Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Saville, May 15, 2016.
Glad to hear you are still doing fine, all things considered! Chapeau!
Hi Saville, I just wanted to say that I am grateful for all the effort you put into your posts since you participated on this forum. Your posts have been a great inspiration for me. All the best.
@Libertad , than you, my brother. You are a beacon of hope for so many here. Watching you turn your life around has been an inspiration!
Thank you very much @Saville . That really means a lot to me coming from you. I really meant it, what I said, your no BS approach helped me a lot, to be able to see the excuses I used and partially still use when I am unaware to justify my behaviour in different areas of my life. I hope I can live up to what you wrote and stay on track for the long term. It is looking good at the moment, but who knows what the future brings for us, what is certain is, that it will not be or get any better practising PMO.
Thanks again, brother. Take care.
Healing is an action. If you think about taking a walk then get up and do so. The waiting game is the playground of the devil.
And I've been in that playground for far too long. Thank you, my friend, for your succinct, wise words.
Here's a question I asked myself a number of years ago before happening upon YBR. What kind of support do I need from my spouse? I knew that my wife had been unsupportive of me many times in my life. Whether it was to do with parenting, or sex, or my career, or how I felt about myself. Because I was a "nice guy," I thought that she should also be a "nice gal." In other words, I wanted her to be me. We would have a relationship where we were both ever so supportive of the other's needs, always putting the other one first, never disagreeing. Sounds like a pretty saccharine arrangement, doesn't it?
Or, maybe, I wanted her to push me firmly when I needed it, but not too firmly, because then my feelings would be hurt/triggered. So, she could help direct me, but only to the point where it chaffed against my comfort zones - never beyond. Sounds a lot like I wanted her to be a mother figure, the gentle one I never had.
Here's why I now don't believe in needing any support from my SO. Needing the support of someone often means I'm giving them my power. Needing the support of someone means I'm not good at giving myself support. And this is the crux of the matter. If I can't be bothered to support myself then why should someone do that for me? This is an incredibly unequal relationship.
The things I've failed at (and they've been many) are not because my wife didn't support me. I chose my wife because I knew she would be precisely the kind of person who would keep me stuck. She picked me because she knew I was not her father (not a bully) and that I would put up with her narcissistic behavior. My weaknesses plus hers equal exactly what they should: two fucked up people trying to have their cake and eat it too.
What I've learned since getting unhooked from PMO is that the only one in charge of my life is me. I've learned, that as I put myself first, that the right kind of support is often waiting for me. Since I no longer wait for permission to live my life I find people much more attracted to me, most especially my wife. We aren't in perfect balance, and never will be, but I don't need that. My relationship is predicated on trying to be in balance with myself.
Quitting porn is easy, it's standing up for the boy (so that he can grow into a man) in us that's hard.
Great post Saville. You write so well and what you say resonates loads with me. Thank you,
Putting ourselves first and acknowledging our needs does not turn us into dicks. Quite the contrary. What PMO does is it hardens our hearts. So, any of the "nice" things we do, or feel we ought to do, are done with this hardened heart. By placing ourselves as the primary actor in our own story we allow our hearts to soften. It's a wonderful transformation. Through the act of giving to ourselves we strengthen all our fibers and, yet, also feel a greater empathy for the world around us.
This is the main component in my opinion. To be able to stand up, we have to be willing to feel the pain and go through it. The moment we stand up, we get hit with reality, the mistakes we made, the mess we made, the harsh truth of our life and behaviour and the behaviour of others, parents, family, people who souround us, it is like in the movie "They live", and reality and realization of it, giving up false hopes, false believes like unconditional love, all that can be extremly painful because we ran from the truth and often harsh reality for decades by numbing ourselfs to not to have to see reality into the eye.
I don´t think that there is another way than to take the pain, feel it and go through it to stop with PMO or other things we use to escape the pain. We only delay the inevitable, some delay it till they die.
What have you done for yourself today? Is it something just for yourself? Today I walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, listening to the most incredible music. Later, in the afternoon, I'm going to read a book for an hour.
