Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    My counter is a lie, but I can't change it.

    I've had a great week. As the month comes to an end part of my job is to look at time entry and approve billings. I work enough that I track about 70 hours of my life every week. There are two weeks in my time card where I could only account for about 45 hours and very little of it was detail. I took two half days off because of depression. I've sea sawed this month with the addiction, too. At some points feeling, I had a great grip on it (pun totally intended!) and other times no so much.

    My therapist on Monday suggested I focus on one thing rather than on a bunch. I picked fitness. And then he had me define that as 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. My all or nothing self comes up with these long lists of things I want to correct with each thing having a huge complicated effort attached. I fail because it's too much. Then the string of failures gets me down and a cycle of depression and acting out happens. That's exactly the pattern in the numbers from this month and the ups and downs in the journal.

    This week I still acted out a little bit but it wasn't so rollercoaster.

    I feel good today. I'm not going to make any bold pronouncements about any plans.

    I worked out (hard to call it that because no session was longer than 30 minutes and the intensity by comparison of what I can do was low) 4 times this week. That little bit was enough to get me refocused and settled down. The depression is low grade at the moment. And meeting the goal felt good. A trick I've learned to help manage the depression and to fight PMO is to make a list of to dos and check things off no matter what they are. Eventually you'll get a dopamine pop and feel good. Minor, of course, but enough to take the edge off and to turn things. That's exactly what happened with the fitness goal.

    Using this weekend to clean up from the chaos of the previous two weeks and the travel this week.

    Lots of windshield time to think about things. Grateful for that.

    I was at home and starting to slide so I grabbed my laptop and now I am working at Starbucks surrounded by people, feeling good and safe from my normal bad choices.

    Boxer17 likes this.
  2. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Hey Rugger,
    Things are slow on YBR lately, and I'm no one to complain about it, since it's been over a month since I checked in. Not sure if guys are giving up on the struggle, or just quitting this place.
    But you have been consistent about posting, and I'm glad for that. We might as well make it here, because no matter where we choose to fight the battle, victory will only happen between our ears.
    Keep plugging away, bud.
    Boxer17 likes this.
  3. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Yes I also noticed that things are pretty quiet here. Maybe we didn't get the memo :p:D:p
  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Extremely quiet. I appreciate both of you connecting.

    I'm about to workout. It is cold and rainy and I'm going to go out side and workout and then run.

    I've had two revelations in the last two weeks.

    1. I am not just a porn addict. I am also a sex addict. Not in the mood or have the time to discuss the similarity or difference. Leave it for now to say they both are a part of my self medication cocktail but they have some similarity. I'm pretty disconnected from porn. I've been on porn sites 4 times this year. Erotica sites many times. Dating sites on and off nearly continuously. I do use the dating sites like porn sometimes. But it is also a pursuit game for me beyond the dynamics of porn. I play for the like, the first date, the thrill of the chase. And after the reading I've done that is more sex addiction than porn addiction. Important? I think so. My focus on no PMO has mostly been so my dick can get hard so I can have sex. I can talk the game about how it is about living a better life, etc. In fact, I have done more than talk. I've changed my life. I've changed habits, routines, lifestyle, and many other things. Life is better now than it was two years ago. But my chronic masturbation, my sexual acting out through dating apps, my thinking about the kinky furniture I might put in my bed room, etc. is about my wanting a sex fix. I wish limp dick would go away so I could have casual sex. I crave casual sex because that chase to get a body in my bed is far beyond the rush of a porn session. Porn has ruined the equipment. But even if I fix the equipment I am not in the proper state of mind to get real pleasure from it. I'll simply live in a different kind of hell. I have a hole to fill because of past pain, stress, ADHD, depression, etc. that is outside of, albeit related to, my porn addiction.

