Time to heal

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

  1. Forlorn you are so right. The chemical dependency on dopamine is the thing. 90 days is a lo-o-o-o-n-g time.
  2. badger

    badger Active Member

    yes, Tom i agree. the chemical dependency is what keeps me hooked. it just feels great when in full PMO mode. but then the huge let down. 90 days is a long time to abstain from instant gratification/and intense pleasure. that's why in AA they advise to make 90 meetings in your first 90 days. more if you are able. i had over 100 days porn free for the first time in my life and blew it. i started peeking. so i for these first 90 days, this addiction comes first. it is my priority. i am concentrating on it like my life depended on it. it does. hang in there.
    RuinedMyLife likes this.
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Hi Badger / Tom.

    Yes, 90 days certainly is a long time to abstain from the type of dopamine highs that we have been chasing for decades. It's such an insidious thing, especially the way that a dopamine high feels so euphoric that it has the ability to override our capacity to think and behave rationally. The amount of times I've known what I'm doing is wrong but felt 'powerless' to stop.

    But without disrupting the pattern and going through the chemical withdrawal we will forever be trapped by our addictions. Up until now, I haven't taken getting off the dopamine dependency seriously enough.

    So here's to a fresh start. It feels daunting even writing this, but I'm aiming for total abstinence between now to the middle of May. The plan is to disrupt, dismantle and switch off the automated pathways in my brain and install healthier forms of self-support.
  4. RuinedMyLife

    RuinedMyLife New Member

    When you say "peeking", what do you mean. Did you just look around and not actually watch a video or something similar? Can you elaborate more on this? I know peeking for us porn users is like someone taking one hit of their choice of drug, right? Did you have to reset your streak because of the peeking or do you consider it a win if you didn't M and O? I know the goal is PMO together, and I agree. I've been having some urges to peek also. I setup this great program on my electronic devices if you're interested in hearing about it. It doesn't stop you from going to the adult store or paying for pay-per-view P. It does help prevent the ease of access to it on the internet though, all that free shit that's out there like fricken crack for free on the street corner.
  5. Badger/ Forlorn,
    Me too - I am focussing on getting through my first 90 days. My idea is that whatever comes along to derail me - work stress, money worries, family problems - it can f**k right off! I am going to push these stress triggers to one side and bypass them at least till after 7 May 2021. Recovery from chemical dependency is absolutely critical. If we don't get through that, then we are back on the tread-mill. Best of luck to you both (and to everyone else) over the next weeks and months. All best,
    forlorn likes this.
  6. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Started noticing how subtle some of these cues are. For instance, as soon as I fire up a web browser my fingers reach for certain keys to bring up a social media site that I'm trying to avoid. Also, the sound of the water running whilst my wife is showering just sent a subconscious message to my brain saying "you have a small window of opportunity to look at porn without being caught". By disrupting my patterns of behaviour in an attempt to get off the dopamine dependency I'm starting to observe these things. It goes to show how automated my patterns of behavior had become.
    Can't speak for Badger, but for me, peeking had become a regular thing. Whenever I felt a little down, bored, lonely, helpless or anxious I'd browse a few adult profiles on social media. I'd look to see if they'd posted any new content. Sometimes it was just for a couple of minutes at a time, but it would flood my brain with feel-good chemicals - and once you get hooked on that feeling it's hard to stop. An hour or so later I'd find myself doing the same thing again. That's how I define peeking.
    RuinedMyLife likes this.
  7. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    8 days off the dopamine. It’s already been like a mini rollercoaster. There have been periods where I’ve felt overly sensitive, especially when people appear rejecting towards me. I’m dealing with this by trying to calm myself down and seeing the logic in the situation. I have a general feeling of anxiety that ebbs and flows. Without the ‘protection’ of porn this has resurfaced meaning I clearly have some underlying issues to work on. But there have been positives too. I’ve been more ‘present’ as a husband; I’m communicating more and not spending as much time alone. Triggers haven’t hit me too hard yet but I know that difficult days lay ahead.
    Gil79 and NewStart19 like this.
  8. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    It is hard for sensitive souls to bear the brunt of those who are callous. My wife is like this. I used to try and get her to see how hurtful her behavior and words were, but she is incapable of understanding and this is at the crux of the matter. People who reject you will never, not ever, ever, ever, understand how they can hurt your tender psyche. Luckily, when I came here a few years ago I began to understand that it doesn't matter, not one bit. My journey doesn't include them and their baggage. My job is not to change how they behave, but to discover why I have such little belief in myself.

    Good job soldiering forward!
    Mozenjo, Bilbo Swaggins and realness like this.
  9. badger

    badger Active Member

    i agree. all I can do is clean my side of the street.
    Bilbo Swaggins and Saville like this.
  10. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Some of my anxieties stem from financial worries (earning less than others my age, feeling like a failure, embarrassment at taking hand-outs from my parents). An unwillingness to face up to this (along with other factors) is why I have allowed myself to be financially dominated by young women on the Internet for the past 10+ years. It sickens me to think about how costly this behaviour has been, not only financially but also mentally. I made some terrible choices. But what’s done is done and I can’t change the past by dwelling on the poor choices I made. Of course, the logical, sensible thing for someone in my position would have been to manage one’s finances carefully - to take responsibility, to plan for the future. And that’s what I must do now. I recently started trading stocks and I’m (finally) starting to manage my finances carefully. It is painful to look at mortgage statements to see there’s a huge balance left to pay, but it’s important to face up to reality.

