Tearing Down the Walls, Part 2.

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Billy B., Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Billy, that's the thing about this stuff. Whether it's "professionals" having joyless sex for our entertainment, or "amateurs", most of whom probably regret their experience when they wake up the next day, it is indeed unappealing when you stop and think about it. Of course, our porn-addled brains don't focus on that when the urges strike. We have to focus on what matters, WHEN it matters!
    Keep at it. You're dong great, bud.
     
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  2. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Thanks, man. I don't feel like I'm doin' so great, today. Though... in actuality I have, generally, the last few weeks been looking after myself, working active recovery and moving forward.

    I've been off the fags for three weeks (no patches) and except for a couple slips I have successfully used mindfulness to sit with the urges and let them past. It's good practice for dealing with other addictions and uncomfortable feelings generally.

    I've been back at yoga and regular swimming, meditating daily (just for a few minutes), mostly doing my exercises (for tennis elbow), busking this last week or so and I even have my first proper paid gig (at a market) this coming weekend.

    The not so good news is that I have used P four days in a row (though not today, yet) and I haven't even necessarily been being all that mindful around it. Except if you count keeping it short: I only used it for an hour (max) each time and mostly only pics (click and save, but) and very occasionally I've streamed a short video. Anyhow, sure... lil' bit of harm minimisation can't be a bad thing but... yeah, there's really only one way to heal and that's to stop, innit?

    That said, I've been watching one other fella on here who, whilst trying to stop, has really just managed only to cut down considerably (and become more aware of his triggers) but... that seems okay, seems to be working for him as he's doing all this other stuff to improve his health and wellbeing, to bring himself back into life and that... all of which has helped him to cut down and will help him stop completely, eventually. I'm certain.

    Hmmm.

    I think I'm building up to having another more concerted effort at sobriety, myself, though. In general, any usage at all tends to lead to more usage, despite notable exceptions like the fella I mention above.

    Yesterday my deep feelings of sad and lonely where triggered very strongly and, because I've been doing these Buddhist/Mindful type exercises I did my best to just 'drop the story line' and breath into the discomfort... faaaaaark, it was really hard to do. I ended up sleeping in the day (avoidance) and when I got up later to try and start moving I was on the P before I knew it. After that I crashed again. Much, much later when I got up I was quite a bit less overwhelmed and was able to get a few things done but was in bed early again cause the feelings were just too much.

    This is my deeper issue, I think. I have a lot of sadness in me and have no way of processing it. It scares me, I think, and this is why I distract myself and/or squash it with addictive behaviours and substances. Or with depression, which for me is, subconsciously, a way of avoiding the sadness (unfortunately it squashes everything else as well, though). So, the Buddhist way (in part, at least) is to drop the mind chatter and just breath into the emotion, observe how it feels in the body and allow it to be. It takes enormous courage! And practice. I've been practicing but.... I suppose it will take quite a bit more practice before I can sit with that super-heavy stuff, at least when it's pumping strongly. From what I understand years of practice won't ensure that one doesn't get caught up sometimes, still. (and I've only been at it a week or so).

    So I keep on.

    With patience and loving kindness, as best I can.

    Today I need to clean my kitchen (which looks like a bomb has hit it and is really bad for my head, this way) and bunch of other lil' tasks. I'm just planning to go slow, do my best, try to stay out of bed... and, yeah, at the same time be gentle and loving t'wards myself and others.

    Peace to you, Fellas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  3. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Good on you for your mindfulness exercises, Billy. I'm a neophyte myself, but I'm also trying to be consistent with practicing. Sitting with our pain instead of medicating it away is the better path, of course. Life ain't easy, but we don't make it any easier on ourselves by giving in to the demon that is addiction.
    I'm continually inspired by you, my friend.
     
  4. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Thankyou, mate. And yes, I am an absolute beginner, too... really. I've thought about these ideas for many years off and on, read about them, listened to talks and had some just a lil' bit of practical training but it's only since recently (when A New Man turned me on to Pema Chodron) that I've become more committed to daily practice and to, as she puts it "Learning to Stay".

    It ain't easy, that's true!

