The revolving door.

Discussion in 'Ages 30-39' started by Doper, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    You can replace alcohol with our forums favourite vice:


    When you meet a sober alcoholic,
    You meet a hero.
    His mortal enemy slumbers within him;
    He can never outrun his disability.
    He makes his way through a world of alcohol abuse,
    In an environment that does not understand him.
    Society, puffed up with shameful ignorance,
    Looks on him with contempt,
    As if he were a second-class citizen
    Because he dares to swim against
    the stream of alcohol. But you must know:
    No better people are made than this.

    Friedrich von Bodelschwingh (1831-1910)
     
  2. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    I mind-puked this onto stickynotes a while back and figured I haven't written on this thread in months so best not throw it in the garbage:

    When you get triggered all that willpower and everything you think you care about and are working for goes right out the window in the blink of an eye. You somehow just forget that this is the most important thing in the world to the non-triggered you. Your entire life truly does hang in the balance, then you just....forget. That's how it works for me. Everything is going smooth .... .... .... BLAM!!! I WANT IT NOW!!!!....and even though it's literally my life in the balance, it doesn't matter. Autopilot. Like I mentioned before, I think it has everything to do with how the individual harvests their dopamine flow. For example: Two people, one is a safety addict (he gets his flow from being, and acting in accordance with safety), and the other gets his flow from buying shit. You give them both $150 grand, the latter blows his wad doing weird shit to his Ford F-150, a new bass boat, and the rest goes to scratch tickets and BUD Light.

    The former would be absolutely repulsed to his core by this recklessness, but not because his choice would be an S-Class Benz. He might stick his $150g in long bonds or a money market fund for safe keeping, as he notices all the people that get their dopamine flow from gambling have bid up the stock market to the most horrific highs in US history. He will patiently wait, as he gets his dopamine flow not just from safety, but also from getting a deal. On stocks, cars, houses, twinkies....everything. Most people would find it impossible to be this guy (clearly), but to him it's effortless. Even thinking of living any other way would cause this individual great discomfort.

    Same with contrasting a compulsive eater and a bodybuilder. It isn't hard for the bodybuilder to not eat the garbage. It has little to do with willpower, He harvests his dopamine from clean living and gettin fuckin jacked bro. I find it fascinating that these people can get so addicted to something that 98% of the rest of the population find utterly impossible.
    The average person bemoans exerting physical energy, but these people do it long enough that they get their high from it, and if you kept them from the gym I bet they get withdrawal symptoms.

    If you look at yourself it's pretty easy to see that every choice you make is caused by the dopamine hit. It's easy to see where you harvest your flow, if you pay attention.
    All of these people would be repulsed by the other's choices, because their life experiences have changed the structures of their brains to find reward in different things. The guy that likes blowing money, maybe his poor dad died early, so he has a live for today mentality. Maybe the guy that saves and gets deals does so because he lived through a depression and a financial meltdown. If you look at your habits, it will be clear to you what activities give you the blast. Another funny example: The other day, while I was thinking maybe when I get the urge to drink I can just play a video game, but I just don't give a shit about them anymore. I re-downloaded this one game I beat and enjoyed and then was having some technical difficulties that I'm sure I could have solved, but I just said F it and went back to reading my books. And the types of books I read, most people would rather gouge out their eyes than read this type of thing. But I love it, I literally can feel that slight hint of blast to the brain when I just think about it, right now. Likewise, playing and learning (a non-braindead) video game seems like a lot of work to me, with little payoff. Dead, no blast. Work is totally subjective based on where you get your hit.

    I think this is the most critical distinction between the chronic relapsters and our holy shining saints of the forum. Notice most of the people that are doing incredible don't have journals. I doubt they could even tell us how they are doing so great. Because they don't know. It's just happening. Something in them has changed, that has nothing to do with logic or willpower. Relapse, just like playing video games to me, just doesn't really do it for them anymore. They get their blast elsewhere.
    I believe this. Because logically I know the bad things I do are lame as shit and if I can get them off my back I CAN'T FUCKIN LOSE. I will get everything out of life I want. But logic isn't enough. My entire future isn't important enough. Deathbed pride vs remorse isn't enough. I still relapse.

    Of course, what gives you that dopamine blast ebbs and flows throughout life. What I don't understand, is how to be able to direct it the way you want it. Why have there been times, when I've been able to almost effortlessly avoid alcohol and P, workout, eat well.....effortlessly keep it together. Other times I'm the total opposite; an absolute shitbag. Even though the times I was able to keep it together, I had way bigger problems and stressors to deal with. I know, if I can just stay away from a few things, I've got it made. Like, if you can get control of addictions and shit like that, it's pretty hard NOT to be successful. Look at everyone you know that bit the dust, for most of them it was a drug, alcohol, eating addiction....or some other compulsion like gaming, internet, phone,.....some thing that is wasting all their time, or destroying their health. If you don't get sucked into that you will almost certainly work through your problems and can't lose.
    Obviously if you keep doing something long enough it gets easier and that restructures your brain. I understand this. But why has it sometimes been effortless to get to that point and other times it is constant fucking up and failure?
    Fear of success comes to mind, but I'm not sure. It doesn't make sense.

