Time to heal

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

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Last weekend we had a celebration with friends. It’s been a while since we got to socialise with other people and I overdid it in terms of drinking. No real harm was done but I said a few silly things, some of which I can remember and some which I was reminded of the next day. My hangover was so bad it lasted for 48 hours. Lesson learned - never to allow myself to get so drunk/hungover again.

    Yesterday was a real low, I felt like hiding from the real world. As I sat in my home office, I had a few peeks at adult profiles. At one point the wife walked past and started a lengthy conversation which interrupted my dopamine flow. I was mildly irritated at her for disturbing me - I know that makes me sound selfish and ridiculous. It eventually resulted in FMO.

    Today, I am getting back on track. Focus for the week ahead is to continue building good habits. Maintaining an upright posture, acts of self care, staying on top of financial matters, continuing to work on projects in/around the home.
    Saville likes this.
  2. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    We all say silly things, it is part of being human. I say silly things often and I don't even have booze as an excuse. lol I DO remember hangovers though and they are definitely not fun. Since ditching booze entirely about 3 months ago I feel better for it. One night of just a few drinks would make me feel down for two days. For some people it's more of a depressive than for others. Your resolve is impressive, forlorn.
    forlorn likes this.
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Stumbled across this video which I think offers a good explanation for addiction. It's mainly from the perspective of drugs but can be applied to addiction in general.

    "Addiction is the result of people trying to escape pain and suffering". He goes on to suggest that addicts are suffering from deep emotional pain which they didn't know how to deal with. They turned to the addiction because, at the time they didn't have the internal resources to deal with that pain in a more creative, forward-looking way that would help you resolve the pain. The addiction came along to help you solve a problem for which you had no other solutions for at the time.

    Mozenjo likes this.
  4. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    iron to be mended needs to go through intense fire.
  5. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    for me, no peeks, no "accidental" viewing questionable provocative youtube videos. not easy but i keep at it. my relapse, starts way before the actual PMO. may be days or hours before. it usually starts with this peeking or fantasizing after seeing a scantily dressed woman at Walmart. in AA they call it stinking thinking. romancing the drink. then it just snowballs after that until i find myself with my pecker in my hand and asking "how did i fall again?" i need to redirect as soon as this process begins.
    realness likes this.
  6. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    How are you doing forlorn?
  7. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Hi @realness thanks for asking. I am doing OK. I haven’t disappeared into some kind of pornographic rabbit-hole.

    I often find that my mind darts off in a hundred different directions and I’m unsure what to focus on or how to direct my attention. It makes life feels chaotic. When I lose my way like this I’m trying to anchor myself by taking care the fundamentals - looking after my mind, body and environment. I’ve managed to get a fairly consistent run of daily meditation going. Now that the gyms have re-opened, I’m back there too on a regular basis to keep myself physically healthy. While this stuff helps in the moment, I think from a broader perspective my life feels somewhat aimless - there’s no real purpose driving my behaviour and actions. Clearly I need to spend some time figuring things out - establishing some kind of vision to stop myself from feeling so disjointed all the time.
  8. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    That sounds pretty good forlorn. I wonder if doing well in recovery is freeing you up to address those questions. Especially in finding some people to discuss with. Although life direction and purpose are immensely important topics, they're easier and less awkward to bring up and get advice on. I'm happy for you and where you are at.
    forlorn likes this.
  9. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    As yet I haven’t managed to define any kind of life vision, although I have spent some time this week reflecting on it. I remember reading on Recovery Nation that:

    People who struggle to commit themselves to a vision for their life are really struggling with one of the most fundamental issues there is to struggle with: their own mortality. The realization that they have only a finite amount of time on this earth and a finite number of experiences to be had.

    This definitely rings true for me. I’ve never been able to commit to anything of this kind. I have to accept that I’m not getting any younger and I need to start thinking about how I want to spend the remainder of my life.

    I was reading a personal development book in which the author revealed his own life vision and those of some of his associates. Their goals were all so lofty. So ambitious.

    “To uplift humanity’s consciousness through business”.
    “To empower and inspire people to reach their destiny”.

