Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Saville, May 15, 2016.
We have done enough in the work world! Congratulations enjoy my friend !
Great stuff Saville. The sense of guilt of neglect of my wife and slipping into addiction again and hurting her badly in the process is something that keeps waking me up in the morning and the sense of guilt and spinning thoughs of regret and remorse are keeping me awake. I know it's time to forgive myself (but not forget what I did) and finally start sleeping well.
Thanks for posting, AliveAgain...love your moniker, btw!
I read yesterday, in Wired.com, that most therapy, regardless of how the therapist was trained, is not based upon scientific procedure and protocol, but rather a compilation of things that seem relevant to the therapist. Most therapists "mix and match a number of techniques learned in grad school, from early mentors, and weekend workshops." The article, titled "Why Therapy is Broken," says that it's The Dodo Effect, which is based on a Lewis Carroll line that “Everybody has won, and all must have prizes”—which claims that all models are equally helpful or unhelpful. What to make of this? What I make of it is that we must be willing to do the work ourselves, even if we are seeing someone for help. Ultimately it is up to us to teach ourselves about ourselves. "The work," is our work. In other words, no one is going to extend a hand to help us up, unless we are also scrambling with our own legs to stand on our own two feet.
When we hold up the great matriarch as precious and righteous then we also expect her to be our mother. We believe, erroneously, that she should lend us a helping hand - it isn't her job. Just as putting her on a pedestal isn't ours. Most of us, I think, were born with perfectly strong legs and it is with these legs that we must stand tall. I have shit knees. Being fat for so many years put undo strain on them and quite often it hurts to get up from a chair or even climb stairs. But, by losing weight and strengthening my knees through exercise and stretching, they've gotten better. Our mental knees (legs) are no different. It can hurt to use them, to stand up and have them bear all the weight of our past regrets and passivity, but with use these psychic legs become stronger. Giving up PMO, peeking, masturbating, takes sore and weak legs and puts steel in them. We don't need knee replacements, we just need to trust that what we have already is more than enough.
I was reading an article today about Sudden Savant Syndrome, also called Sudden Genius. Some people are born savants, other become savants after some kind of neurological injury, but there are others who suddenly just "get it." People who were over forty, were living their lives, and were suddenly struck with an understanding in art, or music, or mathematics. People with no previous experience could suddenly play piano, draw with incredible detail, or understand mathematical equations that before eluded them. These epiphanies are a real phenomenon. I experienced something like that when I found this place. I'm not placing myself in the sudden genius category, but I did experience an intense change of direction in my thinking. Perhaps what I went through would be under the heading of something else, but what I'm getting at is there can be, for everyone, a sudden and complete change of direction in our lives. We can experience our burning bush episode and I'm not talking about a woman's pussy.
We have grown up with a waiting attitude. We wait for two weeks of holidays, for birthdays, for Xmas, for the birth of children and for a woman. So, we believe that waiting is part of receiving - but it isn't always. Some gifts are right there and all we need to do is grasp them. The day I found this forum and read about addiction to pixels and the death grip I just watched as PMO faded into the rear view mirror. That's why I've said before: we don't need mantras, complicated rituals, new structures to our day and the like. These things can be good, and can improve our life, but in reality our cake is sitting there. In that sense we really can have our cake and eat it too.
Savant Saville. Has a nice ring to it! Thanks for this great post. What a great way to start the day
I use firefox as my web browser and when you bring up a new window there are suggestion of articles you might like to read. I like to read a couple each morning, instead of looking at the news with its click-bait headlines and recycled ideas. This morning I was reading an article about T. S. Eliot's poem "The Wasteland." I've read a bit of T. S. Eliot and it always felt like he was trying too hard to impress. However, like any good article, the writer has opened up my mind about Eliot's poetry. One particular line that he quotes is:
My friend, blood shaking my heart
The awful daring of a moment’s surrender
Which an age of prudence can never retract
By this, and this only, we have existed
Which is not to be found in our obituaries
Or in memories draped by the beneficent spider
Or under seals broken by the lean solicitor
In our empty rooms
I relate to the above sentiment. I think we've all felt our heart "shaking" with fear and wondered if we should act (surrender), though we've lived a life of caution. To leap feels like such a risk, something that we "can never retract." These leaps of daring don't always have to be huge and they won't be recorded by anyone, but they can be significant to us personally. There was an "awful daring" when I first decided to have an affair. Unfortunately, it was the wrong kind of daring and surrender. The real leap into the unknown would've been pulling up my woolen socks and harnessing the power of my manhood.