    Even though I'm perfect 99% of the time, that 1% when everything goes out the window can totally fuck you over. What's going on during that 1% (other than drinking....) I don't think it's willpower or logic. You notice how intelligent a lot of the people on here are? Very. You can't think your way out of this.




    ...That shot looks real good by the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
  3. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Well-Known Member

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

    I am on a pretty good streak now, and I can confirm that somehow, I don’t need much will to keep it up. I don’t know why, but I did not have to repress any urge since I started rebooting. I feel like porn became a big NO for me when I discovered YBOP, and since then, staying away from porn and masturbation has not been hard at all. I can’t exactly explain why, because it’s not the way I deal with other addictions. I must have tried ten times to quit smoking in the last year, and after some pretty decent streaks, I still go back to it. Not sure if this brings anything interesting to the discussion, but that’s how it is for me.

    I like the distinction you make between the shiny saints and the chronic relapsers. (The saints, they are really annoying when they moralize other guys with ideas on lust, will, or being a man... Good for them if they are successfully rebooting, but they rarely bring anything interesting on the forum.). But I think there is another kind of guys here, and that includes me: guys who are successful in staying away from porn but who still feel depressed, inhibited, uncomfortable... I don’t like cheap psychology, and I would not want to generalize here, but I find many of us (and I don’t think that includes you, say, when you are on a good streak) do the ‘right things’ but are still unhappy. I stumbled upon a condition I never heard about before, it’s called persistent depressive disorder. Basically, it’s milder than depression, but somehow chronic, to a point where you think that it’s just who you are. I recognize myself in it, and I feel that many guys here seem to be in the same boat. As I said, I don’t want to be off-topic, but I feel like there are other issues here apart from staying clean or relapsing. Why the hell are we always unhappy? One will tell me to be patient, and I am okay with that, I will wait. But life still generally sucks, even if most ingredients are there: a good job, a lovely girlfriend, friends, passions... and even if I am successful in staying away from porn. Yup. For me, anyway, there are other challenges here. That being said, I know I would feel terrible if I relapsed - thank God it has not happened yet...
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2020
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  4. warded

    warded New Member

    You make good points I think, Bilbo. Maybe let me add that for me it is very different. I do feel (very) happy at times, having reached many of the goals I set for myself. On the other hand I am obviously also struggling with this addiction tremendously and I think it is holding me back in so many things.

    I definitely agree on your point that there is always something behind our addictions. Something that we are fleeing from. For you, it may be a persistent depressive disorder. For me it is something else. The question now is: How do we use that knowledge to fight our addiction? Has focussing on being happier helped you get your (great and long btw!) streak going?
     
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  5. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I can really relate to being able to do well for a limited time and then falling down again.

    We have to be our very own Larry "Doc'' Sportello's and keep investigating whatever hides beneath that % we still get wrong.

    Our will power will only get us so far. Even our honest desire to beat this will only get us so far.

    I honestly think this goes beyond just understanding the dopamine reward system and how rewiring that signifies a healthier life.

    My hunch is that it's effectively treating the psychological problem(s) behind the addiction that makes some people able to stay the course.

    That can happen by finding the right therapist (which is probably not easy), or the right support group (it could be here, but sometimes a live group would probably be even more powerful so perhaps a 12 step group) or it could even be personal self help, such as reading the right psychological books. Or perhaps there are other ways, but it remains that these psychological problems need be sufficiently addressed beyond only abstinence.

    It's abstinence, which is essential, coupled with this self work that will lead to transcending the relapse/recovery pattern I think.

    Addressing the psychological issues, which are personal to each one of us, makes it much more likely that we can resist the cravings on the long run. Not only does it make the cravings less intense, but we become much more able to manage life sober. It's a set of skills that needs to be developed. Relapse when we are really honestly desiring to beat this is a symptom that we are not yet sufficiently addressing our psychological issues.
     
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  6. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    @Thelongwayhome27 - I don't know much about it but I think there are many people that talk therapy would absolutely work for, people that can pinpoint something that fucked them up, like being raped, and would like to work through those emotions with someone. But I'm not totally buying this idea that it works for everyone, especially those that can't pinpoint anything. There are a number of "modalities" that stress one's mental/emotional problems stem from childhood trauma, or whatever like that, and just tell you to "work through it", without telling you exactly how to do that. I think it's intentionally vague so the "professional" can keep extracting funds from the patient. I think a lot more likely, for many, is that they are not living congruently with their values, living a life they don't want to live, and have been doing this for so long they look back and think "FUUUUUUUUCK!!!" about a million different situations etched in their brain, where it wasn't some exogenous source of pain, but them not doing or not being able to do what they should have to be shooting at the bullseye. In that case, a much better use of time is to just get shit done. Structure your life so that you can do a little bit of all the things you need to do to be satisfied with yourself. And keep doing that until things get better.

