Time to heal

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

  1. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of updates, I got really busy in my new job. I've gone from having way too much time to not having enough time.

    Miraculously I still found some time for porn over the last 3 months but it's generally been a once every few weeks thing rather than constant daily bingeing. Most of us on this forum are aware of problems with escalation (things that once excited us no longer do, so we consume more extreme content to get the same 'high'). I've literally seen this play out before me and have noticed a shift in the content I seek out, it's become kinkier and more self-degrading. "If you're going to do it, might as well make it count, right Forlorn?" Got to reign it in before I disappear completely down the rabbit hole.

    Things haven't been all bad, overall I'm in a slightly better mental state. The job has given me something to focus on as well as increased financial stability and stronger social connections. I recognise that outside of work I could do with some hobbies/longer term projects to keep myself occupied (drinking isn't a hobby!). Beautifying my surroundings, building or creating something that I can take pride in.
  2. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Life seems to be moving at 100mph, work is occupying a lot of my time and I can't believe we're already in mid-July. This is a reminder to myself to slow down. Today I will take my time and focus on some of the smaller tasks that need doing around the house/garden. After writing this post I'll be switching off the computer for the rest of the day, a break from the screen will be a healthy choice.

    My wife's emotions are all over the place. We have a big family event coming up next week and she always seems to get stressed ahead of these occasions. I need to take it in my stride and allow her to vent, I will try to remain a calming presence for her.
    Heard a quote the other day that said "true happiness is the absence of the pursuit for happiness."
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Good call!

    Pretty common phenomenon among women, I'd say. And you're right, letting her vent without getting upset yourself is the best way to deal with the situation.
  4. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Sounds good !

    Always nice to see an occasional update from you man.
  5. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Really starting to question my own sanity with this shit. My mental health seems to have taken a nosedive lately allowing old patterns to resurface. Need to settle today and regain my composure.

    Come on Forlorn, get it together.
    Accept who you are and where your life currently is. Take responsibility over the choices you make.
    Relax, take some deep breaths. Be kind to yourself.
  6. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    How's it going Forlorn? I've really noticed how much more of a strain on my mental health PMO can be. It's like in my 20's and 30's I could shrug things off mentally (of course all of the other PMO downsides were there), but if I relapse and PMO binge now there is a period of straight up depression and a mental health decline.
  7. path-forward

    path-forward Well-Known Member

    Agree with @realness. PMO urges can be very intense. But I remind myself how brutal feeling the relapse is.
  8. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Been feeling overwhelmed lately. Busy with work and other things have been neglected, household stuff, paperwork, the garden and my shed has become really messy. I’ve mentioned this before but I think my physical surroundings are a reflection of my mental state. There’s a whole bunch of stuff in that shed that I could sell (and some that I could throw away) but I’ve procrastinated over it for months. I find that I have a tendency to continually switch between tasks which results in a huge loss of focus. I am also wrapped up in my own selfish thoughts and have been doing stuff seek approval from others. In between all of this I have been using porn and then drinking at night to mask the shame. The recent porn use, I can’t even blame it on anything specific, I feel fine, I am not depressed. It’s purely a neurological response, the constant firing of those dopamine pathways which leads to wanting more of the same. This is Recovery 101.

    Bit more self talk needed, writing down for clarity. Calm down Forlorn and try to do things methodically. Make a start on these tasks and you will start to feel better about yourself. You don’t have to do everything at once.
    You can’t expect everything just to fall into place. Recovery requires commitment and ongoing effort. Start taking care of the fundamentals again.
    Learn to self-regulate, you’re just fine as you are, you don’t need the approval of others to feel like a worthy human being.
  9. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    You nailed it!

    Garages and sheds get messy. They do reflect our lives in some ways, as you've pointed out. But sometimes these messy places are a key, they let us know that we aren't really following our true passion. It's hard to get excited about cleaning when it feels like there's no hope. However, our way out of all this, as you know, is to do the mundane tasks in our lives and do them without resentment. Put some music on, pick a corner, and allow your tidying up to be a meditation.

    I still struggle with all this myself but I've learned to forgive myself for not being perfect. :)
    path-forward and Libertad like this.
  10. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It feels as if my male friendships are dwindling. The friendships I do have are based around drinking and it most of my local friends are occupied as they have young children. Not entirely sure what the answer is here but maybe I need to sit with the feeling of loneliness for a while, instead of trying to escape from it. And I could also make plans - plans to see my friends that live in other parts of the country, even if plans are months away it will give me something to look forward to.

    I love this. Decided I will slowly transform the shed into a tidy, well organised space. It doesn't have to be done in one go! Allow the act of tidying to be a simple meditation.
    Saville and Libertad like this.
  11. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    I finally got round to tidying the shed. While going through the process of sorting through my things I saw an old walkman (cassette player) that I purchased when I was a teenager. It briefly brought a tear to my eye, a reminder of simpler times before all the troubles and traumas that were to come in the decades ahead.
    Managed to throw a way lots of unnecessary clutter and also spent time organising things neatly - even down to putting different types of screws in glass jars and arranging tools so neatly so I’m aware of what I have and where it is! It felt good to do that, there was definitely an element of mental de-cluttering that went with it. I do not have OCD but I like my surroundings to be neat and orderly as it helps me focus.
    Thelongwayhome27 and Saville like this.
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Going through a good phase lately, don’t know how many days clean I’ve been (my counter is wrong) but things have been fairly stable and it’s a nice place to be. I’ve been productive at work and kept my surroundings neat and tidy. I’ve planned a couple of social meets with friends so that I have something to look forward to.

