Time to heal

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

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Quick update as I've been absent from here for a while.

    We're now into summer and life has started to get really busy. Feel like I'm juggling quite a few things at the moment and there are many uncertainties ahead but overall I feel positive.

    It's been 3 weeks since I slipped. During this time I haven't looked at any P or had many urges to MO. If I was to zoom out and observe my acting out behavior on a chart there are signs of improvement (in terms of frequency, at least). I'd estimate that I'm in a pattern of behaviour where I PMO roughly once every 4-6 weeks. While this isn't ideal, it's better than the past where at times I would go through daily binging for weeks on end. Nowadays my slips seem to be a mix of libido, opportunism, hangovers and unresolved trauma.

    Recent focus on career and fitness goals has been keeping me occupied and mentally engaged.

    An upcoming event could prove to be quite triggering. As someone who is very sensitive to rejection I need to tread carefully and mentally prepare myself for that possibility.
     
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  2. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Despite mentioning in my last post I need to tread carefully and mentally prepare myself for possible rejection, things didn't go as planned. I let the (career-related) rejection get to me and I used it as an excuse to act out. So the monthly pattern of relapsing has occurred again, yet this time it hit me harder and lingered for a few days.

    Lately, feelings of inadequacy have been dragging me down but if I'm being totally honest, I'm not trying hard enough either. I need to get back into that mindset of taking the reboot seriously and re-building consistent positive habits into my life. Otherwise, all I'll have achieved at the halfway point of 2021 is a shift from paid porn to free porn.
     
  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yup, this is common. Noticing it is a great step to sidestepping the urges.

    This is the million dollar question. Why don't we attack the reboot with gusto? I think we have to be single-minded in our approach. We all have a past, we all have lives, but I think we must simply everything toward one end. The past doesn't matter, our partners don't matter. I feel I'm at my best when I carve strong lines that I can follow.
     
  4. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Well-Known Member

    There it is ! For me that was the key concept
     
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  5. badger

    badger Active Member

    That's how i conquered drinking. every morning when i woke up i hit my knees the first thing out of bed. i prayed for God's help in not touching that first drink just for that day. i also made it my most important priority, no matter what i don't drink. even if i lose my job, my wife leaves me. i am sick. no matter what happens. drinking was not an option. it was first and foremost in my mind constantly. i was hyper-aware of everything/everyone and every situation. super-vigilant about my triggers and weaknesses that had led me to drinking before. this 4th of july will be 18years without a drop. it was not easy. but i persevered. i have tried it with porn but it's still kicking my ass. i will persevere. enough of my ramblings. everyone hang in there. happy father's day to all.
     
  6. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    Wow @badger, this is exactly how I quit drinking. Setting the resolve first thing in the morning. Wake up, say to self not drinking 'today'... Didn't look past the day. I would actually give myself permission to drink tomorrow if I wanted to. But not today. Then I would take the steps to do that... It was a fight at times, but got progressively easier as time went on. Going on 8(?) years now. Don't even miss it - much... I wish I could have a couple drinks with friends, but I know deep inside that's not a possibility for me. I know where the 'one' would lead. It would/(maybe) make social make social situations easier at times, but not worth the risk...

    Porn is sooo different... So many triggers out there... Mash that with an unfulfilling sex life, and that trigger explodes... @NCBob 's tag line in his forum name reads something like, the 11th commandment is 'thou shall not peek'... I truly get that... Because 'one-peek' is never enough...

    Sorry to hijack your journal @forlorn... I wish you well.
     
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  7. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    True Saville. It's also about having unwavering faith in the process and not getting disheartened when the supposed benefits of a reboot don't appear right away. Anyway, I'm back on track and am determined to continue striving for a better life.

    No problem, I'm always interested to hear the experiences of other posters, even about drinking as that's another battle I'm facing at the moment. While it's certainly not out of control, I have become a daily drinker so it's something I need to keep an eye on.
     
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  8. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Going through a bit of a stressful time. I recently did something to try and save us money but my plan didn't work out and has potentially ended up costing us more. Tensions are high and the relationship with my wife feels strained. I'm also now having to hang my head in shame and listen to her "I told you so" lectures. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are deeper problems in our relationship. It feels as if I have a lot of stuff to 'fix'.

    I have a loads of alone time today. The wife is out at work all day so I'm at home without much to do. Of course there is a temptation to seek comfort in porn, but I know doing so wouldn’t help in the long term. Porn is a massive self-deception. For now, the important thing is to get through today. I heard a piece of advice recently which suggested scheduling our day so that our time is occupied - and writing it out helps our brains process it better. So I've written a list of constructive things I can get done for the rest of today, it includes some career stuff, house work and acts of self care.

