Time to heal

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by forlorn, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I've been inactive on the forum lately and it's partly due to the fact I recently started a new job. By returning to full time employment it feels like I've lost my freedom. I've surrendered a career I was passionate about to do a 'boring' office job. But the boring office job is the practical choice at this stage in my life so I need to come to terms with it. Many of us don't get to do our dream jobs and fulfil our ambitions, that's the reality.

    Lately, recovery has taken a back seat and I've been close to relapse - based on Regnaw's video above I'd say I've been in the 'mental relapse' phase for a few days now. Logging on here today has been useful and thanks for all your contributions. I recognise that I need to post more often as journalling was helping me to process my thoughts and stay on track.
     
    Joshua Shea and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Which is a pity. Be different like the 'the many' then. Like with everything in life, you don't get your dream job from one day to another. Make it a 5 - 10 year plan to get your dream job. Maybe your curremt employer can even facilitate you with that?
     
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  3. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    I actually ended up with my dream job out of necessity. Now, I professionally write from home, splitting my time on pornography addiction books (all available on Amazon) and freelance/ghost writing that pays the bills. I don't make as much as when I was deep in my addiction -- which may have a direct correlation -- but I'm so much happier. I'm there to bring my kids to school and pick them up. I set my own schedule, so I can do all the doctor's appointments and if it's a nice day, I can take a break whenever I want and just float around on my pool. I can wear pajamas all day if I want and if lunch is gonna be ice cream, lunch is gonna be ice cream. This lifestyle unto itself is worth $10,000 to any bottom line.

    My point is that since nobody would hire me after my arrest, I had to what I had to do. What would happen if you lost everything tomorrow? How would you start over? Would you try harder to be happy in employment? Would you follow your calling instead of your expected career path? There is no time like the present for making changes and yes, it will take time like @Gil79 said. You have one life to live. You don't get do-overs. Nobody ever said on their deathbed, "Gee I'm glad I took the practical job."
     
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  4. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    I can't speak for everyone else, but I know reading your entries also helps me and I was wondering where you've been lately. We're here as a support group. Lean on us if you need support.
     
  5. NCBob

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

    We can become victims of 'reality', or we can create reality, forlorn. I've completely retooled my career several times in my life. Each time has led to being even more fulfilled in what I've been doing. I launched my first business in the mid-90s, and launched my second business in 2006. Not for the faint of heart, and definitely a path with heart. As Henry Ford said, whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right:)
     
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  6. NCBob

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

    Good for you, Joshua:)
     
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  7. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I was doing a creative job and for a while it paid the bills (just about). And I had a ton of free time. It wasn't quite a dream role within the industry but it felt like I was on the right path. Now I've shifted to an entirely different career, a more technical based role. However I do have a geeky side and maybe this will fit the bill and who knows where it will lead? Perhaps, as you say in 5-10 years time this will actually be a 'dream' job. I suppose we get out what we put in.

    Well said, it's about taking responsibility for our lives and shaping our own futures. I took your advice a while back and did some career coaching and I do think it gave me some valuable pointers. She kinda hinted towards the route I'm currently taking. This current role is future proof and there's an opportunity to grow and make money. As for my previous role, it paid badly and was kind of seasonal - but I liked identifying as being part of that trade and telling people this is what I do for a living. Maybe it was partly an ego thing.

    Glad it worked out for you, I'd love to be able to tell people I'm a professional writer! And it's great being able to set our own schedules and balance work with other responsibilities.

    The 'practical' route I'm taking isn't so bad, sure I'm mourning the loss of my freedom but I will still do my calling as a hobby. In fact, when I did it professionally, I think to an extent I sometimes stopped being creative and with it and just treated it as a job. Now that I'm back to working in an office I do have to be really cautious - the last time I did a similar role, my addictive behaviour spiralled out of control. There was so much rationalising and justification going on in my head e.g. "I hate my job, I have this XYZ to do therefore I deserve to act out sexually" and I really did. Those memories have come flooding back. I need to put some trigger management into place for the days ahead. A friend did me a favour by getting me this job, I need to repay his trust.
     
