Well look who is here .... UGH.

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by ruggerdoug, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    It is so easy to do this. While at the same time so fucking hard.

    I was going to work out at 630 .. it is now 750. Leaving after this statement.

    I know now after the reading why I suck at doing what I say I'm going to do. It's been an hour and a half fighting with myself. Nothing out of bounds, though I've had some temptation to fend off. Procrastination. Thoughts of MOing. An errant hand here or there. Procrastination. I've lost almost 90 minutes of life. I did take a trip to the store in that time frame because I was out of dog food. Dog food. Lunch stuff. Uh, beer? Feel proud I came home with no beer. But that I had to so consciously say "no, beer. no, beer. no, beer" suggests how active we have to be in saying "NO" to all of our bad habits. It is easy to give in. Easy to not go to the gym. To drink on a night you didn't plan on drinking. Tugging. MOing. PMOing. Giving in to short term gratification.

    I'm 90 minutes behind. At some point I've got to make a decision about what work gets done tonight .... yes, there is some. What bedtime habits stay intact. And what work gets put off until tomorrow.

    RD
     
  2. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    2 SOLID days in. Great lift last night. Slept ok, but long. Waking up was difficult this morning.

    Headspace has a "cravings" pack now. It is new. 30 days of meditation to help with cravings. Did a 20 minute run on the first lesson last night. Very helpful.

    Meditation is the #1 way to restore grey matter lost due to hypofrontality as I've read. Running is #2. I think I'll meditate!

    Headspace teaches a technique called "noting" where you acknowledge the thought and release. I've done it a couple of times since the meditation last night. It works. Not a silver bullet but a useful tool.

    If you aren't meditating I recommend it as a weapon in this fight.

    Rugger
     
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm 6 solid days in. I have had a few moments but I've been able to step away before it gets out of hand (or is that I've been able to get it out of hand and step away?).

    Two observations:

    One, the "noting" technique I'm learning from headspace is helpful.

    I am deploying it against thinking diversions at work, minor temptations like late night snacking. In those minor craving or distracting moments it is easy to use and get back on track.

    When the though is about grabbing a drink or gravitating to a p sub or to fap it is different. There is incredible resistance. I can't just note "craving" and have it pass. It is helping but it is not a silver bullet. I am also such a newbie at using it. I assume practice will improve its use. I also assume that those things that are resistant to it are because of addiction and because they are my choices for self medicating emotional stress meaning the "roots" so to speak are much deeper than the "oh, a Dairy Queen, let's have ice cream" minor temptations.

    Two, in my last bout with the dating apps I met a young woman who I've been texting and talking with for about two weeks. The conversations have included zero naked selfies from her and over hours and hours of conversation only about a 15 minute talk about sex. That was in the context of her sharing why she had broken up with her last boyfriend and not had sex in almost a year. She wanted me to know that she wanted to move slow and shared it with some fear that I'd stop talking. I didn't share my stuff but told her I had my own things to share and that I too wanted to move slow. We talked enough about it to know that when and if we get to that stage we have common ground ... and then its not come up since.

    First date is tonight. I am planning on getting to know her in person as well as I think I know her from phone calls. Sex isn't the primary purpose of the date. I feel no pressure to perform and I don't plan on trying anything. And that feels safe because of what she's shared.

    Yet, I woke up tempted (not horny) and I'm spending significant energy trying not to fap thinking about the date.

    I'm nervous about it going well. I want a second date! I'm feeling insecure about it. I'll be fine once it starts I'm sure. She won't know I'm nervous. I'm nervous about the future of it all not tonight. That is that all or nothing thinking working against me. If I have a great dinner, great conversation, and we enjoy each other enough to do something after dinner to extend the date I've had a good night. But I'm thinking months down the road! Why can't I just be in the moment? Why am I worried about 2 or 3 months from now?

    Because I am. And that is the source of my stress that I want to self medicate away.

    I do not know what to do with this. Not going to fap. But I want to learn from this and change a little. I do not know how.

    RD
     
  4. A New Man

    A New Man White Knuckle Brigade 2013

    This is a great question. So much stress stems from focusing on stuff that is coming up, in the medium term- work deadlines, hot dates, social events- focusing on them and finding ways to avoid them (fantasy/pmo/whatever) is self-sabotage because we lose the present moment, the only time when action is possible. I got into Buddhist a while back and it helped me to refocus on the present moment more. It's training the mind to focus on the here and now. It's a blessed relief to be honest.
     
