Time to heal

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

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your comments and support folks. You’ve inspired me to stick around and to keep working on behaviour change/personal development.

    During my absence from the site, I had a pretty chaotic 5 or 6 weeks. I pretty much checked out from reality, I even stopped following current affairs and for weeks on end I masked my emotions with porn.
    I’m still trying to mentally unpack what occurred to lead me down such a self destructive path. Despite the negative tone of my recent posts, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. In-between all the chaos I somehow managed to land a job with my dream employer. So in some ways this feels like a fresh start. I recently de-cluttered my surroundings, in particular my home office space. Now I need to do a similar thing with my mind - to get back to a stable place, to re-set boundaries and stay away from the hell of PMO.
     
  2. realness

    realness Active Member

    Very happy to read this update @forlorn . Of course, it's always good to read no matter how things are going because I like to be on this journey with you. Congratulations on your new job! And awesome work in decluttering your physical surroundings. This was rewarding I'm sure and sets you up to address your boundaries and mental health. Pair that up with action! It's a great time of year to pair mental health with a walk, a bike ride, a hike....
     
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks @realness the new role has provided some structure in my life and crucially I now feel as if I'm doing something meaningful with my time.

    The last two weeks have been better.
    Yesterday my wife was out. Quite often in the past my distorted thinking has seen this as a window of opportunity for watching pornography. Buoyed by my recent change in circumstances I was able to stay away. Of course I can't rely on this forever. The urges remain under the surface, I need to stay vigilant and make healthy choices consistently. I have to change not just what I do, but also how I see myself.

    I'm working on trying to listen to my inner voice. The one that tells me I'm not good enough and incapable / unworthy of having an intimate relationship. So much of this stuff is rooted in our past, mechanisms we learned during our formative years. I heard a powerful quote the other day that said "if you don't address what's going on mentally and emotionally, at best you're just making the window dressing look good, while the back of the shop is on fire".
     
  4. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    Hi Forlorn,
    Good to hear about the positive steps your making. Great quote too. The back of my shop is definitely ablaze but your example is helping. Thank you. Best,
    Old Tom
     
  5. realness

    realness Active Member

    Fantastic @forlorn ! Interesting thought on listening to your inner voice. I am finding that distance from PMO changes my inner voice from something destructive and untrue, to something more encouraging and positive. Although my inner voice and sub conscience are changeable things that are not reliable at all. I have to expose myself to wisdom here at YBO and have meaningful interactions with a few trusted people to make progress. It's so much work, work, work..... but it pays pays pays!!
     
    Mozenjo and Saville like this.
  6. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    forlorn, it's telling that so many of us here have feelings of inadequacy that fuel our habit. But feeling inadequate is itself a habit. I think it's natural when we're teens going through so many changes to feel that way. And so unfortunate that as we grow up, we keep so many of those feelings tight to our psyches, when truly growing up should involve leaving those thoughts behind. But that's obviously not easy. I hope you know in your heart of hearts that you are totally deserving of all the happiness this life has to offer. We're in the old farts' group here, so if ever there was a time to truly believe that and make believing it our new habit, it's NOW.
     
    forlorn, Saville and -Luke- like this.
  7. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    We have both in us, the voice and opinion conditioned by our circumstances and childhood and the other voice of a healthy human being who would never doubt his worth. This view, that we have an option to who we listen to, the addict mind or the halthy mind, can give us a lot of power back to make the right choice in the moment of doubt.
    All the best.
     
  8. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It’s been a mixed few days. I had a relapse despite the fact I’ve generally been in a pretty good head space. I’m writing down what occurred so I can learn from it.

    On Sunday I was out drinking and didn’t get a very good sleep that night. The following day I had a meeting with my boss in which I felt my performance was poor. I was later triggered by the image of a woman in an online advert for holidays (vacations) abroad. This led to me repeating behaviours I’ve done many times in the past - succumbing to findom, something which I thought I had eradicated earlier in the year.

    After the relapse as I reflected on the details of the fetishes I’m indulging in, I think I can trace it to a couple of specific incidents from my childhood. Situations in my school days where I felt weak, insignificant and humiliated. This is purely conjecture but it’s interesting to make a connection, however tenuous it may be. It is possible that I’m replaying those scenarios because mentally I wasn’t able to accept what happened at the time.

    Nevertheless I’m continuing to listen to my inner voice. Although I was disappointed by this slip, I reminded myself that I’m human. Instead of getting angry, I’m trying to come from a place of compassion and love. It’s time to tackle the fire at the back of the shop.

    Thanks for all your comments guys. It means a lot and I will catch up with your journals soon.
     
  9. badger

    badger Active Member

    hang in there my brother. as for me, i'm not addicted, i'm running away from pain. today i'm using porn. used to be booze. from whatever or wherever the pain came from. when i face my pain, my addiction disappears.
     
  10. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Great observation. I noticed the same for my behaviour.
     