  8. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Active Member

    You can tell people whatever you want. Take it from me, a professional stuntman and male model.
     
  9. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    After an emotional wobble I was on the brink of relapse for a few days. I think it partly stemmed from a situation where there was a lot of uncertainty but thankfully I've now moved past that point into a more neutral mental state. I've introduced a few acts of self care to aid my recovery - really basic stuff like getting enough sleep, drinking more water, taking pride in my appearance, dressing better and eating well. All these things improve my mood.

    My wife is turning 40 later this year. Up until now, our sex life has been unfulfilling to put it mildly. Sometimes, I think it's too late, the damage is done and we're destined not to have a sexually intimate relationship. But that could be my brain distorting things. And if I go through another decade avoiding real intimacy and hiding behind pornography I think I'll regret it forever, it already haunts me. The present moment matters, every day of this reboot matters. I need to get off the dopamine and then face up to the underlying issues, fears and insecurities.
     
  10. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It's been a positive few days. My emotional state has remained stable. The new job is going well and has added some structure to my life - it's also given me a reason to implement some of those little acts of self care such as taking pride in my appearance.

    I haven't PMO-ed in almost 50 days, my last O occurred involuntarily during sleep on Christmas day. If I'm being perfectly honest the last 50 days haven't been 100% P free, I did have a wobble during a period of anxiety/uncertainty but I don't think it justified resetting my counter. Overall, this is the cleanest and most sincere reboot I've had to date.

    I noticed that my patterns of thinking tend to be obsessive and based in the short term. An upcoming event or situation will typically dominate my thoughts for days. When that event/situation passes, I move onto thinking about the next thing. I recognise that I need to develop the ability to start thinking longer term, e.g., weeks, months, even years ahead e.g like Gil suggested for my job. Not entirely sure why I struggle to think longer term, maybe it's a fear of responsibility.
     
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  11. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    I can definitely relate to this observation. I guess this is something natural in everyone to some extent but some people are clearly more stressed out by the present then others. It's one of my hopes/goals to be able to relax more throughout whatever life is throwing at me while still being sufficiently engaged. I think meditation can definitely help in learning to let go sometimes when it's needed, but maybe also the more we raise our self esteem (gradually) we become more self confident in our capacity to deal with things. When we have this belief that "we can handle it" our minds may (over)worry a little less. Probably this is achieved by gradually broadening our comfort zone (little personal victories) and thus showing ourselves we are competent.

    Glad to hear you are at 50 days clean ! That's great stuff !
     
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  12. NCBob

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

    Weebles wobble and they don't fall down:)
    Keep up your most excellent efforts, forlorn:D
     
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  13. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Not a great deal to report from me but things are ticking along nicely at the moment. I'm getting good sleep lately, 8 hours a night and I feel better for it. I rarely feel tired during the day and my mind feels sharp at work.

    @Thelongwayhome27 do you meditate? It's something I want to be good at but I get dissuaded easily because I struggle to still the mind. However I recently heard that I needn't worry so much about that, at least not in the early stages. As in, it's OK to allow your mind to wander and to simply observe the thoughts as they occur. So I may start trying to meditate again. As the saying goes, "what you practice grows stronger".
     
  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Despite it being a good week, I did something silly last night. After a couple of large whiskies I went online and ended up messaging an adult profile and now I'm anxiously awaiting a reply. I consciously used the alcohol as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility for my actions. I need to stop this (p)relapse in its tracks. Mentioning it here so you guys can hold me accountable and talk me out of doing something I will later regret.

    Although of course I need to talk myself out of it too. Need to figure out what's really going in my head and allow myself to feel emotions. And I could do with taking my own advice, I recently said to Moz that being off the Internet isn't going to kill us. I'm feeling lonely today and kind of at a loose end. I have friends but most of them live hundreds of miles away. The ones who do live nearby are busy with their families and unlike me, they all have young kids. I went into the city on my own this morning, it passed the time and made me feel better for a while. It sounds immature but it's kind of as if my mind wants to be 'entertained' all the time. I need to snap out of this mood and get productive. It feels like I have nothing to do but in reality there's lots I could be doing e.g home improvement, cooking, housework, reading a book, or a phone call with friends/family.
     