    I kind of think a lot of self-help stuff is just a waste of time. A great example is PUA stuff, and a very small number of those guys selling that shit will tell you: STOP LOOKING AT THE SHIT AND GO OUT, RIGHT NOW!.....ya know. Same with any other self help, or some kind of therapy, it should be a small (but possibly important) part of the plan to get better, because figure what's fucking you up is not living the life you want. Is going and talking about it to someone going to help?....Maybe a slight bit, but if the shrink has any sense and scruples he'd tell you the better use of time would be to try to add in whatever you figure is missing from your life, PRONTO, in even a very small amount. Then there is the social anxiety we've talked about before, talking about that isn't going to help. Exposing yourself to the stressor is the way forward.....and to keep yourself calmer, meditation and GABAergic supplements.

    ....I'm going to admit that I personally would find speaking to a therapist about anything even remotely personal to be extremely uncomfortable. What we do here is about as personal as it gets for me. So that may shape my views a wee bit.

    @Bilbo Baggins - I've got non-peer reviewed opinions for you to Bilbo, I just figure that's enough for the evening... o_O
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
  7. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Well-Known Member

    I like that. You always talk about getting shit done, shit that is according to your values. Of course that’s the main issue. If you don’t do that, you can’t expect to be happy. You also talk about ‘exposing yourself to the stressor’. That’s right too. When you look at it, people who seem healthy and happy are so simple. They live their life, they do things, they do the right things for them. For unhappy people who have been stuck in shitty situations for so long they can’t even recall anything different; for people who feel powerless all the time, who feel they are ‘outside’ no matter what situation they find themselves in... For them, everything is complicated. Damn. Yeah, of course, I am talking about myself. Your posts make these ideas clear to me, I like that, but it’s fucking painful. Yes, gotta get shit done.

    I am seeing a therapist at the moment, and I feel a bit like you about this. I am not that comfortable with it. It seems it’s all about ‘managing my expectations’, ‘accepting’ and doing ‘healthy things’ like drinking camomile and going to bed early. (Sorry, there is a bit of bad mood here). Is it that we are so broken we can’t expect much from life? Is it that enjoying things and feeling good is for others, while I just have to learn to accept living a life that’s more or less a continuous flow of feelings of discomfort and inability to enjoy anything? Don’t get me wrong, I know we have to work to achieve anything down here. But the satisfaction of accomplishing things is almost derisory compared to the level of discomfort I experience on a daily basis. Say, I have a good day at work. That happens every once in a while, I am a photographer and people are often impressed by pictures, you know what I am talking about. So, my colleagues and superiors congratulate me for my good work; let’s say a hot colleague even invites me to have lunch with her, because she obviously enjoys spending time with me; then I come home, practice my songs on the guitar for two hours, then I have an excellent supper with my girlfriend (she cooks very well), and then we watch a film I really like (say, why not, The Big Lebowski). Then I go to bed, and I have a great night of sleep. That’s a pretty good day, a pretty ‘healthy’ day. You got shit done, you worked on your personal projects, you shared good moments with your girlfriend, whom you love very much. Why the hell does it not bring you any satisfaction? Or such a low dose of satisfaction? I sometimes feel that living is humiliating. I know I am starting to sound like a character from a Bergman film, and that I am not being reasonable when I say this, but I am sure you know what I am talking about.

    Anyway, sorry again for the bad mood. But as your said, things can get very personal here, and your journal brings me in this place where I see things in this light, and I think that’s about as deep as you could go if you looked into me with God’s eyes.

    Thanks again for this conversation, Doper. I wouldn’t say it’s enjoyable, but it’s highly interesting. Looking forward to read your non-peer reviewed opinions :eek:
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
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  8. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    @Bilbo Baggins
    A lot of people, and I'm front and center, have got so wrapped up in some work or worry (or both) lifestyle that they've completely forgotten how to have fun, or what being outside a comfort zone feels like. I remember when I was young I'd go out basically every night, and if I didn't it would feel really weird. Now shit sure wasn't perfect for obvious reasons but no need to get into that. But now it's the complete opposite. A while back I did something that was probably the farthest outside my comfort zone ever, and for a reasonable period. The entire time was both feet firmly outside the comfort. When I went back to my regular life, for a bit I just thought what the fuck is this? this is really boring, and I got that same feeling I got when I was a kid. Imagine some guy that works 60 hour weeks and hasn't had a vacation or any fun in years, if that guy took a vacation, and even if he just got plastered the whole time and caught the clap, it would still be a net positive....lol, I wasn't implying that's what happened to me that's just an example.