    Today has been extremely challenging. First I had trouble get up and going. Then I was gagging for a cigarette. It was last night that I had only one(!) but the urge remains fresh. I think, it's not about nicotine for me today but that cigarettes, for the addict at least, do have a capacity to squash uncomfortable emotion. My theory is that, since emotion is intricately related with the breath, and that smoking is also.... there's something there.

    I went for a walk to the library before it got too hot, otherwise I thought I may not get out of the house at all, today. Just being in public brought up all the bad feelings and I had to breathe and try to stay present the whole way there and back. I'm proud of me though, cause I didn't buy cigarettes.

    Because, today, I'm essentially on the cusp of what might usually turn into a depressive episode (and may still) I'm very much drawn to anything that will distract me from or squash the uncomfortable emotion: pmo, alcohol, cigs, marijuana.

    Now, it's prolly most important that I stay off the cigs cause I've had such a good run and must be nearly past any nicotine withdrawal (the consequences of folding are prolly worse that if I use one of the other substances or behaviors).

    Also though, the grog has been a problem. When I started counting my standard drinks I realised that I was having a lot (sometimes 30-40 standard drinks in a week, sometimes 10-12 in one day!). This is not good for someone with depression, especially as I'm on medication and extra-specially because I'm in the process of changing them up.

    So I avoided buying wine on my walk, as well.

    I got home and was so spent I went back to bed. This is not ideal, it's avoidance, but it was better than pmo (or the other options) and with a plan to get up and get on with things later I figured this was a reasonable compromise.

    All this while I'm doing my best to sit with these horrible feelings and just... hold them as lightly as possible. To remember that they will pass.

    I did get up and, as a reminder to myself that I don't want pmo in my life, I deleted the couple hundred pics I've collected the last week or so. Lil' bit pointless as a big part of the kick for me is the dopamine I get from search, click and save. But still: a reminder.

    I've got some THC infused coconut oil there but that's a (third to) last resort. I stayed off it last night but that was the first time in a week or so that I didn't at least have a small dose each day. Using daily never works for me in the long run. And I've come to the end of the run.

    Ultimately, like you say, Moz, to sit with our pain is really the only way through it. With the caveat that this takes enormous courage and a whole lot of practice, too, so we need to be gentle on ourselves when we fail. In fact, the failing is part of the journey and as much a teacher as success, yeah?

    Yep, it's true.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  5. titan_transcendence

    titan_transcendence Well-Known Member

    Billy, you did the right thing, even in the midst of the challenging day by coming in here and putting your words in this board. I think the awareness is the first, necessary step to manage this. But the following steps are not quite clear for me yet, maybe its just this sitting and calmly observing those uprising emotions, as you described in here.

    I also can relate very strongly what you observed this deep wound inside of you, spouting sadness.. I think we are all in here somehow emotionally wounded, maybe its part of our early conditioning and our personality. It just manifests time by time, and only way we can ever learn to manage it is to work with it, using many methods like self-reflection, good self-care, meditation, and trying to make our lives be in order the best we could manage them. We are (with few exceptional fellows who have almost managed it) still in the midst of this learning process in here. We should give wavering support to each other and diligently continue to searching the right way..
    with the hopes that we will manage it some day. But to have even tiny bit of hope is essentially of our survival.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  6. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Yeah, mate. It's two steps forward, two steps back, two steps forward, one and a half back (yay!). Oh, three steps back. Two steps forward.... we'll get there.
     
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  7. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)


    Here's what success looks like, Billy B:D

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Certainly is for me at the moment.

    Yesterday, last night, even though I was doin' okay (kickin' lots of goals, catching up on self care stuff plus a few oddsy's that'll make my life here less stressful) I still bought cigs! That meant, hepped up on nicotine, I couldn't sleep and I ended up using P as well! Unfortunately it was a 'positive' experience in that, it turned me on to a she who I was keen to explore further. All day today I was looking forward to it and finally got online about 3:30. Boooooring! And since I've got fuck all data (so couldn't explore vids) and since I'm a desperate fucking addict I spent another good hour trying to find just the right GIF to get me off... and even that was hard work!

    It's such shit, the whole thing!

    You'd think I'd learn me lesson?

    Anyhow, now I really mean it.

    I'm steppin' off onto a clean streak and should I slip... I really hope....