  15. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Sorry to hear it is difficult, but good you recognize that you made the choice and not the alcohol and that you came here to post. Maybe the prelapse already started with drinking whisky in the first place? What was your emotional state before that? I always find Friday evenings difficult. Accumulated tension throughout the week and no need to be fit the next morning. I hope you can stay away from further acting out. Maybe an intense work out can help to change your state of mind? Good luck man. Times like these are hard, but make us learn a lot about ourselves and therefore we should cherish them as well. You're doing great. Keep going!
     
    -Luke- likes this.
  16. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks for checking in on me @Gil79 I was having an unsettled day and it was helpful that you posted words of encouragement on my journal. Pleased to report I managed to avoid further acting out on this occasion, I need to stay strong all week and get past this close call. I think my emotional state was OK prior to the drinking, there wasn't a noticeable build up to it, but definitely something for me to be wary of in future.
     
  17. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Active recovery has become more difficult since I started working full time but I don't want to fall into the trap of just counting days. Several weeks ago I identified a few sources of unresolved childhood trauma - things that could potentially be driving my sexually compulsive behaviour. I did spend a little time reflecting on these traumas but never felt as if I reached a logical endpoint. There's no user manual that tells us how to process trauma but it's evident I need to do more work in this area - and then draw a line under it and move on. In terms of arousal I'm pretty much in a flatline. Been triggered a few times by seeing attractive women in the city but it hasn't led to any online activity. Things are stable again and ticking along just fine.
     
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  18. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Hey @forlorn sorry for haven't had the time to reply sooner.

    Yes I do meditate and have done so for quite a long time. In the last year and a half I started being more constant about it, doing it almost daily. I keep track of it on a paper. Despite this, I still have many days when my mind is very agitated, even when I meditate. Especially if my life is busy or stressful, my meditation sessions can be just worrying. I still have the intuition it's helpful and worth it. So basically don't worry if your mind isn't quiet and keep at it. And I think it's better to do 5 mins daily then a 30 min meditation once a week. Constance is key I think.
     
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  19. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I feel bolstered by the sense of community on this forum and the support I've received. Without reading the stories of others I would feel more alone in my struggles.

    Still reading a book about fear by a Special Forces officer. On one page he talks about how we ought to be motivated by (healthy) pride rather than by ego. Whereas ego takes the easy route, pride means you do things properly even when nobody is watching. Pride means you're constantly looking for ways to improve yourself and learn to do it better. I think I'm slowly starting to witness this change in myself, for instance I'm no longer looking for opportunities to act out the moment my wife turns her back. Instead I'm starting to use alone time in a more productive and healthy manner - which includes spending more time outdoors and away from the computer.

    I've had very few urges this week, the last one was 6 days ago, again after a glass of whisky, when I felt tempted to peek. That night I had a dream in which I posted some porn through my own letterbox (lol) to collect later. However when I got back home my wife was already there and the porn stash I'd posted through the letterbox was nowhere to be seen. I scanned the whole room looking for it but she was talking casually, acting as if nothing had happened. I felt an incredible sense of guilt even after I woke up. For the record, of course in real life my porn has always been digital, my dreams just haven't caught up yet.

    As the days roll into weeks I am starting to feel better about things in general but I also feel anxious. I sometimes thinking to myself, "say I did reach 90 days of no PMO, what happens next"? But I need to remember this is a journey and that abstaining is just one small part of the big picture. After that period, I would focus on continuing to improve in all aspects of my life (perhaps by using the 'wheel of life' method). And of course I'd be aiming to resolve other issues such as performance anxiety.
     
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  20. Fish Hawk

    Fish Hawk Well-Known Member

    You are truly an example of the degree of continuing success one can achieve on this channel. Proud of you my brother!
     
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