Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Long stream of consciousness....

    I'm working at Starbucks this morning. I am struggling whenever I am in my apartment. I got up and got out as early as I could this morning. Panel discussion today which I'm excited about. Had I stayed at home to "work" I'm certain I would have gotten intimate with my phone before much of the morning was gone. Decided on this path last night.


    I've spent a lot of time working on making the successful guy more successful guy rather than making the unsuccessful -- addicted, socially awkward, bored --- guy, less so.

    I come home and it is like a wet blanket drapes over my head. I don't feel like being there. It is unkempt and messy. I feel like I keep it that way because it helps me keep people away. I don't enjoy my home. It is not a sanctuary in any way shape or form. It is better than when I first moved in. I am planning on doing a deep clean on Saturday when I drop the dogs off for the kennel. I'm traveling next week. I'll come home to a place that feels clean at least. Still would rather be somewhere else.

    I am sitting here at Starbucks with no urge to fap. At home it would be a constant urge. Is it my place that is the trigger or is it me being by myself that is the trigger?

    I do not do well at home.
    I do not do well by myself. I do travel cleaner than when I'm home alone though I tend to drink more and porn less.

    I work. I don't work. I sometimes do things during my not work time but mostly it is just not work. And then I fill that time with porn, booze, food, video games.

    I think about alternatives like cleaning my place, reading, learning something new, working out, walking the dogs, and so on and I get tired. And then I fap my way out of sleepiness.

    I focus on no PMO when I need to focus on healthy habits when I'm alone. And I don't think I've truly had them ever.


    This was easier the few times a long time ago before I found YBR, YBOP or no FAP, before I entered into counseling in earnest to clean myself up that I stopped for long periods to save my marriage even though deep down I didn't want it saved. This was easier when I was with Alicia (in fact it for over a year stopped being a thing for the most part. She was my productive not work time.

    It is easier to give in when there isn't any change of gratification on the horizon.

    I read a lot about guys rebooting with a partner. I have no one. I used to have a FWB who I confessed this whole mess to. She was going to help my reboot back in the rocky Alicia days. She's now engaged and not an option. And that's it. The basic formula I read is reboot over 30-90 days and then rewire with someone starting on day 31 to 91, go slow and be patient.

    Not having someone is one of the outs I use to relapse. I don't have anyone so I'll reload the dating apps. And then I fap. Or I don't have anyone so I'll fap.

    I started my counter last night with the thought that I'm going to make it to tonight. 24 hours. 4 hour blocks like I used to do. It is 8 am. I will be on the panel at 12. That's 4. Work all afternoon. That's 8. Plus the 8 I have under my belt already. I need a plan to make it from 4 pm to midnight. Most of that is going to be at home when I'm in the dangerzone.

    So my task today is to figure out how to fill 8 hours out at the end of the day.

    I'm not being very work productive this morning.

    I've been sipping coffee and pondering this for the last 45 minutes. Probably the best use of my time though I've got a ton of stuff to do.

    The focus on today is a change. I have a glass white board in my bedroom with my no PMO plan and target dates. 30 days to reboot plus 90 ... I move dates everytime I relapse. I get caught up so much in the horizon I don't manage the close in time. This time I am focused on the close in time and I'll let the longer term time accumulate.

    No dating apps. No porn. No "texting buddies" left over from past dating app forays.

    And as I type that a tape runs in my head ... "who will you rewire with" .... and I start thinking about fapping ...

    Who will I "rewire" with? I really need to get to 30 or 90 days before I even worry about that.

    But I worry.

    My whiteboard has a long bullet list of my "plan" that is in a nutshell reboot, improve datability, rewire, done!

    Datability on the surface is about fixing the things that I'm self conscious about .. my apartment, my weight ... but as I've discovered there is something deeper I'm fighting that that is getting in the way of my doing those things.

    Alright. Time to work for money instead of for health and sobriety.

  2. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    I think that is an important observation RD
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Boxer17, I think that is the observation I've been struggling to make for a long time. Feel that same way, too.

    I don't know what to do with it, but it rings true and important.

    I can feel coming home and wanting to hunker down.

    I don't know what to do about it.

    I literally get sleepy ... and then tempted to FAP to wake up ... or like now I have work to do .. want to go to bed and get up early and I'm telling myself if I FAP I'll go to sleep ...

