Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by forlorn, Nov 28, 2018.
Congrats forlorn. Sounds simple but is probably one of the hardest parts of recovery!
27 days free.
Had two interactions with women in which I felt they were rejecting towards me (a work client, then my wife). In both instances my first reaction was to take it personally. I didn’t voice my feelings, but inside I was hurting.
I briefly veered off the path (to get an online dopamine fix) but managed to steady myself. The client is a difficult woman. Despite the fact I created some beautiful work for her she seems to be changing the scope of the project to piss me off (and to get out of paying). The scenario with my wife was more a case of bad timing. She had reacted angrily when I asked for her input when I was hanging some artwork. Turns out she was busy cooking at the time, so it was just a misunderstanding. Reminded myself I need to stay calm and that I don’t have to please everyone all the time. I then logged onto this forum which strengthened my motivation to stay clean, especially when I saw the messages of support, so thanks to all for your input.
I practiced some meditation as one of the new habits I’m trying to form. In the past I’ve always given up quickly. I struggle to get a comfortable posture and find my mind wanders too often - but I heard that’s normal, at least in the early stages. And the times when you catch your mind wandering and choose to bring it back to focus on your breath - when you do that, you’re using your pre-frontal cortex. It’s part of the process. Baby steps Forlorn. Persistent baby steps.
@UK Don thanks for checking in on me. I still recall reading your first journal post which really resonated with me. It was beautifully written and your journey reminded me of myself. I hope all is good with you. You’ve done well to recognise this problem at such a young age and I hope you never have to jump between age categories on this forum as I have done (the first time I had a journal here I was 39, I’m now 44).
Sometimes people send a perfectly cooked steak, just the way they asked for it, back to the kitchen. They just want attention and to show who's in charge, who is paying. The chef usually puts the steak on the grill for two seconds and then sends it back out to the smiling customer who thinks they are important. It's a reflection on who that customer is, not the chef.
Wives are often busy and like husbands to remember that. Just as we've acted out to certain triggers, they do too. When we find our center that tends to center our partner, as well, at least some of the time. When my wife behaves like you describe your wife doing, I act like the chef in the above example. I either say nothing and go about my business or say "Oh, no! Of course you're busy," and then go about my business. In other words, I try not to put on my wife's clothes, as they don't fit very well.
You handled yourself like a champ!
31 days off the PMO / dopamine dependency.
Love the steak analogy, Saville
I’m still emotionally fragile especially when it comes to rejection, but I recognise that how I respond to life’s challenges is a choice.
Gradual progress is being made. I feel less anxious now than I did at the start of this reboot.
I’m still rubbish at meditating, my mind wanders every few seconds, but I’m not disheartened. Going to stick with it.
forlorn, so nice to hear about your progress. The anxiety should continue to dissipate as you get off the dependency. I like that you're keeping fantasizing at bay too. Anything that lights up the neurons sexually needs to go, except for real sex, of course.
From my own experience, fear of rejection is mostly about letting ourselves agree that we should be rejected. When nothing could be further from the truth. You're a great guy; if anyone doesn't see that, that is their problem.
And don't worry about being bad a meditating; I suck at it too, but it's still worth doing, because even the act of trying to shut off the endless chatter is somewhat successful. I think the periods of calm, or silence, will increase with practice.
Keep up the good work!
Faced a couple of challenges today but I got through them. I bought some shares in an American company but felt I had behaved impulsively and paid a higher price than I should have. Started to get really annoyed at myself, so I went out for a walk, which helped to settle my mind. Then, just before coming here to write in my journal I had a quarrel with the missus. I asked her to do a little paperwork (which benefits both of us) and she made a really big deal of it, acting as if it was a huge inconvenience to her. In the past, something as insignificant as this would have sent me on a downward spiral - I would have used a combination of blame and rationalisation to justify acting out behaviours (“if she’s going to be a moody bitch, then I’m going to sneak off to view adult content on the Internet”). But as part of this reboot I am determined to learn healthier ways of responding to unpleasant situations. I’m staying calm and taking deep breaths. I will also resist the urge to make any snide remarks to her later. This process is an opportunity for growth.
Spent the morning taking care of a bunch of boring but necessary things. Renewing energy tariffs, sorting out pension paperwork, finances etc. It’s a significant development for me as a lack of control and certainty over finances was a major trigger. I’m easing myself into taking responsibility.
Thanks @Mozenjo - yes, I will stick with the meditation practice. As they say, nothing worth having comes easy.
Just a quick check in. The last two days have been a struggle. Been busy with work, the missus has been moody and a couple of finance-related issues are playing on my mind. I've been close to relapse, really craving a rush of dopamine. I need to regain focus and pull myself together.
Such great honesty and truth man! I've been there too, same destructive thinking. And now we're learning how that thinking and rationalization hurts us ultimately. And it's not enough to just intellectually understand this stuff, but to gain awareness and practice at handling it when it comes up. Over and over again.
I hope things are going well. Sorry to hear that today is a struggle. I hope you were able to shake things up, grab a healthy tool like a walk or a good coffee to get on some more stable ground.
i used to call it "throwing a drunk at her" when i used to drink. now i do the same but use porn instead of alcohol. thanks for the reminder. hang in there, i am.