We all want our lives to go smoothly. We want there to be no bumps. We don't want to be audited, get parking tickets, or be yelled at. We expect our SO's to smile, our bosses to be happy, and our penises to be ready at all times. But this is the kind of surrender where we stick our hands up in the air, not the surrender to a sudden impulse to take a chance on ourselves. It can be hard to define what taking a chance on ourselves is or means; I know, I've been wrestling with this for years. But I think I know that it is putting our bodies into action. I've already mentioned that I'm tired a lot of the time. Giving into that tiredness begets more fatigue. Doing things, anything, makes me feel a lot better. In a way, I'm being daring enough to tell the fatigue to fuck off. Sometimes it's telling my wife that I'm going to work out, instead of mowing the lawn (or some other task) like she thinks I should do. There are myriad instances in a week where we have a moment where we think, do I dare? Yes, we should dare. We should go for it, because every time we do we are building a broader foundation upon which our development depends. I don't want a smooth relationship or live up to some standard that my wife has been indoctrinated by. Nope, I want each day to be my day. I may not ever reach self-actualization but I will be more than what is found "in our obituaries."
Yes, if ever there was an example of how living in our heads can be self-defeating, it is this addiction. Getting up off the chair and taking our hands off our puds breaks the inertia to keep on doing what we're used to doing and move around and do something else. In fact, after I post in my journal, I'm going to go take a walk around the neighborhood before heading into work.
Today I came across a quote by a psychiatrist Marc Goulston: "An apology is like fabric softener for the soul." He's talking about diffusing arguments with people, particularly loved ones. But, it got me thinking, what about apologizing to ourselves? I've been big on forgiving myself for past mistakes/misdeeds but I've never apologized to my less enlightened to self for not being there when he needed me; this probably sounds a whole lot like forgiveness. However, with forgiveness I'm saying "you did it, life moves on, beating yourself up about it is a dead-end...you aren't that person anymore." But it can be hard to accept that, can't it?
When I apologize to myself I'm appealing to my own empathy, my own innate sense of forgiveness, just like I would if my wife apologized for yelling at me or criticizing me for something. I tried it out this morning. I apologized to myself. I didn't list what I was sorry for, I just said a general "I'm sorry," and I felt a weight lift off of me. My soul definitely softened.
Another thing I read was a quote by Mark Cuban and I paraphrase: "the worst piece of advice I ever got was 'follow your passion.' Don't follow your passion, follow your effort." Isn't that what we've all been talking about and what Moz said above? Get off the coach and get moving. Action leads to the good stuff.
I wish you a fast recovery from the beer bug, brother.
Thanks, Lib. It was a lousy few days, but I'm over the worst of it. I knew I'd get it eventually and I've been travelling a lot.
Not much going on in my life, really. Retiring at the end of the year and fucking the dog at work. What are they going to do, fire me?
I was reading about memories and the writer of the article said that most of our salient memories are from early adulthood, not childhood. Interesting, I thought. Then they wrote the sentence "What interested us as a child may not be as interesting as an adult, and vice versa." And I thought "wait, what?" How can that be a vice versa proposition, unless someone invented a time-machine while I was down with Covid. Then I read an article by a female psychologist who thinks that men think women are not funny. Er, what planet does she live on. Oh, yeah, the male-bashing, femi-nazi, woke, kitty licking planet. It'd be a great planet for women, a scissoring paradise, except for the toxic male planet that's right next door, always ready to quash their fun by hurting their feelings and telling them that they aren't that hilarious.