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  11. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    When we’re at home, the wife and I spend our days working from different rooms. In the evenings we’ve also started sitting apart, her in one room, me in another. At first, I struggled with this, it felt as if we have started to live increasingly separate lives. Passing one another in the hallway, exchanging light conversation in the kitchen like house mates rather than husband and wife. It makes me think about how we’re perceived by friends and family in social situations - I wonder if the lack of intimacy in our marriage is obvious to others.
    Although we still sleep in the same bed, it feels as if I spend a lot of time on my own. I find it hardest in the weekday evenings after I’ve finished work - trying to find ways to fill my time that don’t involve alcohol.

    We just returned from a weekend away together. It was nice to have a change of scene and the circumstances of travel resulted in us spending time in each other’s company. Conversation in the hotel room and out at dinner didn’t feel forced. Weirdly, after all these years I still have a nagging sense of doubt (“what if I have nothing new or interesting to say while we’re out at dinner?”). It comes from a sense of inadequacy - but I’m becoming more aware of it. I’m continuing to listen to my thoughts, to my inner voice - and questioning the way I perceive myself.

    I feel on a bit of a downer today, probably a combination of fatigue and the after effects of several days of drinking. And although I have a busy week ahead, including work related travel and an overnight stay I’m going to take it easy for the rest of today. On days like this, I need to take care of my mental well-being.
     
  12. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Strength to you @forlorn . Hope you can work it out and "take ground" both personally and as a couple.
     
  13. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Thanks RG.
    It's been a fairly productive and positive few days. I’m trying to look at my life through a different lens. To fully embrace reality and accept everything that’s happened in the past. Yes, things are not perfect - far from it. But what has happened has already happened. Over the next few weeks I plan to continue listening to my inner voice and to question everything it says. The aim is to work towards a subtle shift in mindset and the way I perceive myself.
     
    Libertad and Rudolf Geyse like this.
  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Feeling triggered today. Seems to be a regular pattern - I reach 2 or 3 weeks clean and then fall back to old habits. Need a multitude of techniques to stave off this intense craving for dopamine. Mustn’t get sucked in by the part of me that wants to act out.
    I will use the ‘play the tape through’ technique to remind myself how this usually goes, i.e. brief sensations of (artificial) pleasure followed by intense feelings of regret.
    After writing this post, I’ll switch off the computer and do some jobs around the house.
    I’ll also continue to question the thoughts floating around in my mind and try to treat myself with love and compassion. I will get through this.
     
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  15. badger

    badger Active Member

    keep fighting the good fight.
     
  16. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I managed to stay away from P despite yesterday's strong trigger. Then, something else happened last night that caused me to feel anxious. My wife asked for a password to a store I use for online shopping, as she needed to buy something. I realised that she could potentially look at past orders, some from 5+ years ago where there's clear evidence of me sending money to other women (including their e-mail addresses). It occurred to me how rapidly my secret life could start to unravel and it resulted in a restless sleep riddled with guilt. This is a risk I now have to live with. At some level I felt I deserve this ("your shitty behaviour and lies are finally being exposed").
    It also occurred that I should not allow fear and anxiety over a future that hasn't happened yet to dominate my thoughts in the present. I looked through some of the past orders and was shocked to discover how much I've spent indulging in this habit/fetish. At the time I always justified it ("oh, it's only a tenner") but as the years roll by, these spends accumulate to thousands. I have no idea of the exact figure because I used various payment methods. The process of trying to cover one's tracks can be exhausting. This is a wake-up call for sure.
     
    Libertad and Rudolf Geyse like this.
  17. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    I am going through something similar right now. Negative things from the past are creeping up into the present and I have to find ways to solve them and clean up my past as best as possible, not only for myself, I also want to do it the right way from now on and to learn and take away the right lessons and teaching from it.
    It seems the more we stay away from PMO the more aware we become and the more our consciousness lets things come to the surface to be resolved and cleaned up. What helps a bit is to remind ourselfes not to overreact and to take it as slow as it is needed to do the right thing.
    All the best.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021 at 10:37 AM
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  18. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Good call Libertad about reminding ourselves not to overreact. I know part of my brain is guilty of this. I read a quote the other day that said “put a question mark at the end of everything you hear in your mind”.

    I’m at the point where it feels as if I’ve reached a fork in the road. One road leads to the familiar, well trodden path of porn, while the destination of the other route is unknown. It’s clear which route I need to take, even if it starts with a few small steps. I’m choosing to lean into the discomfort and offer myself kindness/compassion along the way.
     
    Rudolf Geyse and Libertad like this.
  19. realness

    realness Active Member

    Yup, I've shared too how past hurts and regrets creep in. I'm thankful for this place to process it and be honest about it. I'm glad that you are doing the hard work forlorn of addressing the feelings that are brought up by the shopping site and the history there. The true understanding of how things add up can be very discouraging, but it's wonderful to hear how you faced that discouragement and chose to walk away from the same old behavior as a coping mechanism. You stopped from feeding the monster in exchange for a fleeting escape and momentary pleasures. You'll have to do it again and again. I will too. But after some time, we get to see the cumulative weight of this hard work and healthy choices. It is the exact opposite of facing the cumulative weight of our P and PMO!
     
    Rudolf Geyse and Libertad like this.

Share This Page