    I am thinking about moving but doing that without understanding how to break this pattern won't do much.

    Therapy next week we are going to start a new technique and focus on this pattern. I'm nervous and excited about it.

    I've had 2 therapists ... my current one ... and one in my 20s who both suspect some sort of trauma when I was younger .... I did have spinal menijitis when I was 3. But they've both suspected something more nefarious. I simply do not remember. I do remember the menijitis. I've always gotten the SADS in the winter which is when I was sick. My mom used to talk about that being caused from being so sick. I don't know.

    PMO is tied to this feeling.

    I'm an hour away from 24. I have had a few moments tonight but nothing worth resetting. Certainly not monk mode.

    Anyway ... time for bed ... getting up super early.

    Boxer17 likes this.
  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Reset last night.

    Some family stress yesterday afternoon. Started craving beer and porn. Did the weekly grocery shopping and did not come home with beer. Capped the night off right before sleep with porn.

    I felt the pull from the stress. I was heads up enough to know that alcohol was bad. I was not that way with porn.

    I learned over the weekend that I do not know what to do with myself when I don't have work. And that I do not appropriately deal with stress.

    I have a reputation of being able to handle a lot of stress. It is a falsity. I absorb a lot of stress in my life but self medicate it away. That's not handling stress very well.

    This week I'm going to try something different.

    I'm not going to talk about what I'm not going to do.

    I feel as if I focus so much on not PMOing that PMO is always on my mind.

    I am going to spend my journaling time this week talking about what I want and positively dealing with things.

    In the end I want to be healthy enough to be in a relationship though I do not want to be in a relationship right now.
    I want to be healthy enough that I can be confident if presented an opportunity to play around casually.
    I don't even want that. I just hate the feeling when an opportunity presents itself and I know that I can't partake because I have no confidence.
    I know I deserve nice things and a good life; I don't feel that. I want to feel that and not self sabotage when nice things happen because I'm uncomfortable with it.

  5. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    While I understand your point about not having someone in your life at the moment, you really need to do this for yourself. There's a good post on recovery nation about this where the author talks about motivation

    Boxer17 likes this.
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Two thoughts:

    First, @forlorn, thank you for the share. That was actually a reminder. I went through that process a while ago and it helped considerably. I'm going to do it again. Start it over instead of going over my old work. I am certainly living proof that doing this for someone else isn't going to get met the motivation to get to where I want to be. Being single that "someone" is in my imagination, fantasy, future ... and has very little substance. And doing it for myself is difficult b/c even if I think about how much better I feel in those moments when I feel lonely focusing on a better me again isn't motivation.

    Second, my focus is upside down, backwards. When I was really on top of this I had a woman in my life AND health and fitness came first, from the food I ate in the morning, to the scheduled workout taking precedence to a lot of time spent hiking trails. My health and fitness takes last place right now. From the schedule I keep for work, to the choices I make after hours, my physical, spiritual, emotional and sexual health get last choice.

    If I don't put me first I'm not going to get through this regardless of the motivation. Simple as that.

    I remember when I was the confident gentleman. Assertive, gently dominant. Lots of dates. Lots of girls. Few connections but the abundance was there. Now there are no connections, no abundance ... and no confidence.

    Work is going well but that is not enough to be confident socially.

    I have spent some quiet time thinking about times in my life I had a swagger about me. Every single time I can remember feeling that confident I was either fit or doing something fitness related. At least as I remember it everything else followed the fitness.

    Today I'm blocking time off to reset my schedule to put fitness first and I'm going to the gym.

    Boxer17 likes this.
  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I have discovered I am on a merry go round when I thought I was on a roller coaster. I just keep coming back around to the same place over and over again.

    I’m tired of that.

    Commit to nofap. Clean all my electronics. Last a few days or a few hours. Sometimes almost a week. First it is usually a reinstalled dating app because I’m lonely. Then a conversation or a like turns the tension up – or the same from some minor stress -- and I’m touching. Soon it is erotica or worse. Disgust. Shame. Sometimes the cycle ends and starts over in just a few hours. Sometimes it is a several days long camp in the abyss, never quite to the extent of a binge, but frequent enough PMO that all progress is destroyed.

    Last week was a bad week. And maybe a good week.