    2. I've been dicking around with changes in life. My therapist I shared thought I should pick one thing and do it moderately. I picked fitness. I moved 3x last week and that was the goal. It helped. But not much. As I've focused reading on the sexual addiction issue I realize that I have to find something healthy that provides a "rush" to me. I've never been much for hobbies, creative arts, etc. It is fitness. Rugby, coaching and backpacking are my rush. So I've thrown all in on an 8-week workout program called Sealfit. It is a crossfit program. I used to thrive with the intense physical workouts. The intent is to challenge myself and create a new habit. I hope to break some of this cycle. We shall see.

    Hope you guys stay. I journal for me. But I appreciate the company. It would be lonely if it was just me.

    Boxer17 likes this.
  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Yesterday, was my "divorceaversary" ... two years ago I walked out of the court room, divorced after 3 years of fighting, with a tattered business, severe depression, a recent breakup with the love of my life, slim finances and not much else flavoring the shit stew I was treading water in.

    Looking back I am glad I am where I am. Most of my journaling is about what I'm not happy about, about PIED, this addiction I can't seem to shake, my depression and all that is negative.

    Things are good.

    I have a great job and a great income.
    I'm managing that better than ever before.
    I'm respected in my field from about every vantage point you can imagine.
    I have strong relationships with my sons and 1 of my stepsons.
    I'm extending myself at church. I'm in a men's group and start supporting a street ministry we have next Wednesday night where I'll help serve meals from a food truck to the homeless.
    And so it goes on and on.

    I went out on a date Wednesday night.

    I was smitten. Her? Not so much.

    I'm not sitting here tonight aching because I "needed" her to fill me. I wanted things to work, but she politely let me know she wasn't interested. So it goes. But I'm ok with that.

    I am finding myself more present in just about any kind of conversation you can imagine.

    I'm still acting out on the addiction.
    I have some lifestyle choices that need to be changed -- how I keep my place, my drinking, my fapping, my fitness, my eating choices --- but I've narrowed that to a small list.
    And I think I have some medical issues that need to be addressed, as well. I do not think my ED is all PIED and I want to attack my depression more aggressively. But I know those things today and I didn't 2 years ago.

    Trend line is up, climbing.

    Yes, I still have work to do. But it is a much shorter list than it was 2 years ago. I've come so far. I can continue growing and be ok with where the work takes me.

  6. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Good productive weekend day yesterday. Today will be as well. I have lots of choices to make for healthy productive things to do.

    I'm still touching myself too much but it is declining. After my last therapy session I have shifted into a mode of focusing on living rather than focusing on stopping. Several times I've started to fap and have just not been that into it b/c I have something else I'd rather be doing. I had gotten myself almost totally into a "stop IT" mode and then all I thought about was IT and with IT at the top of the mind I was doing IT more and more.

    Somewhere along the way I lost my swagger. Even at work where I'm at the top of the mountain, I have lost some confidence. It is the depression eroding away at me. As I lost that swagger I began to feel emptier and emptier. Without realizing it over the last few weeks I've been focused on rebuilding that.

    I have spent some time thinking about the times when I had the most swagger. Coming back from NM after that backpacking trip two years ago. The two month period where I sold my business and started a new job (I write a lot about losing Alicia, the house, the business, etc., etc. but the reality is that one of the happiest, stress free times in my adult life was after I shed all that mess, the stress and realized all wasn't lost).

    In both cases I was fit and social.

    I am focused on being intentionally social.
    Tomorrow I'm going to start Crossfitting in the morning.

    I feel good about where I am.

    Boxer17 likes this.
  8. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    I like those positive thoughts!
  9. Bobby44

    Bobby44 Member

    Hi Rugger.... may I recommend a book to you?
    ‘Make peace with your mind’ by Mark Coleman..... it’s in my opinion a step above any self help nonsense I have ever encountered!
    Please give it a try , it is literally changing my whole outlook on life ..... it confronts the inner critic, which we all have, and gives an alternative way of confronting self doubt and inner pain.
    ... and I respect your opinion ... let me know if it resonates with you?
  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Bobby44, I will check the book out. I've been making it a matter of routine to go to the library once a week. I'll pick that one up as soon as I finish the pile of books I've got here at home.

    @Boxer17, thanks for the encouragement.