My wife is hilarious. She talks to me about her work day and thinks I'm listening. As soon as I start taking a pee my wife will start talking. My flow isn't quite as noisy as it used to be, but then my hearing isn't as good, either. lol It's a regular comedy hour living with women. They are a fucking scream!
So, uh, yeah, that's all I've got.
@Saville. Great post and very happy to hear you are feeling better!
Still a bit achy from Covid, but otherwise feeling pretty good.
I was reading an article in The Atlantic (Derek Thompson) about how American culture has been ruined by a money-ball obsession. Money-ball basically means statistical analysis run amok. It was first used in baseball as a way of bettering odds. By analyzing every player in terms of all their statistics and proclivities baseball was able to predict outcomes with, by in large, success. Money-ball, as described in the article, has been "catastrophically successful." By reducing the game to spin-rates, launch angles, etc, it was "colonized by math and got solved like an equation." As an old geezer I agree that the guts have been ripped out of the game. It has lost touch with that primal thing that all games spring from. What is that primal thing? I guess it's the excitement and fear of the hunt. The joy of and importance of creating community.
The writer goes on to quote the religious scholar James P. Carse who wrote "There are two kinds of games in life: finite and infinite." A finite game is played to win, their are victors and vanquished. The infinite game is for everyone to keep on playing. Hasn't baseball always been about winning and losing? Yes, but the difference now is that it's accountants and lawyers who dictate how the game will be played, not the players. The players have all been forced into be being square pegs so that they'll fit the model. Kind of like how CD's took something away from music. By digitizing music into little packets of information the personality of music has changed and, imo, it has not changed for the better. Records were cumbersome, compared with CD's, but they were truer to our natural voices. As the writer states "the quantitative revolution in culture is a living creature that consumes data and spits on homogeneity." That, to my mind, says it all!
Think about P use in those terms. Little digitized packets of information are standing in for real women and real sex. When we PMO, we are in a very real sense, having sex with a computer/robot. One of the reasons it is so hard to stop fapping to P is because our life is a tsunami of stats, algorithms, and information. Because we are being carried along by this uncontrollable wave it's like we have no free-will, kind of like those poor souls who were crushed to death in Seoul. The pushing starts, the crowd takes on a momentum that exists outside of individual desires.
Refined sugar has clouded our taste buds to real foods. Indeed, real food has been so modified, so as to make it cosmetically perfect, that much of the natural taste has disappeared. Who is driving this bus? Unfortunately, in my estimation, humanity has been hijacked by the greedy and powerful, who keep developing things that we never knew we wanted. Like herd animals we follow along, because it's what we've been taught to do and it is so fucking tiring to go against it all. But, in order to find our natural swing again we must start the revolution within ourselves. Rollo May wrote "the opposite of love is not hate, it's conformity." It's so easy to conform, it's a well-paved path.
Very good that you are feeling better @Saville .
I totally agree with the views of the article you described.
I made an attempt to write about my dark thoughts and feelings in my journal, but did not want to discourage others with my depressed feelings and thoughts. But after reading your post, I thought I would write them in yours.
Over the last two months or so, I have moments like comming out of a mental fog, like seeing clearer reality (I am not on drugs LOL), but reality or what I can see now is everything else then good. I see my behaviour in the past towards my parents, towards life and in general totally different now and my behaviour in the past was not good at all.
While using PMO, it is like I went through life totally different, did things I would never do today or while being more aware. Like you said, the refined sugar, PMO, social media, Hollyweird movies had me living in an unreal world were we no longer act and feel like natural humas. We got hijacked, our behaviour our thinking, our feelings, our mind.
A form of AI is creeping into our lifes. Maybe I watched too much movies.
I don´t want to use excuses any more. But I also don´t want to close my eyes to reality.
I am feeling like a person sitting on a fast going train which is heading towards a canyon without a bridge, I was in this train my whole life, but now I can see the distructive direction it is going but I can´t find a way to jump of. I mean the beer bug and the deletion of freedom of personal rights should have opened the eyes of every person. But people comply. It is convenient. I don´t have to think for myself and maybe different then what the mainstream told me to think. A lot of the things I was seeking pleasure in, seem shallow and stupid now.