  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I am going nuts. My depression is raging. My addiction is raging. Fog is thick. All of this started after my date, after some beer I drank Saturday night.

    I have not O’d but I blew the streak at day 7 which was yesterday. Peeked at porn this morning. First time I've done that in a very long time.

    The Saturday and Sunday night beers were an enormous mistake. I am afraid I am an alcoholic as well as a P-addict.

    My date went well. Good night kiss and some hand holding. Nothing overtly sexual. We have a second date planned. I'm not thinking beyond the next date and our next conversation. Isolated it was a good time and a great experience. I really got into her and didn't make the night, overtly or covertly about sex.

    But it hit me emotionally. Hard. Alicia might as well have been in the car with me on the ride home. I've had two dreams with this new girl (Jen) in them where I'm in the old family house, in my son's bedroom, where I spent my last 2 years living there as my bedroom as the separation played out. In the dream we are trying to have sex but I can't. My ex wife is in the hallway.

    I feel guilty for going on a date. I've been on a good handful of dates since I divorced. I've actually had a few multi week "things". I've never felt this level of guilt. Grown man gets in a car drives an hour to take a grown woman out for dinner. Has a good time. And then is dripping with guilt.

    And then the Alicia thing. Fuck. Good thing is I didn't sit there the whole night making comparisons. That happened in the car ride home.

    Working at Starbucks where there's people. Won't act out here. Getting myself back to solid ground. I wish I could run Saturday night until now through a movie viewer.

    I wasn't in distress coming home Saturday night. I was overcomparing Jen and Alicia. And then I started missing Alicia. I had decided to grab a beer for when I got home. Got a six telling myself I would only have 1 or 2, save the others for Sunday. Ended up killing the six, staying up mindlessly surfing the Internet (no porn, no dating sites) with a brief interlude looking at Alicia's instagram. Didn't go to bed until almost 3. Overslept church.

    Sunday was then some napping, some fapping ... until by Sunday night I was so spun up I reinstalled dating apps. And went for another beer run.

    Woke up depressed. Today's been more struggling. Worked from home this morning scheduled but I didn't get much done. Client meeting started at 1. Which means I've been back on the wagon for 2 hours and 11 minutes.

    At some point in that whole string of events I made a mistake and set myself off on a path to slip. Was it the date? The windshield time thinking which led to my mentally masturbating over Alicia. Was it the pleasure I got out of missing Alicia? OR the sense that while I had fun this woman isn't the long term woman I'm looking for? The guilt? The fact that part of me doesn't think I deserved the nice night out? All of it wrapped up in a huge shit sandwich?

    Writing this -- I started it in my client meeting -- has helped me focus. My son should be home now. I'm going to go home, take my son out for dinner. Focus on staying out of the abyss.

    Well timed therapy session tomorrow.

    Hate the slip. Particularly the porn and the Instagram visits. I was in a comfortable flat line as of Friday. This whole mess just overloaded the circuits. Nothing is more terrifying than having excess sexual energy in the midst of a flat line. It so highlights the fact that things don't work. That is one of the times I truly feel my most physically broken.

    Intellectually I know that as long as I'm fighting I'm getting better even with a slip here and there. When I hit 30 days about a month or so ago I was waking up with morning wood. Sensitivity has improved this year even as I've continued to struggle. Much of my struggle is in my mind not in my hand. Anyway I know I am not permanently broken even though I feel like I am.

    I am emotionally broken. I'm so strong about some things. The work world views me as an Alpha on top of his game. I know me as this broken man. The two views are both accurate but my brokenness overwhelms me and my positive view of me.

    I think it is good this happened and I am in hindsight mindful of what was going on. I want to be mindful as it happens so that I can't make the choices to not do it. It is good it happened because I'm not going to just shrug my shoulders and continue or shrug my shoulders and go back to struggling the same way for another handful of days. I am going to focus my energy on finding and fixing my emotional brokenness because that is the source of all that is bad.

    I do wish this were over. I wish I was healthy emotionally. I don't want to spend any more time or energy on this. I want it solved and done. Behind me. Over. But its not and having that mindset won't get me anywhere. I'm not comfortable with my brokenness or the addiction. I want to be comfortable with life. And to be ok that I am comfortable. I think I deserve that even if I don't feel it.