    In a way these statements felt unrealistic and unobtainable to me. I need something that I feel connection to even if it isn’t as grandiose or ambitious as theirs. I’ll continue to reflect on it and write it down somewhere.

    Generally it’s been a good week. Staying positive, keeping away from PMO and spending time on things I believe to be worthwhile.
    realness, Saville and Mozenjo like this.
  10. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    for me this has been the most important decision i have made to curb this addiction monster that has haunted me for decades. in deciding who and what i want to be and being clear on it i make choices accordingly. i get busy doing the activities that person would do. in this active personification of my personal goal and purpose there is no room for pmo. i am so busy that i don't have time to even think about acting out. it is when i have spare time or am wasting time that i believe i will just take a 'peek". and there i go again. your goal or purpose does not have to be a nobel prize one, for now. just plan out what and who you want to be for the next week. have a plan of actions for every day of that week that defines that person. PMO is not a choice. if too long a commitment. do it for one day at a time. i know my daily routine. it doesn't vary much. so i plan my day ahead of time. at the end of the day i take an inventory when i am planning for my next day. i ask myself did i flirt with the women at work? did i use sexually charged sarcasm or off color jokes? in other words. did my behaviors or words interactions with people get me closer or farther away from PMO? something i work at eveyday but not always. hang in there.
    Saville and Mozenjo like this.
  11. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    forlorn and badger, your last two posts here are great. I too am struggling with what it is I want my future to look like. I think the sense of aimlessness that sometimes takes over when specifically trying to find purpose, is often there because we put too much pressure on ourselves to do so. Badger, I like your idea of planning things out in smaller, more immediate chunks so we can give the act of being deliberate in our lives some time to develop. It's like any muscle we don't use; it's painful when we start using it. But finding real goals, no matter how profound or mundane, makes us think of better ways to spend our time than PMO'ing. I think the explanation of addiction in the YouTube piece above is a perfect backdrop to this. If we are not getting past our earlier traumas, and are going back to the well time and again to help us do that by relying on whatever we're addicted to, then we must realize that putting the trauma in the past is essential. I think the most important tool for accomplishing that is the act of forgiveness, both of ourselves and of the people or circumstances we were traumatized by. It's hard to focus on formulating goals if you're preoccupied with the pain you're trying to ease.
    Saville likes this.
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that just sounds like bullshit to me. I don't think anyone's humanity was ever lifted through business. And, what exactly IS destiny?

    Like badger and Moz I'm more of a "take care of what's in front of me guy" and see where that leads. When we lived as tribal people our goals were to have shelter, food and water, and not get eaten by a big animal. Anything beyond that is a bonus. I love reading and I suppose that is a sort of a goal. I go to the library once a week and I always pick out three books. I try to get the books from different sections, so that I read a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Reading fortifies my mind and makes me think about things, which I believe helps the journey I'm on. I have also found that writing out the mundane things that happen during a day gives me clarity. Telling yourself about your own day is an act of self-care and results can be surprising. Waiting for the big event, a thunderbolt to strike, is a hapless way to live a life, imo.
    forlorn and Mozenjo like this.
  13. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    roger that Saville,
    i go through books like i used to go through beer. my biggest regret when i die is all the books i never read. when everything shut down for the pandemic what hurt me the most is the library was one of the places closed down.
    Saville likes this.
  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for your comments. @Saville I take your point about being a "take care of what's in front of me guy and seeing where that leads" - however for me, that typically leads to uncertainty, malaise and sometimes to porn. I've always been directionless, often flitting between ideas, ambitions and careers. A few years back someone in my family described me as "flaky".

    I’d like to have an overall vision, something I can reflect on daily and use to ground myself when I feel a sense of aimlessness. Maybe something along the lines of “being able to add beauty and kindness to the world” - it maybe sounds a little pie in the sky but I have to start somewhere. And I think both my work and personal life will allow me to practice those things, even if only on a very small scale. I can of course see the value in setting shorter goals/plans for the day/week ahead. Breaking it down makes it feel real and achievable. Good insights Moz, especially about learning to forgive ourselves in order to let go of past trauma.