Am I slowly getting crazy?
Do you have similar thoughts and I don´t mean about the beer bug, but in general and if so how do you cope with all of this.
Am I too negative?
Sorry to vent here, but your post had a lot of points I was thinking about over the last few weeks.
Addicts have always fought the uncontrollable wave. When we passed a bum on the park bench sleeping off another drunken binge (even if we didn't actually do this, there were plenty of references to it in the movies and on TV when we were younger), we would shake our heads at how some people just don't have the will to resist temptation. So, to your point, there are so many more of us sleeping off our binges now, in my opinion, because porn is accepted in our society in so many ways. It has stormed into advertising and all other media so pervasively, that it feels natural to just watch and watch and watch. But it's not how we were supposed to be. Yes, we needed to be attracted to women and procreate with them or none of us would be here, but sitting on our duffs and strangling our puds to pixels is not how the grand designer envisioned our evolution.
So, yes, just like baseball, music, etc., wouldn't it be great to go back to a simpler time when life was more real? We may not be able to make it happen on a global scale, but we can make it happen for ourselves.
Two thoughtful posts, my friends, @Libertad and @Mozenjo ! Thanks for posting.
Do you think you're too negative? The reason I ask you the question is because I think questioning all the things around us is normal and good. It is easy to be negative when there are forces in this world, unreasonable ones, that we have no control over. However, I try not to be negative. Even though I have struggled with low-level depression for a long while, I find joy in my life where I can. You know, the usual things like walking, listening to music, making a habit of smiling as I move about my day. I also try not to let my mind analyze things too much, like the article talked about. I try to tune into the ebb and flow of life and go with it as much as possible. I try not to judge everything like I used. Well, I judge quite a lot. My brain is always assessing this and that, making judgments about who is fat (which is rich coming from a former fatty), who is ugly (like me), who is snotty, rude, who's driving too fast, etc. Yeah, it's hard to escape that voice that wants to take the inventory of everything. We have to consciously adjust our thinking when we feel it's getting out of hand. Today I heard a Christian worship song and I rolled my eyes at first. It's the kind of song I used to hear at church when people would raise their hands, close their eyes, and get their Godly dopamine hit. But then I realized it was a pretty catchy tune. Just because I have some church baggage doesn't mean I can't enjoy Christian music, or the bible, or whatever. Essentially, we're all just trying to feel good, right?
It's really freeing to allow myself to feel the spirit of whatever kind of music is on and yet not feel the need to change who I am because of it. My neighbor is a right-wing, close-minded, low-key bigot, but I admire what he can do with his hands. He's also pretty funny (sometimes) and would help me in a second if I needed it. Down at the coffee shop all his buddies support the same kind of shit, but guess who he really like talking with? Me. I challenge him to think beyond the bullshit. I don't get in his face, but I do say gently what I think. I could despise a guy like him really easy, just like he could feel likewise. I've decided to like him because that allows a bit more joy in my life. I'm not going to go for coffee with his intolerant ass, but a chat over the fence is cool. So, yeah, stepping outside our comfort zones is helpful.
Oh, and ultimately, I find everything kind of funny. Even my affairs are kind of hilarious in retrospect. Most of modern life is just a steaming pile of poo, but it's a funny steaming pile. We all take ourselves WAY too seriously. My wife always wants to be serious, but I just won't allow it. "You're always joking," she says. In fact, I think humor is the most lacking quality I see today. I like getting naked and striding around the house. It feels weirdly macho, but I also am aware of how silly I look with my ding dong hanging out. Love for all your worth and it'll make you laugh so hard.
Having said all of the above, it doesn't stop me from having moments some days where I feel a kind of hopelessness. But, those are much fewer than they used to be.