    I've had a breakthrough over the last couple of weeks. Lots has happened. The end result is that I've realized that while, yes, I am a porn addict and the porn has caused ED, I am also a sex addict. The two addictions are similar but different. Much of this year and maybe much of the last two years, my focus on ending my porn addiction has deep down been about getting my hard ons back so I can play sexually. Even a month ago had you called me out on that I would have called BS. Lots of reading, lots of meditation, some journaling here and elsewhere and some life experiences led me to that conclusion.

    I'm going to stop looking at porn long enough that I can manage an erection and have meaningless, risky, casual sex is hardly the kind of personal mission statement that inspires!

    The thought process -- without me thinking about it -- was why not fap today because that's a certain rush vs. waiting 90 days for something that may or may not happen?! Given that logic it was easy to give in. And I was giving in more and more.

    But that's about what I was about.

    I confess I'm pissed off that now that I am totally single and able to do what I want I can't do what I want because things don't work much at all. And the healthy choice is to change what I am wanting to only include healthy, safe choices. Life is just not fair sometimes!

    I think back to the moments after a meaningless encounter. It is as empty as the end of a fap binge. And its never been about the encounter but about the pursuit and capture from the actual meet up to something as simple as a "like" or a swipe right.

    I think that is the substantial difference between the porn and the sex addictions. The sex addiction is about the feedback. And that is why the damn dating apps have been so hard to give up.

    I started a sexual sobriety contract which is something recommend for sex addicts. I'm going to review it and accept it when I meet with my therapist next in early December. I'll post it here when it is a little bit more complete.

    This has transpired over the last two weeks. It felt like a light switch flipped sharing it with my therapist yesterday.

    I'm solidly one day in (what a streak!) of hard mode. I wish I could change my counter but everytime I try I just get an error message.

    My contract extends until March 15 which is a 130-day stretch. I started out with a 90 day hard mode but then realized that I have a major financial event on 3/15 that will see big changes in my life on that front. So I've lined up my goals on that date.

    I've lived 2+years like I'm living. I'll make it through 130 days. And the plan is to make small advances every week.

    At therapy yesterday we talked about how I don't think I deserve the things I want. My therapist -- and for me this was profound -- said "you deserve to improve your life". We all deserve to improve our lives! I may not get to where I want to go but I certainly deserve improving my life to move in that direction. I can accept that statement even as I think that I don't deserve a woman, nice things, etc.
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Flatline. Funny how it happened so quickly once I stopped acting out.

    Temptation today to do the dating app thing but I’ve been able to stay focused on my plan and shrug it off. I’m at work where that’s easy. I have to hit the evening with a detailed plan or I run the risk of a slip. Slipping at 36 hours in to a 130 commitment just won’t do!

    Tonight after work:

    Cook dinner
    Eat dinner
    Walk dogs
    Improve something in the apartment
    Nighttime routine
    Bed by 1030
    Mad Dog likes this.
  12. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm in total flatline, but the habit of tugging is strong. I am not really dealing with temptation as much as I am of dealing with habit. Just woke up. Spent time in bed waking up with tension between the "tug it!" and "don't tug it" thoughts. Did not tug it, but the pull (no pun intended, it just happened!) was strong.

    Did my morning meditation before I got out of bed. Very distracted by the tension.

    The sobriety contract / boundary plan was useful b/c I was able to be firm in my resolve to not tug based on that plan. In the past I would have found some wiggle room or loop hole. I've got a contract with myself that I am not P, M or Oing for 130 days. No wiggle room there!

  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I’m having a difficult day. I will manage through it. Many ghosts from the past coming and going in my thoughts. Old girlfriends and old flings.

    The noting technique I’ve learned meditating with Headspace is helping me identify it.

    Without that skill I would probably give in. It’s not a draw to Porn. It’s not even really a drawl to Fap. It is this hunger to have a woman in my life.

    Not having someone creates the feeling of emptiness. And then with it comes to drawl to self medicate to make that feeling go away. Huge trigger for me!