The poet James Kavanaugh wrote how it is our lack of identity that keeps us stuck. He had been a Catholic priest, but found that his identity was submerged in dogma. He points out that we adopt the dogma of our families, our villages, our countries, and our religions. Even atheists can be found to adhere to some kind of dogma. The point is: what is our identity? There is no quick, nor definitive answer. Self-help offers more dogma and even therapists and the like are adherents of something.
How to we get on our path to identity? Kavanaugh writes that we need to be in touch with our creative rage. We aren't blaming anyone - what would be the point? I personally don't feel rage, but I do feel a creative disharmony. I used to hate the feeling. It made me uncomfortable in my skin. Better to reach for the chocolate, or a woman on-line, or booze, or...PMO. But it's this creative disharmony that can and does feed me. I think that is my identity coming to terms with itself.
Do you mind going a bit more into detail what this creative disharmony is for you?
Would you say, instead of frustration and stress it is motivating you to take action?
If so, was there something particularly you can name that changed it from the negative detremental state, were a lot of us are while using P, to feel motivated to take action, apart from staying away from P?
I always admired your motivation especially with the situation with your wife, to keep going and turn your marriage around without getting discouraged too much about her initial rejection. The persistence and motivation to start and keep at it, is what I am still lacking.
It usually starts with me feeling uncomfortable in my body. Sometimes I just feel dead in my head, like the frontal lobe is a block of ice, but at the same time I feel restless. Other times I have energy, but I don't know what to do. I can't make myself start a new task even though I want something to do. When I first quit PMO I had so much energy it was ridiculous. I was a new convert to nofap and had the religious zeal that comes with being a newbie. But all things fade with time...like my looks. Oh, wait, I never had any. lol As a side note, people tell me I look better now than when I was young. I take it as a compliment.
Anyway, creative disharmony. So, I notice what is going on in my body, more than my mind. I watch myself do the usual dance as I try to two-step into old habits. I note that even though I feel tired and have little energy I still have energy to think about P, or eating, or watching tv. I tell myself "I guess you DO have energy."
It's like listening to music. We can't pin down why music makes us feel elated, or sad, or energetic, it just does. Music taps into those parts of us that are repressed and not used to making a fuss. But, we all make a fuss somewhere in our body. It can manifest as arthritis, back pain, low-level depression, fatigue, etc. The tough part is we really are experiencing the physical symptoms, they are real. These disturbance can be used in a creative way. We can write a poem about our back pain, even if it is only four lines. I like to put on music meant for meditation and do gentle movements; I make them up. I purposely don't start doing the few yoga poses I know, because that is dogmatic. I want to be free, to find my identity as Kavanaugh says.
Kavanaugh isn't talking about identity the way people speak about it now: "I think I'm a fox, therefore I'm a fox." That's not identity at all. That's more religious dogma and is incredibly superficial. Kavanaugh says that we never get to the point where we truly understand ourselves and I think that's true. The journey for our own identity is life-long and is about believing that within us we hold most of the answers.
As you can see Libertad, these things are hard to explain. But, we don't need to explain them. All we have to do is trust that we have the capacity to unlearn, which we all do in spades. An incredible guitarist can't tell you exactly why he plays so fast. Yes, he practices, but that doesn't account for how accurate the fingers can move. So much of living life is innate. We don't have to learn it and we don't have to understand. I suppose this is where faith comes in. If I have faith in myself, even a little bit, I can move myself a bit further ahead in my development as a human.
I love how Kavanaugh calls his rage creative. It is a positive way to spin what we would normally see as something negative. We can have creative depression, creative listlessness, creative shame, creative embarrassment, creative guilt, etc. If we add creativity to the mix then we have a chance to feel curious about ourselves.
Every day is a struggle, but a creative one.
I just read this while eating the best Reuben sandwich in town. What a great lunch! Your post is better for me though lol. Will keep pondering this as I get back to work, but I do think about my identity and how it relates to my physical brain vs. my "soul" (whatever that is). And this popular notion with some that the real us is the "observer" of our thoughts and physical selves. Creative rage does have a nice ring to it.
