I have been procrastinating on some study I need to do, which has fed the cycle of creating stress for myself... I spent one night procrastinating, but refusing to sleep because that would be giving up - the next night was the same thing coupled with sleep deprivation - procrastination turned into novelty seeking, and then it was a slippery slope into reading forums, reading classifieds, looking up models, then reading erotic stories, which eventually led into a video. Not a good video either, my 'one last time' sucked - though no matter how good, no 'one last time' will never live up to the dopamine rush.
    Anyway, I started the September thread to keep myself on track, i'll be too embarrassed to report failure which is good. I clearly still have some unresolved issues which I need to work through but feel I do not have the time - though it is clear that I don't really have the time NOT to.
     
  3. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Sigh, I feel like I just don't care anymore... I am feeling the pull pretty constantly these days, but I no longer habitually look at porn so it is a weird feeling, just wanting to relapse like I'm an addict, but not wanting to take the steps to do so. I have committed to do this though, I'm going to have to become a man sometime and find and face my problems - only problem is I feel like I have said this all before... I'm stuck in a rut, I read all these books and know what I need to do, I've read so many that I could probably write one myself; it won't make a difference unless I apply it

    Frustrating times.
     
  4. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Good advice.
    Thanks man. I agree, when I picture the confident, powerful man I want to be, I don't picture him hunched over a computer screen, glancing back towards the door to make sure nobody is coming.
    I have made efforts to clarify my goals, but I am unfortunately struggling to keep them at the forefront. I think that if i review them daily, or A goal a day for each part of my life, that will help.

    Last week, my girlfriend has been sick. Nothing serious. But she is sitting around the house all day, doing nothing, and lately I feel like she's had it in for me the minute I walk in the door. I'll open my mouth and then she'll jump down my throat about something, so I don't want to talk so she'll yell at me about that too. I understand she's probably not feeling the best, and is lonely at home .. but it is hard to act in a cheerful mood when I'm walking on eggshells. I guess with work stress and study it gets tough to resist the urges to escape, but then when I feel like I'm doing everything I can to keep it all together, I feel like my girlfriend is just waiting to rip me apart with some criticism because I'm working too much and aren't there for her.. so my stress goes through the roof. I can't talk to her about it. I am in a corner and don't know what to do.
    The person I want to be would respond with love, but ... fuck, twice in less than a week she's done something that has upset me (thrown out something of mine, and then ripped up the only part of the garden that I cared about - she couldn't stop laughing about that one), then she has yelled at me for being upset. I don't even want to go to bed right now...
    I don't know what to do
     
  5. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    I'm hoping it's over, today was better. Ended up avoiding the conversation... so it's to be continued I guess. Anyway, I have a bit to do tonight, it's a good chance to get shit done so I can free myself up for the weekend and keep myself out of trouble... It is a bit of a challenge to avoid P at times like these, but so far so good. I was just randomly browsing the net by myself, which is a pretty big trigger for me. Procrastination is probably the main cause of my relapses. I want to spend some time clarifying goals over the weekend, I think it will be time well spent and hopefully will help me get my drive back.

    .. It helps writing out stuff like this, even if it is not to do with addiction.

    Anyway, I'm thinking the best thing to do would be to get off the computer for tonight and purely focus on some study.
     
  6. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So, today was a struggle, I think exhaustion is playing a role in this, I need to manage sleep better but at the same time I feel unable to dedicate the required time to any one thing in my life right now, and I won't allow myself to sleep because I feel like I should be doing something else, but then I am ineffective because I'm tired...

    Today, fantasies came back and they took their toll. I need to have the discipline to push them from my mind but I find myself entertaining them - I guess because it doesn't feel like a relapse, because hey, how can I control what goes into my head? But, at the same time I was deliberately encouraging the thoughts... Which is a slippery slope, and I found myself online tonight novelty seeking again. No porn but got as far as reading some personals, which is ridiculous - I would never even consider replying to one but I enjoy reading them and imagining what they were feeling when they wrote it, and knowing it is the same as what we feel as porn addicts but with a different outlet... anyway, I am not counting this as a relapse, but it is a warning sign, a speed wobble which can get out of hand real quick because one slip up can justify the next and so on; until I rationalize that I should reset the counter anyway and what the hell, may as well do it properly...