    I was watching a researcher talking the other day and he also really touched on the exact thing you just mentioned about therapy/CBT in relation, in this case, to chronic pain. He said that CBT isn't actually beneficial to the pain patient, in that it doesn't actually solve the problem (make the pain go away), all it does is as you said "manage expectations". That should be a last resort. I'll leave it down below, really exciting stuff. If I ran a company and I had a problem I think I'd be calling "The Fixer", over the "Manager of Expectations". The latter sounds like....a real jerk.

    The day you explained sounds like an awesome day to me, especially if you like your job. Not many people can say that. But then again, your brain adjusts to your environment and even if I had everything I want I'd probably feel exactly as I do now. That's scary. What bothers me more than the mild depression is the generalized anxiety I have. In my brain I'm constantly freaking out about everything. I like booze for that reason.
    At the end of the day we aren't wired for happiness, but for survival. So the best you can do is get immersed in a topic enough to get passionate. Like with your guitar, I bet you feel in the zone when your doing that. That's about as good as it gets, without chemical enhancement. And get outside the comfort zone. Another thing we know is helping others is one of the best ways to feel a deep sense of satisfaction. Probably the very best. I think we all inherently know this but put it aside.

    It's watching all those depressing artsy-fartsy fancy Swedish movies that's getting you down man, readin all them subtitles....exhausting. How many people you think (especially our age) know who Ingmar Bergman is....The best I'd get if I asked around is "ain't that the play it again Sam, lady?"....I'd actually be pretty impressed if I got that response. Next time you get a hankerin' for some Seventh Seal, just watch Transformers....

     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
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  9. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Well-Known Member

    That one was pretty funny. Good advice, with a touch of humor, that’s how I like it. Thanks man. You are good in giving meaning to some of the things we’re going through. I am not so good at it, my mind can be quite a mess sometimes... Probably watched too many Swedish films...
    I didn’t know you had anxiety as bad as what you just described. Sincerely sorry about it, friend. Of course, I can’t really help you with that, but I can at least tell you that I empathize with you and what you are going through. Kinda weird to say this on a porn addiction forum, but you are one of the most interesting guys I have had the chance to discuss with. Above all, you always take the time to give others advice, you are very generous, and of course, very funny. All very rare qualities. Take care, man.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
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  10. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Well-Known Member

    Just read that post again. I read it a few months ago, but probably without paying enough attention. I only remembered that Naltrexone helped you to fight urges, and since it's not really an issue for me, I didn't dig deeper.

    You wrote it can "quicken the process of neurotransmitter normalization". I did a quick Google search and found studies that vaguely mentioned this. Is this really serious? Could you expand more on this? Seems almost too good to be true. I would be willing to give it a try if there was a chance it could help me heal.
     
  11. Doper

    Doper Well-Known Member

    Well, I wasn't specifically talking about naltrexone when I made that comment, I was talking about supplements like sulbutiamine, uridine, forskolin, CDP-choline (just eat eggs instead), caffeine etc....and whatever has studies backing up that it upregulates dopamine (d2) receptors. just search for that.
    I've taken all the ones I've mentioned and more. I don't think they work well enough that one can be sure they're doing anything, or speeding up the process. Because it is a slow process. But if I was going to take just one I'd take sulbutiamine, because at least with that you can feel it when you take it, makes me kind of wiry like caffeine. The first thing I'd personally do other than obviously not porning, is stop drinking alcohol. It's fucking your dopamine receptors, as well as majorly messing up your sleep, even in moderate amounts. You need good sleep for your brain to heal. Here I go with the do as I say not as I do again, but it is doing the opposite of what we want.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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  12. Bilbo Baggins

    Bilbo Baggins Well-Known Member

    Thanks, these are all interesting ideas. I wish there were more studies on porn addiction and erectile dysfunction. It would be easier to trust the process and make some changes in our lives if we had a clear idea on how the brain really works. A friend of mine is a speech therapist, and I had a good talk with her the other night. She said that some disorders, like stuttering, can only be cured when you are a child. Once you are an adult, and even a few years before that, it’s too late, you will be stuck with it, even if you are treated by the best therapist in the world. You could somewhat be able to reduce the intensity of the stuttering, but you will have to learn to live with it, as the speech areas of the brain have lost their plasticity at that point.
    I would be really curious to see scans of my brain. I’d like to know what the hell is really going on in there. These scans could make it easier to distinguish between neurological and psychological issues. We all know that porn has a neurological impact on people, and that there is also some psychological conditioning involved, but it’s not that simple to know if one of your behaviors is the consequence of neurological problems or if it comes from psychological issues.
    I will have to look for sulbutiamine online, because it’s not available in drugstores in Canada. I will give it a shot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020

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