    Decided to start cleaning my home office - not just on the surface but a real deep clean. The shelves and draws have become cluttered and dusty over the last few years. I spend a lot of time in here. And when my immediate environment is messy, my mind reflects that. I’m planning to throw away what I don’t need, reorganize my books and make this room into a nice, tidy space.
    Saville likes this.
  15. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You are definitely not flakey. Flakey people never have the kind of self-reflection that you do. You have, like the rest of us, found yourself in a rut, a rut that was years in the making. We didn't have the tools to climb out of where we were and so we looked for things that would make living in the rut easier, which is where P comes in. This feeling that we are directionless stems from the fact that early on our wings were clipped. Sensitive people are powered down by this, while others perhaps grow some callouses and start clipping the wings of others. However, no matter how we respond to our upbringing, the result is that most people run away from their true nature. Your honesty and insightfulness here show a sensitive man who has a lot going for himself.

    This brings me to my next point. :D Because we have had few life-coping skills it is hard for us have/feel that big "ah ha" moment, the kind of moment that will suddenly send our life in a new and better direction. I'm not just advocating taking care of what's in front of you, but also using small changes in habit (private journaling, reading) to allow us space to find the new us, so to speak. It can be any new habit, really, and it doesn't have to be anything the outside world sees as "productive."

    I'm sure you've seen caged animals that are suddenly released. They venture forth slowly, tentatively, and sometimes retreat back to their cage for a few minutes. Freedom, in other words, takes practice. We are already free, we just have to realize what that means. So, as badger says, that's my two cents worth.
  16. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    that was more of quarter there Saville. always good stuff from you.
    realness and Saville like this.
  17. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    i agree with Saville. i never had any social skills. it depends on the upbringing, mine was not the best, ergo my escape with drinking at the age of 11 until 17 years ago. i don't drink anymore but i replaced it with a worse more detrimental filthy habit. PORN. my coping skills have always been ridicule everyone else before they do it to me. that way i don't have to look at myself either. always put people down to raise my self up. worked, sometimes, as kid. not now. i need to act, talk, and behave as a grown-up. i was good at math, social studies, biology, etc. but flunked treating people with decency. don't know how. so even at my age i am learning how to be a regular person. it is not easy, but i have to put in the work if i want to get out of this self-imposed living hell. i am learning to be comfortable with being alone with myself. it is not easy. many mornings, i wake up at 4:30-5 am. everyone is still asleep. this is when i do my thinking/planning the day. sometimes i feel so sad/depressed when i remember all the hurt i put my family through due to my selfish addictions. this is my time with God. i can not change the past but today. oh today i have a chance to raise people up which in turn raises me up. may God help you always. hang in there. it doesn't get any easier but it does get better. one thread at a time we build a strong rope. choose your threads wisely. my 2 cents worth.
    Old Tom Bombadil and Saville like this.
  18. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    Saville and Badger not just 4 cents worth guys - some really reflective thoughtful moving and helpful things in both your posts. Thank you.
    Saville likes this.
  19. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys.

    As we enter the 5th month of 2021, I'm reflecting on how the year has gone so far. Despite some stressful ongoing situations and a couple of hard-hitting relapses, overall I am moving in the right direction. There have been far fewer opportunistic porn sessions - I've got better at managing my alone time. In the past few months I've only succumbed to financial domination twice and both those were small amounts of money. I'm leaning into taking responsibility especially over my finances and the direction of my life. I've also started being kinder to myself by consistently taking small actions that promote a healthier lifestyle.

    @badger sounds like you've had some painful experiences in your life. Thanks for your honesty - at least you have the courage to acknowledge that your past behaviour caused hurt to your family. The fact it still bothers you shows how much you care. I hope now you can continue to be the best version of yourself.
    Saville likes this.
  20. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I can’t point to a specific reason but I have felt a deep sense of sadness today. Nevertheless, I’m doing my best to carry on as normal.

    A friend posted a group photo on Facebook of an old university football (soccer) team which I was a part of. I haven’t seen this image until now. It feels strange looking at a young, handsome, athletic version of myself - even though I didn’t feel it at the time. Back then, I felt ugly and powerless.

    I’ve seen a lot of talk in the past on these forums about people taking cold showers. Have any of you guys tried it? If so, did you find there were any benefits?

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