    So, the fight continues. 24 days so far, a solid effort but I need to deal with my own issues better if I want to make 100 days, and will have well and truly started my 30s clean
     
  7. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Another struggle today, I got home to an empty house and an internet connection and the desire is still there, but decided to read some journals on here instead which passed the time.

    I was very inspired walking out of work, and when I got home I felt in control - but I think after I sat down I began to drift, and that inspiration feeling turned inwards on itself as soon as I didn't have an immediate outlet for something constructive. I think that being busy is the answer, but there isn't always an obvious 'next step' for an instant hit of self esteem inducing productivity. I have to set that up for myself.

    When I was younger I was heavily addicted to video games, RPGs mostly, and it's amazing that I would make a character on a screen train, read etc for FUN! Why did I not do this for myself? I could have got those strength, endurance, and intelligence points instead of the character! lol. I strongly believe it's because the video game is set up to give immediate feedback, advancement is predictable and easy, and you can see progress. I was a level 19, now I'm a level 20. But in life, there is no 'level', just a gradual improvement that you may not notice... and nobody is setting goals for you, you have to do it yourself.

    I'm long since over video games, but I understand that it would be beneficial to get the same buzz by setting myself measurable goals and objectives to work towards, and set myself recognition and rewards along the way. I had a clear picture of myself whilst leaving work today, the guy I want to be. I need to work towards this every day. This idea is nothing new, but the feeling I have is. I have put off a lot because of study, but I am aware I can't wait until study is over - because there will always be something to demand my time and effort. I need to spend time I don't have in order to be effective with the time I do...
     
  8. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So, I messed up...
    I'm a bit disappointed with myself - I followed the same pattern of escalation, disarmed my self control with the same old rationalizations, and ended up falling again. And again, I expected that it would never live up to expectations, and again I didn't enjoy it, just going through the motions really.
    The last few times I have generally felt urges combined with boredom; so I'll be procrastinating and I will give myself more and more permissions to cross over thresholds until I realize it has gone way too far.
    I'm annoyed at the content also. I got looking at images mostly because in my head that wasn't as bad, though it probably is just as bad because of the content. I was searching for cuckold content - I have come to see this as a massive turn on for me. I guess this is the porn lovers ultimate fantasy - you don't have to do anything besides watch, and you are not responsible for your wife's pleasure etc. So, I think that the submissiveness side is also partially a selfish and lazy side - wanting to shirk responsibility for the roles we've taken on under the guise of being selfless.
    Anyway, so that was 2 days short of a month, I'll start my new streak now..
     
  9. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Thanks man,
    Yeah, I have to learn and move on - I feel like an idiot for not knowing by now though. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, every relapse I feel like I will just get one more high and then the realization comes afterwards that it was the same as last time and the time before that.
    Sitting down to study now, it's scary how a few slip ups can let you fall back into old habits just like that. I had got out of the habit of seeking porn but still had the desire - now I have no desire but have to watch myself that I won't check out of habit.

    Last few days I have been worried about performance for two reasons - one due to the normal recovery period - the opportunity came up too close to my relapse and I was worried about being able to perform as well, plus after reading about PIED I was worried about being affected. So I have had a lot of performance anxiety, which only makes things worse. But I feel confident now I've got over this. I think that no single relapse can undo all the good that has been done by this process, but the immediate after effects have the potential to ruin a sexual experience which can have negative flow on effects. It's never worth it...
     
  10. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So, I'm back on track, I'm facing a challenging time trying to work and study whilst still maintaining my exercise and social life - It seems like I'm falling down in multiple areas at once whilst working my ass off. Last weekend I just wasted a whole day despite it all - this would have been a usual trigger for PMO, didn't go there but I got a glimpse of what I am running from; the stress, then feeling ineffective, then more stress etc.
    Anyway, had a good day today, got in my exercise and got a bit of study done. Should be a busy week but I'm looking forward to the distractions to be honest.
    I'm trying to improve in multiple areas and I think I need a good morning routine to set me off. I am starting with getting up early to get breakfast in before going to the gym, I will use the time to get ready for work with food etc but it would be a good time to reflect on goals and plans for the future, so I will give that a go.
     