    I recognise I need to move beyond the feigned commitment stage by genuinely stepping things up with my recovery. I need to get back to a solid place in terms of habit change and consistency. Also work on managing emotions better and establishing values.
     
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  9. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    yep
     
  10. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    An ongoing situation is causing some stress in our lives at the moment - tensions are running high and the wife is in a mood. Although there are some anxious times ahead, I'm trying to remind myself that this will soon pass.

    As a consequence of the stress I find myself regularly being tempted to look at adult content. It's almost like I have a need to escape from real life for a while. Briefly mentioned on Wintersturme's journal that I heard (on the Universal Man Podcast) about an approach to deal with cravings/triggers - I'm working on putting it into practice.

    The general idea is that when you're triggered, try to look inwards instead of outwards - try to connect with the pain inside you (rather than seeking external pleasure). Really amplify that pain and allow yourself to feel the sensation - then, you focus on relaxing the body. Take deep breaths, release tension in the back, relax your shoulders, your face, loosen up - doing so, helps to tell your body that "you're OK, you're safe". The next step is to ground your mind - bring yourself back to the present, be mindful of your surroundings, look around you - and find a replacement behavior (something healthy). It's likely I'll have to do this multiple times per day, but I think it's a technique that's worth trying.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    The complexities of our problems can feel insurmountable. Before I came to this place it felt like an impossibility to unwind the tangle of my relationship with the wife. Even saying good morning was triggering. The fact is, I believe, we can never untie all the knots and get back to a place where there is understanding and compassion. That's why I decided to just swing my dick around. As I established what "I" needed the wife began to come around. I guess she was waiting all those years for me to step up. Even though women will say they want a man to treat them equitably, to be a listener, to be sensitive, what they want first and foremost is a head of the household. When you see this in writing it all sounds stark, but there are shades of what I'm talking about.

    My wife loved the "I told you so," and the "should haves." When she was scolding me I would either sit there and listen, like a good little boy being scolded by his mommy, or else I would blow up. Of course, blowing up is terrible, because then the wife blames you for being angry, out of control, even though she is literally abusing you.

    Hey, forlorn, you tried something and didn't work out. Guess what? That's OK! You don't have to be perfect. The pressure we all put on ourselves to be our best selves is ridiculous. My wife buys handbags like they were bottles of water and she was in the desert. Yesterday, I stood in the hardware store wondering if I should spend 7 bucks on a tape measure. I stood there for ten minutes weighing if I should just root around the garage one more time to see if I could find my old one or buy the nice new one. The pressure I felt not to waste money is a holdover from when I didn't feel I worthy. Yes, our sense of unworthiness can even manifest itself when wondering whether to spend seven dollars, or not. The thinking goes like this: "I should've have made more money last month and we have that big credit card bill coming up, and our mortgage, and car payment, and...." When are we allowed to take a chance on ourselves?

    It's totally worth trying!
     
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks Saville for the considerate and insightful post.
    To be honest, what I did wasn't even that bad. Yes, it didn't work out and has caused us both a little stress (she predicted this would happen) but nevertheless she's overreacting massively and using it as a weird point-scoring thing against me. Goes to show how toxic our relationship has become.

    In other news, tonight will be my third day in a row without any alcohol. It may not sound much, but in the last few months I started drinking a lot more than I used to (I've been having 2-3 generous shots of vodka of every night). It's not out of control but I need to keep an eye on it. Changing up my habits has been helpful - I try to find a replacement behaviour (such as going to the gym or for a bike ride in the city) at around 7pm since this is normally the time I'd start drinking. One benefit I've noticed straight away is that at least my mind is clear later in the evening if say I want to do some reading on the iPad.
     
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  13. TryGuy65

    TryGuy65 Active Member

    Good news for sure. If you can go 3, maybe you can go 5? The 1st day was always the hardest for me... Around day 4-5, it was 'fuck-it', I don't have a problem. That said as my car was magically turning itself into the liquor store... My car used to have a mind of it's own:rolleyes:... If your 2-3 'generous' shots actually work out to 5-6 'normal' shots, that would generally be considered to be in the abuse category... And you know from experience, a little alcohol, makes that 'fuck-it' moment to view some porn for awhile, much more likely.