    RD
     
  6. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Hey there RD. Read your post. I wish I was all wise with a great solution. I wanted you to know your post was not jusy a message in a bottle cast into the Sea
    Warm thoughts sir
     
  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Boxer17, solution is to keep working on it. I really appreciate your comment.

    Therapy today.

    We talked on two topics:

    1. We spent some time talking about how far I've come.

    For the most part my finances are in order. There's some things, but they are being dealt with over time. There is no crisis hanging over me like there was 2 years ago.
    The depression is largely manageable. This last bout is unusual. Usually, I just end up throttling down a little, feeling it but not being shut down by it. Two years ago I was shut down for nearly 3 months.
    I can go to the gym and do 500 heavy kettle bell swings in under 45 minutes. I'm not as fit as I'd like but not many at 53 can do that. And I can hike, climb, or whatever (Rugby not so much) pretty much at will.
    I'm killing it at work. Two years ago work was killing me.
    P subs are a problem but porn itself generally isn't. This weekend was a disaster, but while I am still suffering from PIED, the majority of other negative effects from the addiction are barely noticeable. I'm not polluting my work computer. I don't freak out when asked to show something on my system to someone. I'm not late to meetings b/c I'm sitting in a car peeking. I'm much more present in the my life and the lives of those that are important to me.
    I've got strong relationships with each of my sons which are the most important humans in my life. I also have strong relationships with my work team which, for good and bad, are the second most important humans in my life. I was a disconnected wreck two years ago (except I was connected to my sons).

    If I could cure the PIED, lose 30 pounds, have a couple of months in savings, manage an active social life outside of work stuff, finish furnishing my apartment so I'd feel comfortable having people over, I'd be a pretty happy camper. And honestly if I could get hard I'd probably be just fine only losing 5 pounds!

    I feel like those things limit my social options. But typing them out and realizing how short that list is a positive. I also find it positive that I don't list having a girlfriend as a requirement. I want one but I it doesn't feel authentic to say having a woman in my life would make me complete. I think that is good.

    Two years ago, I weighed 30 pound less than today BUT PIED had come back as I PMO'd my stress away which was from losing a house, losing a divorce battle, losing my business (almost!) and in the midst of all that mess losing my girlfriend.

    Trend line remains upward. Pace is glacial. That and these heart wrenching setbacks just frustrate the fuck out of me. But I've stayed with it and things are getting better just not at the pace I want.

    2. Alicia.

    I work hard to keep her out my mind. I do compare dating opportunities to her without thinking. I've not really let her go. That's going to take some focused work.

    RD
     
  8. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Good on you sir
     
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Best day in 4. Back on solid ground. Waiting for son’s choir to start. Extremely, comfortably present. No raging temptation. Clean phone. I do have more of these days than bad ones. Trick is to racking up the good days, not allowing g the bad choices during the bad ones and continuing to learn when I do.

    RD
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  10. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Active Member

    Rugger Good on you. This has reminded me that I can get back from where I am and that I have done so before. Right now I want to run back to explore something that I did not over the past three days. Coming here catching some of your story that I have missed has brought me through the past half an hour.

    Thanks RD
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I had a light bulb moment this week.

    Earlier I had shared:

    "If I could cure the PIED, lose 30 pounds, have a couple of months in savings, manage an active social life outside of work stuff, finish furnishing my apartment so I'd feel comfortable having people over, I'd be a pretty happy camper. And honestly if I could get hard I'd probably be just fine only losing 5 pounds!"

    I got to thinking about it ...

    I would be happy if:

    • I cured my PIED which could take as long as 2 years from the reading I've done
    • If I lost 30 pounds or get to 219, which if I start now, can be accomplished in 15 weeks. Even if it takes longer in 15 weeks I'll be fitter, feel better about myself and should raid my T levels at least somewhat contributing to the PIED goal.
    • Getting a couple of months in salary in savings is going to be a tough one with roughly 2/3 of what I earn going to others. That will be true, on a declining basis over the next 5 years. And my work pay will raise every 6 months. But I can't just sit and wait! I have been. I can be more proactive. I've done some side hustle work and could do more. I could set a goal and start setting aside a little bit each pay, no matter what, and at least get something built up just in case of disaster or opportunity. I am paid again on Friday, so my first $$'s saved are just a few days away.
    • I focused some on having an outside of work active social life. I don't socialize purposefully. When I do have something social I enjoy myself. I'm just not purposeful about it. This weekend I'm going to make a list of people and activities that I can keep as a cheat sheet to plan ahead. I'm going to volunteer for something at church. That's an immediate fix if I just do it.
    • Finishing my apartment isn't going to happen either b/c of money. I have chosen not to live the life I lived married where we bought a bunch of cheap shit. I left that behind purposefully. The things I've bought since I moved in have been high quality. I can still make small improvements to the townhouse that don't require big dollars. A little at a time will make a big difference over time. I was doing that but stopped. And i can be more focused about keeping it clean and picked up. I realize that my attitude has been a little bit of "fuck it" if it isn't complete. I want to change my attitude to what I do have I'm proud of.

