Time to heal

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

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Bilbo Baggins for your input. You're absolutely right, we can't wait until we're healed to feel better. We should be taking action now.

    Also thanks to @positivef and @realness I appreciate the ongoing support. Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. I've had a terrible few days and returned to old habits. At this point, I'm not even sure what's been driving the behaviour. I had a couple of breakthroughs with work and should be happy, but it's almost like I'm punishing myself. I should be open and allowing for positive things to happen, but instead I'm self sabotaging. I need a couple of days to escape from this mental prison and get back to recovery.
  2. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It’s been the strangest year. The restrictions, the isolation and so much uncertainty with the pandemic, career and life in general. Here in the UK we’re now in the early stages of another lockdown.
    In some ways I’ve been ‘forced’ to spend more time with my wife than ever before, although quite often we’re in separate rooms of the house. We have different sleeping patterns (I go to bed 3 hours earlier and wake 3 hours earlier) meaning I still get a whole load of alone time.

    Since 23rd October I have been on a downward spiral. I effectively gave up with recovery and fell back into a pattern of using porn. I wonder, if you try to repress fetishes, do they grow to consume you?

    The content in my 'go to' porn genres has got better (by better, I mean worse). It’s rife, it’s more extreme, it’s so much more readily available. I’ve been on a dopamine-fuelled frenzy for 2 weeks straight.

    I feel wounded. Slightly less hopeful that I have on previous recovery attempts. But here I am, starting over. Trying to reclaim my sexuality, self esteem, my sanity....
    realness likes this.
  3. realness

    realness Active Member

    Sounds like dark times, but I'm so glad that you check in here where there is light, honesty and hope. We're very invested in your recovery and value you here.

    Rather than repress fetishes, perhaps you can explore where they came from? Perhaps a traumatic event in your past, a negative influence or exposure? Maybe journal or explore it here if you are willing? I'm sorry if I already mentioned this in your journal but there is a good book called "Unwanted" by Jay Stringer. It's pretty thought provoking on tracing where things may have come from. It does come from a Christian faith perspective though.

    And rather than work on repression, replace your activities with diving into something else? A new project, something to reorganize, some gardening if it's still warm enough in the UK?
  4. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I always feel a nagging sense that I'm not doing enough. For example, I think I should be trying to succeed and work harder on my business and focus on winning new clients. Prior to my recent downward spiral I went through a phase of having productive days where I'd focus on getting things done. Even it was something fairly insignificant it felt like I had a sense of accomplishment and I'd made the most of the day.

    On Monday I took a day off and did very little. There was no pressure, no expectation. I felt a sense of peace and relaxation that I haven't experienced in some time.

    Thanks @realness for your suggestions. As it happens I have picked up on an art project that I was previously involved with. It's a nice hobby and gives me something else to focus on. It's coming towards that time of year where it's getting too cold to be out in the garden, but of course there are still some tasks that can be done - tying in climbers, a little deadheading, leaf collection and general tidying in preparation for winter.
  5. badger

    badger Member

    hang in there it's been hell for me past 2 wks. just try to hang on for one more day, today. pulling for you. never give up
  6. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I'm in a mental prison of my own making. My thought patterns and behaviors are so repetitive. I've been paying for online services again.

    How much money have I squandered in the past decade? To cope with the guilt I just spend and send again to strangers who don't care about me. I need to find it within myself to forgive, to stop the self loathing and return to a place of healing.

    Lately, my brain doesn't want to do anything that appears complicated or seems like hard work. I keep seeking the easy way out. The emotional shortcuts. I'm trying to learn something new that could help with my career goals but my concentration is shot to pieces. I'm almost certain it's connected to the fact I've become acclimatized once again to high levels of dopamine. Everything else seems boring or difficult. Feel like I am losing my mind.
  7. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Decided it's time for a fresh approach. For the next few weeks I will attempt to limit the amount of time I spend online (dopamine detox lite). Sounds like a pretty obvious thing do to but I may not find it that easy. I'm one of those people who can sit in front of the computer all day long. Unless I'm writing on YBR or working on a specific task, I will avoid using my devices as much as possible. And certain devices of mine are more prone to misuse, particularly those on which I have an active VPN.
    realness likes this.
  8. realness

    realness Active Member

    I wonder if seasonal depression is adding to some of your difficulties @forlorn. Glad you are taking some concrete steps toward your health and wellness. I hope I didn't miss this part of your journey but have you engaged therapy in your recovery? I'm pulling for you. Have you been engaging your art project or taking on any other dedicated activities?
  9. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I have seen improvements in myself over the last few days. It feels good to be free from the shackles of pornography. I'm not quite back to the 'good place' I was in a few months back, but things are slowly getting back on track.

    Hi @realness yes I have previously been in therapy (both in person and via Skype) and I found it useful. Maybe it's something I will pick up again at some point - I've heard some people say it's very difficult to permanently overcome addiction without some form of counseling.
  10. badger

    badger Member

    maybe therapy may help me. have been thinking about it. only drawback is my profession. if regulatory body that governs my profession becomes aware, I will be placed on probation. if I don't disclose it, then it's punitive. damn if I do..
    anyway. hanging in there.
  11. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I've been feeling really anxious at times. I forgot to log out of a certain account that I'd previously used for adult material. I've no idea if my wife spies on my devices but if she does, she would have found some pretty incriminating stuff. Even if she had found it, I doubt she'd confront me. It got me thinking about all the other times my kinks have been discovered (or almost discovered) - those moments where my behaviours have overlapped with real life and the people around me may have observed. Some of these things occurred a long time ago but I still carry around the guilt.