    Awww, fuck: we can't claim anything for the future when it comes to this drug, we really can't. All we can do is keep trying. Though in my case that means making a stronger commitment, it's true.

    Sheeesh.

    Anyhow, I only had a few hours sleep and, since I was wide awake with the sparrows I just got up and got on with things. I had a good day in the end. Mostly errands and that, but ticked a number of things off the list and had some positive interactions with folks. I have clean clothes and kitchen fulled with healthy tucker as well as a list of other things ticked off.

    This evening I'll take it a bit easy (I'm exhausted) but try to do a few lil' things in amongst me relaxing.

    I've got me first ever paid gig (solo gig, I mean) on Saddee at a Christmas Market. That should be interesting.

    Posi-vibes to you mob.
     
  9. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)


    Just thinking out loud and off the cuff, mate:)

    I think that the harder we commit to doing something, the other half of our selves begins to put up resistance to doing that same thing. In other words, the more pressure I put on myself to get something accomplished, the more resistance I generate against doing that same thing as a means to relieve the pressure that I generated by making that commitment. It falls along the lines of Newton's third law of motion - for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction...

    I sense that while we're so busy committing to do this, that, or the other thing, God has other plans for us.

    It's pretty difficult to understand what those plans are with all these commitments we're making for ourselves, though.

    Does that make sense, Billy B?
     
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  10. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Remain calm and optimistic through a relapse cycle, watch exactly what happens in your mind. You'll eventually see how to win the game.
     
  11. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Kind of... I guess I'll have to think on it, maybe meditate on it. I appreciate your thoughts, mate: thank you! :)
     
  12. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Gold, ta, mate.

    I'm using almost daily but in extreme moderation. Not that that is anything like ideal, of course, but hopefully the damage is not as dire as it might be otherwise.

    I haven't given up!

    Thank you so much for not giving up on me, my friend.
     
  13. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Sorry to've been a stranger fellas.

    This is the busiest time of year for buskers. Despite using (moderately) I am doing very well in the rest of my recovery. I even did my first official paid gig in 15 years on Saddee (solo!). I did okay. Much better next time.

    I send you all big best of love for the silly season.

    Remember to breathe (it'll soon be over!)

    And hopefully I can get back to supporting youse soooooooon.

    Hugs! :)
     
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  14. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Glad you are back.
    Hugs to you also.
     
  15. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    I've relapsed so hard, so many times...along my road to recovery, nobody gets it more than I do. Keep being aware, learning how the beast operates, when you're ready you'll break out of the downward spiral. The trick is discovering all your mind's tricks...the most important one is -- just one more time.
     
  16. 40New30

    40New30 Keep going

    Congrats on the gig too, man. Let us about that.
     
    Billy B. likes this.
  17. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Hey, bro. Just stoppin' by. :)
     
  18. Billy B.

    Billy B. PMO is NOT an option!

    Oh, man. I really need to get back to you guys. Thanks for stopping by. I'm... okay, I had a hard week just trying to breathe through a lot of uncomfortable emotion (I've been a bit physically unwell which prolly hasn't helped). Been alternating between sitting with it and zoning out (consciously making that choice, as, if one tries to be present constantly, especially at first, it'll drive ye mad). I'm workin' on it. About to have a sit now as I have to get to the shops and even that is bringing up a lot of discomfort.

    As for pmo, I'm still using but only minimally, at least. Obviously I need to get a clean streak happing again at some stage soon, but for now, harm minimisation is the best I can manage. Thankfully, the idea of an extended session is grossly unappealing (even though it would be a 'pleasant' numbing out in the moment). For long periods of zoning out though, I'm choosing the less harmful TV Series and a good book (or sleeping).

    I send big loves to you all.

    It's a tough time of year for many of us and I do hope you guys have been managing okay. My family are at least easy going (no dramas) but my feeling of separateness to them (even in their company) can bring up uncomfortable feelings. The Buddhist way is to try to view that discomfort as a blessing almost, at least, an opportunity to sit with 'what is', to make room for it and hopefully to let it go, eventually.

    Hugs till soon, yeah?

    Xxxxxx
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You are respected and loved no matter your streak.
     
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  20. NCBob

    NCBob The 11th commandment: Thou shalt not peek:-)

    Hey BillyB - wishing you a wonderfully transformative 2018!!!
     
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