    My attitude has been stuck in an all or nothing mode.

    My real work is on the emotional pieces of me that allow the porn addiction (which feels more like a masturbation addiction at this point). But that's a work in progress that is going to take time. Those other things that I've listed above can be more immediate in attainment, take the stress off (which I know contributes to my acting out the addiction) and improve life.

    It has most definitely been a terrible month for this addicted rugger. I've learned a lot about how my choices are impacting my addiction. I can change those choices and keep moving forward or I can stay focused on "ending PIED" and continue to spin.

    I'm not spinning.

    RD
     
  12. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Quite a day. The CV boot on my truck blew today. I'm looking at repairs I don't have the cash for. Thrilled. Watched a football game with my oldest son at the local watering hole. So proud of him. I wish I'd launched when I was 21 with my shit as tight as his is. Had a binge of fapping supported with dating apps and erotica.

    The fapping I did because while I was doing it I didn't worry about the truck or how I was going to meet my obligations this week. I O'd. Washed with shame. I want to be the guy that deals with his stuff. I run from my bad stuff. And I don't work to create an environment to address it. I can create a plan (see the above post from just this morning) but not execute the plan. The plan is solace. Executing is stressful. And stress triggers all of my self medication.

    I was quite tempted to walk to the store and get a six-pack. Brilliant that would have been. Shame would have been muted for a while.

    Instead I invested an hour reading about addiction. I jumped off the porn addiction sites. Yes, I am a porn addict and though I've only looked at actual porn a few times this year the porn-subs do quite a fine job of keeping that addiction thriving. But I'm clear that my unique mix of shit includes elements of compulsive masturbation, sexual addiction, and likely alcohol abuse. I self medicate inappropriately (ranging from the addiction to just some dumb decisions like when I late night food binge.

    So I just read. Found this gem:

    https://www.health.harvard.edu/special-health-reports/overcoming-addiction-paths-toward-recovery

    I'm not going to buy the article but the cost benefit grid in the sample article caught my attention.

    So I did a grid for myself with not self medicating and self medicating as my choices.

    My self medication choices include porn, porn subs, masturbation, sexual addiction, alcohol abuse, overuse of the Internet, video gaming, binge eating ... and I think (I hope!) that is the entire list!

    Benefits of not self medicating:
    • I would have more money to spend on other things.
    • I would have more time to spend with people I care about.
    • I would be performing better at work, decreasing stress.
    • I would be earning more at work.
    • I would be able to support a sustained, consistent side hustle to help relieve financial stress.
    • I would be more fit.
    • I would fit into more of my clothes.
    • I would feel connected with more of the people in my life.
    Benefits of self medicating:
    • I love the rush I feel from playing with myself.
    • I get a high from looking at women in dating apps and an even greater rush from the chase. Will she continue talking with me? Can I score a date? Thrills!
    • I occasionally have a fantastic date and a connection.
    • I have some great, intense crazy sex; there's always a chance for that again.
    • I enjoy the times I'm buzzed and I don't feel stress.
    • I enjoy the positive feelings from all my self medication choices.
    • Some of my addictions make it feel less like I'm alone.
    Costs of not self medicating
    • I would have to face the responsibilities I’ve been ignoring while engaged in my addictions.
    • I would have to somehow fill up my time and deal with thoughts I don't like dealing with.
    • I would truly be alone when I am in my apartment by myself.
    Costs of self medicating
    • I have ED.
    • I do not feel like the man I present myself as because my ED is always top of mind.
    • I am occasionally in a fog.
    • I am forgetful.
    • I isolate myself on the weekends.
    • I waste money on meaningless dates.
    • My problems pile up.
    • I am under performing at work and in life.
    • I am heavily in debt.
    • Almost 70% of my income goes to others.
    • I am depressed and anxious.
    • I am not truly connected to anyone outside of work.
    • I am alone.
    • I feel I am a fraud.