    One day last week I felt a low feeling in the pit of my stomach, a sense of unworthiness washed over me. As I briefly sat with the feeling I realised what had caused it - there were two situations in quick succession which felt rejecting towards to me. One was in person at a work event, the other occurred online. Even though I recognised it for what it was, it took a while for that feeling to go away. Took some time to reflect and realised they weren’t real rejections, it was just the way I perceived it, the things that happened weren’t so bad.

    My parents are visiting today, my wife isn't too thrilled about it so possibly a couple of stressful days ahead but I'll get through it.
  13. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yes, perception can be everything. But, even if they did reject you, so what? We are not so frail that we can't handle other people's opinions. Starting with our parents we've been enfeebled, always looking for approval for every action we do and every thought we think. It would be dishonest to say that I don't worry about the opinions of others, because I still do, but everyday it's less and less. It's ok for the rejection (if it is rejection) to sting, but it's then moving past that and saying "I only need to validate myself."

    I realize I went on a bit of tangent, but your post got me thinking. :)
    Libertad, path-forward and Mozenjo like this.
  14. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing this forlorn. It's come to mind several times over the last few weeks and helped me to realize that I have an opportunity to examine these feelings and choose how to react to them. They are feelings, so they are not accurate very often. And they surely should not be driving my actions without some examination. This morning they came about from dreams about previous relationships and feeling rejected. They also come about when I recall shameful or embarassing events from my past. They have more power then they should, and it feels really good to take away their power, forgive myself, and seize on the positive things that I've learned and how I can change for the better.
    Saville and Libertad like this.
  15. UK Don

    UK Don Active Member

    Hope you had a good Christmas holiday forlorn, and happy new year! Glad to hear you were doing well in your last post. Hope all is still well!
  16. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Sorry if my journal entry is a little scattered. It’s been a turbulent few months, I had some prolonged spells where I was acting out for days, if not weeks at a time. Self soothing with porn in a frenzied dopamine Disneyland with zero attempt to manage triggers. After the PMO I’d often come crashing down, feeling jittery, low and helpless.
    On the surface, I couldn’t find any reason for willingly choosing to live my life in that way. Things aren’t even that bad right now. Looking deeper, maybe on some level I have a nagging feeling that my best years are behind me which ties into a sense that I have failed to fulfil my potential. But these are just excuses. I should stop feeling sorry for myself and accept responsibility for the way things are.

    I noticed lately on some evenings that I have been checking the time and wishing it was later than it is. Bit sad to have observed myself doing this as means I’m wishing the time away and not appreciating life as much as I could. I felt on a real downer today, withdrawal from those high levels of dopamine will be a factor. Just been out for a walk to the supermarket and that did me some good. It was an opportunity for a little self-regulation which helped me feel more stable.

    I’ll try to catch up on others’ journals when time permits. @UK Don I hope you're OK. I did see one of your entries after your solo traveling trip and how that girl you met was knowledgeable about porn and its spiraling effects and how she made you feel more accepted than you ever have felt before - that’s amazing.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2023
    Saville, Boxer17 and Gil79 like this.
  17. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Feeling unwell today but on the plus side, I've stayed away from P for a few days now. Recognise that I need another hobby, something to fill those long gaps in the evenings that are currently filled with booze and TV. I already go to the gym but tend to do that in the daytime. I think it's harder to do stuff in the winter because of the limited daylight, for example it's too dark to do the gardening on a winter evening after work. I have briefly dabbled in art (painting with acrylics and oils)/- I was terrible at it, but at least it was something to do. I don't really have that many interests, guess I will give it some further thought.
    path-forward, Gil79, Mozenjo and 2 others like this.
  18. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Yes, winters can be difficult. If we're stuck inside, we need to have things to do, preferably not involving electronics of any kind. Try not to worry about whether you're good at a hobby. If you enjoy it, it's worth your time. And you'll get better at it over time. Good to hear from you, forlorn.
    path-forward, Gil79 and Saville like this.
  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Now that I'm retired I'm trying a lot of different things. I'm loving the tai chi and I like the peeps who practice it with me. It's mostly a bunch of old foggies...like me! lol I was never a hobbiest, which is too bad, because it might have saved me some grief. I know a guy who built a lego city in his basement and another who does woodworking. Sometimes stuff finds us. We are looking for one thing and another thing pops up. The world is full of invitations, I think. Sometimes it takes a bit of boldness to say yes to these invites, but not overly much. :)
  20. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Been PMO-free for a little while now. Whenever I do a stretch like this, it always feels like it’s been a LOT longer than it actually has. In reality it’s probably only been 3 weeks. I’m in no mood to celebrate as I know that ‘addict-me’ is lingering just beneath the surface, ready to pounce at any sign of weakness (e.g. I perceive that something has gone wrong, I feel rejected, or maybe if I’m alone all day).

    I’ve been feeling anxious as usual, but there have been some positives too. My overall self care routine has improved. Taking more pride in my appearance, dressing better, exercising more. I’m still drinking alcohol every night but am working on my diet and reducing my carb intake. My self-regulation is starting to improve (even if it’s something as simple as reminding myself to calm down when I get worked up).

    I find that having strong social connections is a crucial element of recovery. I’ve have been going on weekly bike rides with a female friend. In the summer months it feels like you can do more as it stays light for longer. Also started meeting an old friend on a more regular basis. We used to go for drinks roughly once a year but have now made it a more frequent thing. It’s always good to catch up with him and it’s something to look forward to. My wife rarely seems to want to go out but I’m not one of those people who can just sit at home watching terrible shows on Netflix. It may seem strange to some, but sometimes I’ll go alone into the city to try different restaurants - nothing extravagant of course, it’s more the case I try to find affordable and authentic places and experiment with different cuisines.

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