  11. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Since my last relapse I haven't had porn enter my head at all, which is good but I need to be ready. Yesterday was flat out and I managed to have a pretty good day - exercise, work, study and social. Having said that, I need to increase work and study today haha
    Yesterday I read through an article on habit formation (as a part of the probation for August), and summarized it which was really helpful. In the spirit of that article I am intending to start small on a few things but the key is to start. So this journaling is going to be a bit of a morning ritual; and trying to bring my exercise to the morning to give myself a bit more flexibility to work late.
    I'm thinking my porn use is the same as regular procrastination (for me). So when I have to draw the line in a relapse I have to be careful because I think it can start with mindless browsing whatever the content. I am changing the environment (triggers) for now, to make it harder to relapse by working late and doing some study after work. This will add a bit of accountability until I can get a bit of a roll going.
     
  12. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Sticking to my morning routine, about to head to the gym etc; and started on a new audio book on the drive in to work - outliers. Very interesting so far, only a little way in but it suggests that there are environmental factors which are critical to getting the support required to become an exceptional performer. I am thinking to myself as I listen, how can I set up my environment to support me achieve my goals? How can I artificially achieve this environment for myself?
    It seems supportive circumstances often spring up as 'luck' but if I identify what the key elements are then I don't see why this can't be constructed.

    Anyway, another day and another journal with minimal relationship to P, which is good I guess, I'm keeping myself busy and haven't even had a chance to think about it. Caught up with some friends straight after staying back at work late, then pretty much straight home into getting ready. Avoiding the home computer apart from the mornings seems to work well.
     
  13. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Last night was a struggle, because I came back from dinner late and had housework to do, but I just had to unwind beforehand. I started to feel the pull of PMO, and was able to resist it. A big thing for me is that I have to change my 'unwind' time to be not related to the computer, but unfortunately it seems that the computer is necessary for so many things that it is hard to put in a rule for that.
    Anyway, I had an alright day but was burned out, tried to study but just couldn't. Will have to put in a big effort tonight
     
  14. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    I tried to do a bit of study last night, I have the attention span of an insect sometimes. I got a bit done, but I'll work until it gets a bit difficult and the second that I feel an issue I'll find myself looking for excuses to do something else. Check my phone, do I need to go to the bathroom, tea is nearly empty - better get another one. I am actually a great worker but without a deadline to push me I struggle to perform.

    Anyway, I had a few urges to pull up porn when I was searching for these distractions. The worst part was I was staying back at work to minimise distractions, I guess that is a good thing because the environment made it very difficult to give in to the urges, the bad part is that if I was not making a conscious effort to quit, I probably would have done an image search right there. But yeah, apart from that I am not struggling or having urges, I am just viewing it as a form of entertainment which can lift me out of boredom more than anything else. I did have some fantasies pop into my head also, I have to keep an eye on this from now on. I might even start tracking the number of times I find myself daydreaming throughout the day; last few times this builds up for a while and my resistance does go down.
     
  15. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Thanks for the kind words. To be honest, I came up with the username about a year before the journal name so it sort of just worked; I still haven't finished the book though :) Unfortunately I've been preoccupied with study...

    I've had a few slips in the last 24 hours, not a great time for me. But I guess the stress will always be there so I can't let it be an excuse for one more full blown relapse.
     
  16. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Thanks for the response, I was feeling pretty low today and your perspective really helped me out. You're right - I am lucky, I have developed bad habits which allow me to view it in a negative manner when I really shouldn't. It hasn't always been this way. I will move on.
     
  17. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So I'm back, it's been over a week... Ended up having a relapse a few days ago, but now my study is done and I'm back to normal I have less of a reason to use the computer. It is necessary for so many things, but I have to make sure I have a plan for what I'm going to do, otherwise I'll just waste time on it and when I get in that mode I am vulnerable.
    I feel like things are starting to come together for me. I have tried to do something useful every day since my study finished, and so far, well it's only been a few days but so far so good. I'm not sure what I'm going to do tonight, I guess cook, get ready and then do a bit of a sort out of some things. Anything to keep me off here, but I figured going on YBR whilst eating wouldn't hurt. I have some things to organize on the net as well, which will be good to get out of the way.