    More to say ... but my stepson just called ... he's going out for his birthday and wants me to join him and his friends. See. Things aren't all bad. On many other Saturday nights I would have ignored the message or made an excuse. I feel some stress at going out. I'll go and have a great time. And I am thrilled I was asked but not his mom or dad.

    RD
     
  13. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    I hear you there RD. Kind of like if I owe someone money and think if I can't pay it all back I'll avoid the subject. Instead of making arrangements and working towards a solution.
     
  14. GreyHeron

    GreyHeron Active Member

    Yes, I wanted to find the words to gently persuade you to think just like this. I am sure that I do not do this enough. It is really easy to see the size of the problem and turn to P-Subs or one of our other favourite hide aways. You and I need to get some perspective and live by your wise words over the past couple of days.

    Soar Well

    Grey Heron
     
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I’ve stopped myself twice today by “noting” my craving for a p sub and then moving on.

    The headspace series is helping.

    Goal is to make it to tomorrow with out straying, monk mode style. That’ll make 36 hours.
     
  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Caught myself a third time.

    Couple things strike me:

    1. I am thinking about fapping / self medicating less than I used to (say 2 years ago) but I am giving in more easily.
    2. The stressors / triggers are fewer but are much greater in intensity. That surprises me b/c my Summer 2 years ago was such a shit show. I'm taking some time to sit and think about this. I think it is more intense because I'm closer to the core / source. That Summer involved a lot of loss. There's a streak in me that suggests that I didn't deserve the business, that I didn't deserve Alicia, etc. I'm now fighting through what I do or don't deserve. I want a relationship but deep down don't think I deserve it. I want to be more successful than I am at work but deep down don't think I deserve it. And so on. Intensity makes sense because I was losing but felt I deserved the loss; now I want the gain but do not feel like I deserve it.

    I'm fighting a totally different battle.

    And it is clear to me this isn't a porn fight but an emotional fight.

    I don't porn. I p-sub because if I read a story I can picture me in a role and "her" as who I want to be AND I can imagine a relationship with the woman in a profile or the interaction in an app. At night when I'm lonely it fills a hole And emotionally it feels as if I am in a relationship of sorts. False but that is what it feels like.

    RD
     
  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Just got a text from my teams project manager.

    Client project has moved from the last week of this month into November. Let means I’ve got to find work from one of my people. If I don’t we’re going to come up short this month. Got the text replied and then started the process of pulling a dating app down. Stopped. Came here instead.

    Frankly it’s really not that big of a deal. I have work to find it to get scheduled. I’ll have it sold before the end of the week. It was still though enough stress to get me to step away by looking at a dating app for just a few minutes.

    It was kind of a just deal with it moment. And I didn’t. Or rather I started not to. Focusing on being mindful is teaching me a lesson and keeping me from acting out. Much better than focusing on not acting out. Streak intact!
     
    Boxer17 likes this.
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Today is a good day because I am mindful of the constant tug to look at dating sites, go to the bathroom to read and/or fap. I am using that mindfulness to fight the urge and stay clean and focused on living the life I choose to live.

    Today I am kicking addiction ass!
     
  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Flatline!

    Today is FINALLY the day of the magicly disappearing penis!

    The last few months, even knowing that the flatline is a normal part of the process, I could not mentally accept it. Many of my slips began as test faps.

    I’m in a better spot emotionally. Actually, I’m in no different spot, I am just more aware.

    I accept the flatline as necessary and positive.

    I know from my experience and reading that Testosterone will likely peak on day 7 now. Day 6-8 is usually my next danger zone.

    I’m going to continue working on mindfulness one day at a time and get ready for day 7.

    Very positive!

    RD
     
  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    A few close calls tonight.

    Stopped noting my thoughts and started following them. It frankly was mindless. Still have a couple of hours of work tonight and I was stressing about getting it done so I could get a decent night's sleep. From stress to slip (laying in bed, starting to look at a dating site on my phone) was simple and quick.

    And since then it has been difficult to stay focused. Just a hint that I might be weak and the call to fap rages.

    I'm going to bed now. Going to get up super early and get the work done. I'm just asking for it if I stay up any more.

    Lesson is that I have to always be mindful. I can't let my guard down. I'm learning how to do that so tonight is just a lesson. Day 3 tomorrow.

    RD
     

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