    I am also continuing to disrupt and dismantle the automated pathways in my brain (taking a total abstinence approach). This is day 12 without dopamine dependency.
    For the first time in ages I feel a small sense of connection to a vision for my future. I’ve previously written plans/visions but they always felt fanciful and I didn’t believe in them. I sense in myself a slight shift in belief and a willingness to accept responsibility. I had a productive weekend doing DIY jobs around the house, minor accomplishments but it felt good to get them done.
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I feel that shift in your writing, too, forlorn. The past is the past and it get fuck off. Hello today! :)
    Old Tom Bombadil and forlorn like this.
  12. badger

    badger Active Member

    good for you. looks you are turning the corner. seems when my personal life-no pmo, praying, meditating regularly is in order, the other parts of my life fall into place. I need to work from the inside out. take care of the inside, my addicted porn brain, and the outside will take care of itself. I will not be doing the same fuck-ups because I will not be the same person. anyway that is my goal. hang in there my brother.
    forlorn likes this.
  13. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    When I first read about financial domination I was really mind blown and didn't understand it. But I realize how I have been putting (part of) my own feelings and (often) choices in the hands of women whole my life and how that is somehow very similar. Anyway, nice to hear about the positive changes and outlook you have created for yourself. Well done!
    realness, Saville and Bilbo Swaggins like this.
  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    In some ways it’s the ultimate form of submission. While some guys will spend and expect nothing in return, most are paying for a service. I fell into the second category and although I did it for over a decade, I often resented parting with the money. My distorted thinking led me to believe that if I carried on paying they’d be more likely to give me attention and indulge my fantasies/fetishes. The sending of money became part of the ritual because I knew a ‘reward’ would follow. But of course it’s never enough. I soon got bored and would seek another woman and/or more extreme fantasies to explore. It would feel fresh and exciting for a while, but in reality it was a continuous loop - a high-velocity, dopamine-fueled downward spiral of addiction. To help break this cycle, I’ve set myself some boundaries by highlighting acting out behaviors that I aim to end for good. Obviously ‘no-go’ activities include quitting paying for those services and avoiding all pornography.

    Next up, I plan to change my habits relating the way I use technology. I often sit in a home office mindlessly flicking between tabs, checking e-mail, news, stocks, forums etc, it feels very chaotic. I've never made use of any blockers and I don't intend to. However there are certain 'environmental' controls I can put in place to disrupt the habitual behaviors such as making changes to my daily routines. Spending less time in front of the computer is an obvious one. To help with this, I intend to start a couple of projects to keep myself occupied (and away from technology). I'm yet to decide on the specifics, but these projects will involve building something useful for my home and garden. I embarked on a woodworking project last summer and was proud of what I achieved. This year, I want to create something bigger and better.
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Cool, bro'. Using your talents for real life. :)
  16. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    20 days off the PMO/dopamine. I need to be extra vigilant this week. The desire to escape and self medicate is still there, lingering just under the surface. I must remember to keep disrupting and dismantling the automated pathways. Generally things have been going well, I've felt less anxious over the past week. I'm planning to shake things up today by changing my routine and reducing the amount of time I spend online.

    Thanks Saville, for your continued support. This place wasn't the same without you. I like it when the forum has a whole load of active members posting regularly and we can offer encouragement and bounce ideas off one another.
    Gil79, Saville and Bilbo Swaggins like this.
  17. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    25 days free of PMO / high levels of dopamine / findom.

    Over the past few days urges have come and go. I haven’t felt desperate to MO and my dick feels lifeless.

    The desire to escape is lessening and I feel as if I am finally putting some of the shame behind me. I am starting to believe in the power of consistency. By repeatedly taking positive actions, eventually gains will be made. This is especially important right now as I’m trying to form new habits, one of which is to spend more time on acts of self care, both physical and mental. By physical I mean taking good care of the fundamentals, such as looking after my hair, teeth, eyes and really taking time to enjoy a shave with a high quality DE safety razor. Installing new mental habits is a work in progress. I don’t have a concrete plan yet but I’m aiming to add positive actions to do with addressing the underlying causes of my addiction. It could be reading, listening to podcasts, learning how to still the mind and strengthening self belief. The ‘fix everything at once’ approach never seems to work, so I’m easing into this gently.
    realness, Mozenjo, badger and 2 others like this.
  18. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Thank you, forlorn, that means so much to me. I needed to come back and receive your support too. :)

    I have found this to be true.

    As far as dead-dick goes, I find the longer I go without sex the less I feel inclined to have it. However, when the wife and I hug and kiss I feel immediately stimulated. I think this is a natural state of affairs. I think I just went two and a half weeks without sex and I wasn't missing it until last night, when I suddenly felt a need. Thankfully the wife was obliging.
    Mozenjo and Gil79 like this.
  19. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    That's awesome!
    I think that's key, forlorn. Just erasing PMO from our lives won't sustain us for long. We need to improve the quality of our lives in other basic ways, like exercising our minds and bodies. There isn't room for PMO when we replace it with positive ways of spending our time.
  20. realness

    realness Active Member

    So happy for you! I like how you have momentum with good acts of self care and are now working on mental habits. It's interesting that you mentioned podcasts. I've gotten into them recently. Started with recovery stuff from Fight the New Drug and Pure Desire. Now I'm ready to move on to other topics.
    Saville likes this.

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