    I'm not too happy about my relapse. I ended up escalating a fair bit just prior to quitting and then even worse during the first few months of reboot. I feel better than when I started, and I think right now vanilla porn would definitely be arousing enough, but unfortunately I fell back on bad habits and ended up looking at stuff which is a bit more extreme than I needed, and including humiliation stuff. I don't know why I find that arousing, not sure if it is nature or if it is escalation.. I can remember that when I was a kid I enjoyed the thought of submitting - nothing sexual mind you, at the time I was a kid, but the idea of giving up etc. I can even remember one time I was playing a video game, and just waiting in anticipation for someone to kill me. Which sounds really messed up when I write it haha, I don't know, maybe I'm reading too far into it. Anyway, I feel like I was getting over it and the compulsive thoughts had really reduced but for some reason habit brought me back.

    I think that the worst cause of escalation for me was erotic stories to be honest, when I was trying to quit there were times I thought that I'd just read. But video is such a shallow medium, it can't communicate thoughts and feelings but with literature it can go much deeper; and there is no visual feedback so I think that it can bypass a lot of natural revulsion responses that you may get if you were watching on video, so I think it allows rapid escalation, because it can tell you how the character is thinking and feeling, and why - a video can't guide how you think.

    Anyway, I don't know what I really intended to write here and I've gone all over the place. I guess I'm just really trying to recommit to the process and be stronger from here. I feel like I have the best shot right now, I need to take the opportunity to be a better man.
     
  18. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Day one...
    I don't know what to say.
    I am genuinely shaken up by this one. Usually I move on with no issues but this time is different... I don't even know what to say so I'm just going to focus on the commitment I'm making rather than the past. I want this to be a moment of clarity, where I just stopped and turned off the computer and never went back. I believe that I now have the motivation for this to happen...
    Thank you all for your support up until now. I hope to make this journal more inspiring reading from now on.
     
  19. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    Mr Fish, sorry I sort of dropped off there, but thanks for your comment and I agree, though I haven't had the guts to write anything to be honest, I was always afraid I'd be discovered. In fact, I feel like I tend to hold back on expressing myself in many areas in life...

    Anyway, I've been ticking along. As I said in the last post, I had a scare end of November, and thought that would be it. I've been alright since then but I have been novelty seeking once since then, and ended up looking at porn substitutes which was a bit of a downer (managed to pull myself away though). However, since then I've been keeping myself busier which has helped. Tonight I was tempted due to boredom but ended up coming on here instead.

    I have started reading 'Man's search for meaning' - a long time coming given the title of this thread :) It is interesting on a historical level in addition to the existentialist aspect. One of the main takeaways from today was his discussion of the meaning of life. There is no 'meaning of life' that fits all people; just as the chessmaster doesn't have a 'best chess move'; there are best moves in different circumstances and there are 'best' meanings for life in different circumstances. The meaning of life is individual and unique; and it will change depending on what your 'why' is. At the moment I have several things that I think give my life meaning. I find meaning in deepening relationships with friends, family, and my girlfriend; I find meaning in making the most of my potential which I feel has been underdeveloped; and I find meaning in making a difference to other people - something that I have been fantasizing about lately though I am unsure how exactly to go about this. Each one of these will give me purpose to stay the course through the tough times
     
  20. Tea-man

    Tea-man Member

    So... been a while...
    Um, I had a few relapses towards the end of last year. A bit of a 'screw it' moment, I wasn't even particularly driven by P but I guess I figured new year, new beginnings, what does it matter anyway. Anyway, I have committed to stopping P this year, and as my birthday is at the end of the year I can now say I haven't PMOd since last year, or at this age. Doesn't sound like a particularly powerful reason to continue, but it is important to me.
    I've had a good break, end of year, few catchups etc - so I have been a bit busy but I have still had the opportunity to PMO but so far no urges, nor any habitual behaviour.
    Anyway all, I hope you had a great new years, let's smash it this year - and spend 2016 shaping our lives to what we always intended them to be
     

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