I saw an article today for a men's magazine with the headline: "There's Only One Right Way to Cook Scramble Eggs." In a woman's magazine: "The Best Way to Keep Your Bananas from Turning Brown." Sounds like important issues to the sexes, right? I thought of other headlines like: The Best Way to Smirk at Your Partner or How to Stir Coffee the Proper Way!
Yup, it is flat out accepted. Women should also be allowed to walk around with see-thru clothing and not have men stare at them. I call this the reverse burka effect. Someone told me that many of the women who are forced to wear burkas have full make up on underneath them. It is an act of dissidence, a feeling of getting away with something.
Speaking of bums, does anyone remember that song Big Rock Candy Mountain? I used to love that song as a kid. Of course, I was a huge fan of Burl Ives. It's a romanticized version of vagrancy. I loved the idea of being the wandering vagabond. Now I live in a great big two-story house, fully ensconced in my upper-middle class existent, where the presiding worry is about one's lawn. Oh, and now I've got my pension to think about. lol Better not put the homeless bums anywhere near my neighborhood! Fuck you homeless people. Get a job! Quit taking fentanyl and become successful like me where you can have affairs, watch P 24/7, buy expensive scotch, and listen to your wife complain how expensive it is to get her nails done. The ironic thing is the homeless need there to be people like me and I need them. Without the peripheral elements there is no center and vice versa. We're all actors and playing a part, as Shakespeare said. The subversive thing to do is to move beyond that and look at our lives with an austere eye. Do I need two electric sanders or is that part of porn? Do I need a second vehicle or can I walk more? Which connects me more to fapping in my comfy chair?
What I'm saying is that homeless people made me an addict to PMO, just as I helped them with their opiate addictions. The bum on the bench, as Moz says, can no more give up his addiction than we can ours, so long as we are both plugged into a system that wants to keep us in stasis.
I enjoy the way you write @Saville . Keep doing your thing
Thanks @Rudolf Geyse .
I've said here many times that as we change ourselves the world changes around us. That isn't my concept, obviously, it's been written about for millennia but that's the thing about truisms, they remain true. Even if we move the needle one millimeter we have effected significant change. Revolutions of spirit are small, at least at first. I remember when I first came to this forum. I was filled with energy. I knew that I would never look at P again, which turned out not to be quite the case. However, my first real test came when a woman messaged me on facebook. She was a friend from the past and she was quite flirty with her first message. This was going to test my resolve. I could start messaging her, like I had countless women, and I was painfully aware of where that road would lead. I was excited by her message, but I was also excited by the opportunity to get my pecker in working order by abstaining from previous habits. The siren call of the Matriarch beckoned, but I shut her down and blocked her. This was a step away from the past and a step toward a way better present.
It was a little change. It was a tiny building block toward better times.
I'm sitting here thinking what else can I eat? The answer, which I know all to well, is nothing. Once I have finished off my main meal there is nothing else that my body needs. I don't need chips, or custard, or chocolate, or cookies, or anything else. I feel so much better, I look way better, but I still can't rid myself of that desire to eat junk. Many times after sex I feel like watching P...it's the same thing.
One thing I've become big on is NOT dwelling on the past. When past behaviors raise their ugly head I dismiss them quickly and immediately start thinking of something that is either in front of me or something I'd like to do in the future. I've already dealt with the past so why keep getting victimized by it? Has anyone seen that tv show Leftovers? I loved the show. Basically half the world vanishes into the ether and the other half are left wondering "wtf?" What are you going to do when your family disappears, your wife, your kids? Somehow you've got to move on. Some in the show create cults, delve into religion, or just move on as if nothing happened. Anyway, I look at the past that way now. It happened, it's out of my control (if I ever did have any), and so now what?
We can really boo hoo our way through life, but that type of crying is sentimentality. It's a kind of melancholy that makes us feel slightly better in our misery. Guess who created sentimentality? The Great Matriarch did. As long as we feel bad about how we behave then we are under control. The American poet, William Stafford, said about poetry something like: "lower your standards, be reckless, and have faith in what you're doing." In other words, ditch the spirit of perfection and do some shit.
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