    I deserve to improve my life. I read something yesterday about getting the woman that you want versus getting the woman that you are. Meaning I want in active, athletic, Independence, woman. I can’t just want her out of my life. I have to be active and athletic and independent myself. That’s not gonna happen today’s into this new focus!

    And I can accept that. But accepting it doesn’t mean the chemicals arent raging!
  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I did something awesome last night. I invested 4 hours of my time with my church's street ministry. We packed food and water into bags and walked a newly gentrified neighborhood near the church to share the food with the homeless population as we bumped into them. We had a lot of wonderful conversations. The people we met and served were for the most part seemingly normal folks. A couple of them admitted to being addicts. But for the most part, as they told their stories, they zigged in life when most of the rest of us would have zagged. Four or 5 zigs later they were out of bounds with nowhere to go.

    As part of this "new plan" I've decided that I need to find a purpose beyond work and not fapping. I was looking for something that would take me outside of my comfort zone that I could commit to with my schedule. I think I found it.
    A New Man and Boxer17 like this.
  15. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Good on you RD!!
  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    It’s 330 in the morning here. When wide-awake. I very much feeling alone. I’ve been awake since two. I’m not particularly stressed no I do have a few work things on my mind. I just wish I had somebody to talk to somebody to cuddle with. I am typically to read in a Roddick a story or download an app. I’ve taught myself that’s how to cover for that loneliness. Instead I’m gonna lie awake and just muscle through it. I don’t know how to otherwise deal with it.
  17. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    I hear you. :confused:Sometimes life is like this bro'
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to cross post on no fap. The activity is high over there, but I've got long term relationships here that know my story. So I'm going to cut and paste my way into both sites ....

    Five days in, mostly solid. A minor slip this morning which is why I'm journaling now. Trying to shake it off.

    I've been waking up in the middle of the night achingly lonely. I'll sleep well, wake up wide awake, stay that way feeling an intense hunger to be with someone (with meaning all aspects of that word not just sexual), I'll meditate, cuddle the dog, toss and turn and eventually drift off back to sleep. I wake up in the morning feeling it still.

    This week it has been intense because I've finally got my world locked down and I'm firm on my no fap path. Usually it is up and at 'em and off to work I go. This morning I struggled in the couple of hours I had before my day started.

    I am back to a good spot now but I wasn't for a while. A little testing and tugging. Not a huge slip, but enough to know that I have to be vigilant. Mornings when I don't immediately get into my day I must get up, get dressed and start the day as if I have something scheduled. Idle time at home alone is bad for me as I make poor choices in how to fill the time.

    Boxer17 likes this.
  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Had another slip last night. Gathered myself for the evening.

    Go to a men's bible study on Sunday night. We are studying relationships. It is incredibly on topic.

    i have put porn behind me, but not dating apps or MO ... my porn addiction has a touch of love or sex addiction mixed in. It is that that I'm fighting at the moment though when I act out and MO or flip through a bunch of dating app profiles it plays into the porn addiction.

    I've written a personal boundary plan to help with the fight.

    Saturday I completely breached it.

    Rewinding Saturday's fall to see what I can change.

    I got up in the morning without a plan and didn't follow my morning routine. No plan, no routine ... and I talked myself into "just for a little bit" and then went on and off all day.

    I need to read my plan daily in the morning and at night. It's short and sweet.
    And I know this but knowing doesn't help if I don't follow what I know .... I must follow my routine and have a plan for every day ...

    Morning wood this morning that was dream induced. Waking up was enough to lose it, but it was there. So even with the slip signs are there that I'm progressing.

    My biggest struggle is accepting that the world is filled with an abundance of attractive women that will be there when I'm ready. That I don't have to get that girl on the dating app, in the coffee shop RIGHT NOW because she's it. And I don't have to settle when I'm ready because there are plenty to choose from.

    The allure of the dating apps is the "maybe she's out there" when I know she's not. And even if "she" is, I'm not ready for a relationship.

    My contract recognizes that as it is a no PMO, no dating apps, no dating committment to myself for 150 days (days correspond with a couple other events happening in March/April 2019).

  20. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Keep hammering RD

Share This Page