    I'm an addict. I have an an addictive nature. Alcohol, weed, porn, exercise... I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that respect on this board... A clear mind is a terrible thing to waste.
     
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  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    In my last couple of posts I mentioned that I've been dealing with some stressful situations lately. They're still ongoing and, if I'm being honest, this period has been accompanied by a major increase in porn use. I've been in denial about it.

    On some level I have experienced progress in 2021 because I finally broke a more than decade-long habit of findom (paying to be dominated). But underneath it all I'm still a porn addict, so there's not much to celebrate. I replaced a paid porn habit with a free one. I recently spent a morning listening to porn-free podcasts followed by a mega porn binge in the afternoon - scrolling through 50 forum pages of new content, getting a massive dopamine overload.

    The recent increase in porn use has started to show up in aspects of my non-sexual behaviour, specifically in my interactions with others. My wife told me I've been out of sorts, she claims I have empathy for others but not for her. We've been arguing way more than usual - partly due to the aforementioned stressful situations in our lives and partly because I've been pissing her off in multiple ways. She says I get super-fixated on certain ideas and I talk about them endlessly (probably true). Also says my behaviour around others is weird, I'm fidgety and sometimes get up to leave a room without any explanation, even during important conversations. I'm also terrible at handling rejection and criticism (also true, especially the former). My confidence is low and interactions with people I encounter through work have felt awkward and fragmented.

    In a couple of weeks time I'll recall that the wife had been angry at me but iI'll probably have forgotten what it was about. At least now I've written down. Anyway this has been a real wake up call - I have to adjust my behaviour and stop relying on porn as a coping mechanism for stress. It spills over into other areas of life and makes things so much worse.
     
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  15. badger

    badger Active Member

    forlorn,
    i agree. all you mentioned, i have experienced. porn hijacks our brain-for all functions, not just porn. the filth. the disgust. the shame. the degenerate thoughts. the lying. the hiding. the cheating. it all spills over into our daily lives. sometimes we don't even notice it until someone, usually the wife, brings it to our attention. lately i have literally purposely slowed down in everything i do and say. i think before speaking or acting. not always successful. old habits and many years of negative deleterious inroads in my brain can't be fixed by Tuesday next. but i keep going. my 2 cents worth.
     
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  16. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    Forlorn and Badger I totally get what you are saying about how porn use spills over negatively into the rest of our lives. In my recent bouts of bingeing I have noticed that after them I am much more prone to random outburst of anger at family members and my wife has commented how I seem down or withdrawn. So I think any strategies for keeping off porn and turning these negatives into positives has got to be the way forward. Forlorn I liked your writing a list of constructive things I can get done for the rest of the day idea of June 28. I am going to do that myself to try to keep clean for the rest of today. All best,
    Tom
     
  17. True Change

    True Change Member

    So true. We lie to ourselves saying that porn addiction is an isolated problem, boxed up and categorized in our lives, separate from everything else.

    But we are starting to realise that it seeps in to every other area.
     
  18. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your comments all.

    The last couple of days have been better and I feel as if I'm returning to a more stable place in which I don't rely on PMO to repress other feelings/deeper issues. I find that engaging in PMO creates a massively inflated sex drive.

    Whilst in my garden yesterday I observed how it's looking better as it's becoming established. I had the realisation that most of the plants and trees will exist long after I'm gone. In a sense it served as a stark reminder of my own mortality.
     
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  19. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It's been a week since I last acted out and I'm starting to feel a sense of calm again. Part of the ongoing situation that was causing a lot of stress is now resolved. Whenever I'm in those phases of secretive PMO-ing, life feels chaotic and the burden of shame brings me down. It goes to show I still haven't developed healthy coping mechanisms to replace PMO when life gets tough. What happens next time I face a stressful situation? It's ridiculous to avoid uncomfortable emotions by masturbating in front of a computer screen.

    I've got friends but many of them live far away and others have commitments such as young kids - I only get to see them every month or so (sometimes less). I've recently started getting involved in a couple of community based activities, so far so good. It means I'm less isolated and am building social connections. Things are still a little tense with the wife. She tends to hide herself away in a separate room much of the time, watching mindless TV. We don't seem to sit together as much as we used to.
     
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  20. realness

    realness Active Member

    Great observations and I can really relate to your points about life being chaotic and shameful when you're in a PMO spiral. I've felt the down feelings of isolation as well.

    I wonder how your wife would respond if you approached her while watching TV and gently joined her and held her while she watched. This seems like something we're built to do as husbands. Take the inniative. But porn has really dulled us down
     
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