Mmmm, I think we can agree that sandwich porn is never objectionable.
I'm not a huge fan of quotes in the sense that they sound clever but offer little beyond that. However, I found myself reading quotes today and one stood out that I think relates to the above post.
To change one's life: 1. start immediately. 2. Do it flamboyantly. 3. No exceptions. Author: William James
Creative rage means to me that we gather energy from our internal storm and then creatively use it for action, an action of which the purpose is to discover our own identity. Being flamboyant is another way of expressing who we are. Flamboyance is another loaded noun that can seem beyond our natural experience. Flamboyance might be wearing a yellow t-shirt, something I personally have never done. It might be allowing ourselves to laugh when others might find it inappropriate. It might express itself waltzing around the kitchen naked and making funny faces to our wife.
Anything that can be a catalyst to move us beyond are stuck selves can also be revolutionary.
Here's another quote by Thomas Merton: If the you of 5 years ago doesn't consider the you of today a heretic, you are not growing spiritually.
Creative rage, creative disharmony, flamboyance, and/or heresy can move the needle inside us.
Right. Being stuck in anything is usually not a recipe for satisfaction in life. Some people are always finding ways to avoid it. The most creative among us may seem arrogant, or weird, or unnecessarily flamboyant, but they do have that innate rage at the confines of this mortal coil. People need a purpose, and we ultimately have to create our own purpose. Even if it's relying on traditional ideas of why we're here, why our souls inhabit our bodies, where we go when we die, etc. We are still the creators of our path.
I've noticed this too. As I recover, I'm kinder and more empathetic towards others. I see awkward teenagers and my heart goes out to their parents who love them and are doing their best.
This benefit of the nofap journey doesn't get mentioned as often as it should.
Hey @Saville I just started reading your journal from the begining. Very inspiring!
I realize the below quote of yours is from many years ago but I wanted to let you know if really impacted me (hit me in the feels) when I read it. So thank you for all of the thoughtful writing in your journal.
Thanks for posting everyone!
Yesterday I realized I'm not a fat person anymore. I was moving things into the car and I felt lithe and moved easily. I've probably looked slim to people for the last 10 months, but in my mind I was still heavy. The fat that was no longer present physically but was still there in my mind's eye. I sat down as though I was heavy, got up that way, and walked around like my gut was still huge and bulging. It feels amazing not to literally be weighed down. PMO is the same. Even after we stop, we still perceive ourselves as someone who watches it.
I changed my way of eating because my health sucked. I had reflux (still do, but not as bad), bad knees, my hands hurt, I had psoriasis in various places and my guts were in turmoil all the time. On top of that I have hypo-thyroid and I could scarcely get out of bed in the morning. Something needed to be done unless I wanted to be on five different medications as I watched myself slowly fall apart.
I went to a naturopath, who got me on a paleo-diet, and over the last couple of years I have tweaked it to suit my own condition. It took over four months before I noticed any positive changes. It took a year before I noticed that my knees felt a bit better. It took a year and a half before my energy began to rebound. However, from day 1 of the diet changes were taking place. Incrementally my body was changing. Many times I felt like giving up because there didn't seem to be any pay-off, but the body was working on its own time-table, not the one I thought it should be on.
Giving up PMO is no different. It can be a frustratingly long process. Some people get great changes quickly, while others struggle to feel anything, even after a year. But, changes are happening. Over the first four months I lost about 4 lbs. Four fucking pounds?! I couldn't believe it. I was eating very little. I felt hungry all the time. My calorie count had plummeted, yet I was still at ground zero in terms of weight loss. But, I stuck it out and by month five I was starting to see the scale move down with consistency. With PMO there were times I wanted to check myself, rub one out, just to "see" if positive things were taking place. I still feel like that. I have some weeks where my libido has gone on vacation (doesn't it know about omicron?) and I feel as flaccid as raw intestines hanging off a pitch fork. But it always returns.
Our bodies know more about healing than we do. This bloody stuff takes patience, but we are equal to the task.
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