Thanks Realness & Badger. I managed to get back on track again after yesterdays wobble. The wonders of a good sleep. Also decided that returning to the fundamentals would be a good way to start the day - taking time for those little acts of self care (personal grooming, dressing well etc).
You’ve hit the nail on the head there Realness. An intellectual understanding isn’t enough - it’s about actively practicing healthier responses to challenging situations on a consistent basis. Thanks for reminding me of this.
Badger, cheers for the encouragement. You did well to give up the booze. I drink around 5 nights per week. Usually a beer followed by a couple of single malts. Not sure if I have a drink problem (I rarely drink to the point where I get a hangover). Maybe I’m in denial, still trying to figure it out.
I was in the same boat not long ago. When we get older, and have been through the trenches, a couple of drinks at night feels like a just reward. It isn't alcoholism, but I do think it is a bit of a problem. The booze dulls our senses and it makes it easier for our resolve to collapse. Basically, we're looking for a dopamine reward each and every night. Every night I would get a bit tipsy and I loved the feeling, but it would also make me feel tired and useless. I'm only 3 months into my regime of "no drinking" but I do feel better for it. The hardest part I find is in social situations. I am so much more social when I drink. The last few outings with friends have been difficult, as without the booze I feel I'm not able to interact the same. But, do I want to live the same life that lead me to insecurity, a sense of defeat, and P?
only you can diagnose yourself with a drinking problem. by what you wrote, doesn't seem like a problem to drink. i didn't drink everyday but when i did it was Katy bar the door. i would not show up for work the next day, many firings, got in legal trouble, duis/drunk and disorderly/shoplifting-booze. did not come home for days, and i wonder why my wife doesn't trust me. never kept promises or dates if i started drinking. so in short is what drinking affects your social/professional/personal/legal life. but as a Saville said it's another dopamine hit. also reduces our inhibitions which may lead to porn. there's a saying " if you drink to be social, it's not social drinking" again only you can be the judge of that. just my 2 cents worth. sharing my lifelong experience and defeat with booze. hang in there.
A while back, I bought an expensive piece of equipment for work and hoped it would make me a lot of money. Despite my best efforts, things haven’t quite worked out in the way i had imagined. For a while I’ve kind of attached my identity to the success (or failure) of this project. Realise I need to stop doing that. Even if I don’t get the desired outcome, I have the resources to earn money in other ways. I will figure things out.
I’m keeping my day counter intact despite masturbation yesterday. I had felt increasing pressure building to look at pornography for several days in a row. It’s not ideal, but for me, occasional masturbation is the lesser of two evils - it beats having a long drawn out porn session where I’m flooding my system with high doses of dopamine for days on end. It was really just a functional thing. After my journal post here I'm aiming for a Internet-free day. Back to the fundamentals such as looking after myself and taking pride in my home/garden. I spent a couple of hours in the garden yesterday taking care of the mundane but necessary stuff like general tidying, tying up loose stems, and cutting things back to promote new growth.
@Saville LOL @ “we’ve been through the trenches”, a great expression. I think you’re right, while it’s not alcoholism, it is a bit of a problem. I’m using it as a stress reliever in the evenings. I have a taste for the good stuff, expensive scotch whiskies.
@badger wow I can see why you needed to give it up. Sounds like you were wild. ‘Katy bar the door’. Never heard that expression before, had to look up the meaning. A few years back (I was a latecomer) I got into the habit of using coke. It was mainly on pub crawls with friends but if I had some left over, I’d also do it on my own the following day. My behaviour could easily spiral out of control with that stuff. After one boozy, coke-fuelled night out, I left my friends (told them I was going home) when in fact I went off to a lap dancing club on my own. Felt extra guilty since one of my friends had wanted to share a taxi back to our neighbourhood. I kind of abandoned him. I gave it up after that.
Yesterday would have marked 41 days clean of PMO but unfortunately I had a relapse. The warning signs were there. For a few days in a row I had breached one of my own boundaries by allowing myself to use Twitter - a site that's been problematic for me in the past. I'd received a DM from a woman that I had previous online interactions with. She just asked how I was. It ended up with me stupidly sending her a bit of cash, even though she didn't ask for it. I looked through her media, got a huge rush of dopamine and well, you know the rest. I'm going to try not to dwell on this setback too much. It's frustrating, but I have made progress over the last few weeks so need to get back into that positive head space.
You really have made great progress. Dwell on those weeks of sobriety rather than this one little slip, and that's all it was, a little slip.
yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow never comes. but today is here. what can i do today? that is a very impressive run. keep on trucking.
Confession, transparency and honesty are just as much a part of your journey as every moment of your 40 days of sobriety that proceeded your relapse. Thank you for living out recovery honestly here as a model and reminder to me.
Hang in there Forlorn. What we are trying to do is not easy. Not only have you had a long streak of sobriety but your posts and comments have really helped the rest of us.
41 days clean and the healing that took place is not going to be totally setback by one PMO session. You are doing great; learn from this slip up and get back after it!
The last week has been busy, slightly taken my eyes off the ball in terms of active recovery, but generally things have been stable and I avoided further slips. Thanks to everyone for helping to pick me up after that fall.
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