    In our own ways we've both experienced addictive behaviour in some form. My primary addiction is less socially acceptable than hers. I sense that we are growing apart, I've noticed in recent weeks she spends more time alone in another room of the house. She says it's because she wants to watch a TV program that I'm not interested in - and there is some truth to that. Quite often when I go into 'her room', she's tapping away at her mobile phone writing high speed messages.

    @badger I doubt your governing body would find out if you were in therapy. It's supposed to be confidential and ultimately you determine what you decide to disclose to the therapist based on how much you trust them. If I were you, I'd give it some thought. I take the point you made on your own thread about those things from your childhood being in the past - of course you want to focus on the here and now. But it can be valuable for us to delve into past trauma in order to be able to heal and therapy is a good way of exploring that.
  12. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I can relate to what you write about the fear of being found out. Can you imagine the inner-peace that would come from just having nothing to hide?! One day we'll be there and we'll be zenmasters :cool:
  13. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    The last few days have been stressful. I've been getting really worked up about career/finances stuff and trying to make it as a freelancer. Last night, as I was having a beer and watching the news I had a realization that I need to try to relax. We're in the middle of a pandemic and on the brink of an enormous global economic crisis, yet I'm so wrapped up in my own problems. I need to lighten up, accept the reality and have a little patience.

    On the plus side, I have been porn free.

    Yes, I get what you're saying Gil. Isn't it ridiculous how we sometimes 'act out' the moment our wives have turned their backs? We see it as a window of opportunity. In reality, we should use that window for personal growth and be able to do the right thing even when no one is watching. For the record, I don't think my wife saw the social media account I had previously used for adult services, it's quite likely I was just being paranoid.
  14. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Yes, we do! And that is so satisfying, short AND long term. So, why is that so hard?!
  15. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Presumably, there are various factors at play. Our ingrained responses, the desire to seek a quick fix, a sense that we deserve a 'reward' and on some level maybe a dissatisfaction with ourselves. I'm in one of those 'windows of opportunity' right now - up early, awake before the wife, with several hours to myself.

    But thankfully my mood is stable. I am staying away from porn and taking pride in that choice. I plan to spend the weekend on some more wholesome activities :)
    Gil79 likes this.
  16. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    A few weeks back I was struggling in a big way, I had allowed fear, anxiety and uncertainty to overwhelm me. It has been over a fortnight since I last PMO'd. In general terms, my mood has remained stable. Today I have the house to myself all day as the wife has gone into work. I'm going to treat it like any other day and focus on taking actions that are good for my mental and physical well-being. Recovery is a deeply personal thing - in order to be able to make the right choices we have to want it for ourselves. The fact my mood is stable shows how closely linked my acting out behavior is to my emotional state.

    A few weeks ago I saw this chart (see attachment) doing the rounds on social media. I think I am currently alternating between yellow and green (with the odd characteristic from the orange segment).

    Where do you guys presently rank on this chart in terms of your mental health?

    Attached Files:

    realness and Gil79 like this.
  17. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Really interesting

    I am also between in yellow and green. I think that over the years I have been really climbing up from red/orange (20's) to orange/yellow (30's) to yellow/green (40's). What I find interesting is that a large part of this year I have really been more towards the green and that has also been showing in my porn-usage (not a cause but an effect of being in the green).
  18. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It's been 7 days since my last post (feels like longer).

    Despite the occasional emotional wobble, it has been a good week. I've been focused on working hard in my freelance career and things have gone well, I made new connections, earned money and got some strong leads for the year ahead. I don't equate career success with happiness but it undoubtedly plays a part, as it ties into things like security and feelings of worthiness.

    Glad to hear you're spending more time in the green @Gil79 keep thriving :)
    realness and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  19. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I thought back to a conversation I had with a friend five years ago. At the time, we had started doing a little coke together, usually at events or social occasions. After a year or so, I stopped doing it because I knew my behaviour could easily spiral out of control. I would do a line then a while later I'd do another line and so on - always chasing that initial high.

    He told me at the time he "doesn't have an addictive personality" - I thought long and hard about that. To this day I don't know if he's right. On the one hand, he does appear to have self control. On a night out, he will happily have one line and then not touch it again until the next social occasion. In a way, I admire his self control. But I also wonder if he is addicted in a way because he still does it frequently, if not recklessly.

    Even when things seem to be going well, it's easy to fall under. Although it's been a good week, there was a day when I slipped up and looked at porn. I was craving a PMO release but I didn't go all the way. The following morning, I felt better and got back into recovery mode. But it was a warning, that triggers can be incredibly subtle. As someone one this forum once said to me "life is full of traps for the unwary".

    Relationship-wise things have been OK. My wife showed me a small sign affection the other day, resting her hand on my shoulder as we slept. I know it sounds insignificant but there's generally very little physical contact between us.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2020
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.

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