    Went to Vegas on a work trip. I drank too much but I did stay off my phone and myself the entire time I was out there. Coming back on the plane I considered that a huge win because I was on the verge of 5 days which set me up for a week. Was in flatline but getting morning wood. Progress, right?

    Thursday, day 5, I peeked. Dating apps.

    A woman I met on a dating app over a year ago texted me by mistake when she was in Hawaii two weeks ago. We’ve been talking on and off over that year. Actually met and gone out but nothing clicked enough that anything took root. The mistaken text ended up being a two day light hearted sex free conversation about travel, etc. And enough chemistry that there are roots if not a blossom.

    I had texted her in Vegas asking her out for the weekend.

    Streak over at Day 5 and then escalated from Thursday until Saturday. Worrying about the date. Acting out over created the potential for disaster.

    We went to dinner. She came home with me. I had fapped so much I knew things weren’t going to work. So I spilled my whole mess. The porn, the cheating, the PIED, my fears … she shared some baggage from her life … fuck, we all have it! It’s when we are with women who won’t admit it or who hide it that it becomes so hard to open up to …. Anyway, she ended up spending most of the night …. Nothing worked … Like total overcooked noodle with just no life … but clothes were on the floor and we explored … first time I’ve failed and felt safe.

    We are going out again next week.

    So … taking a breath ..

    We go out next Wednesday … today is day zero … goal is no fap for 9 days … with the date being my focus … I’m sure things will progress and I want to have a chance to respond even a little bit though I realize I’ll likely not but a goal is a goal …

    That said, I realize that getting back on the merry go round horse isn’t going to get me anywhere. I’m tempted as hell tonight to just give in … my fucking addict voice keeps saying “what’s the difference between 8 days and 9 … one more time won’t hurt!”


    One more day won’t matter much except 9 is about the longest I’ve gone this year. And she was so cool about things I want to at least say “hey, likely things won’t work again tonight but we proved we can have fun and I like you enough I’ve 9 days in” …

    I do not know what to do differently.

    I am not drinking. Cleaned up my diet. Back to the gym. Cold showers. Back to meditating. Phone is clean. Work computer has never been a problem. I could list 25 "tricks" to pull to get into hard mode and stay. But then I fail.

    I’m pissed I’ve called my therapist twice to get rescheduled and no call back. Wondering if after 3 years with a similar therapy style it isn’t time to find a certified sex addiction counselor. Wondering what my other options might be. Last time he and I talked he introduced a new treatment that was intriguing but it isn’t going to happen if I don’t get a call back.

    Thinking about seeing a urologist though I know if I get good sleep at about a week I’ll get solid nighttime / early morning wood.

    Thinking the sex counselor because my porn addiction is in a big messy salad that includes sex addiction, performance anxiety and some other things in my head.

    I’ve thought Sexaholics Anonymous but just not sure.

    I’ve looked at going away for a couple of weeks to a Christian retreat center or a therapy center but holy fuck is that expensive and just not in the cards.

    I know the plan. I’ve started it and failed countless times. I’m looking for something different. I know there’s not a silver bullet. But pushing the same stone up the same hill and having it roll to the bottom over and over is just a drag.

    And now that there is an attractive female candidate in the mix I want to give it a better go.

    I’m just exhausted.

    I’m kicking in the old plan. But I’m open to other … additional suggestions … thoughts?

  8. Boxer17

    Boxer17 Active Member

    Hey there RD. Good to hear from you.
    As you said"a goal is a goal". Maybe this good disruption can change things for you and not have it just be making across some finish line only to resume.
    Use this to launch you on a new trajectory! You can do this!!
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Boxer17, I feel good today. Temptation is pulling hard, but I'm not pulling at all.

    I'm so sleepy right now and have work to do. Common move for me at this point in time is to fap one out to wake up (and then I'll fap one out to fall asleep later? this stuff is crazy). But I'm just going to push through. No tugging for me tonight other than the tug of temptation. I am at a solid 24 hours, one day .... and I am going to make 2.

    I am looking for a new approach.

    Repeating myself ... trying to work this out ...

    I am certain that my ED is PIED largely, but I think there is more to it. The "more to it" is why I am still struggling after all these years fighting it.

    I am mostly certain that anxiety, depression and other psychological factors play a role, too. The therapy I've been doing has been skirting the issue not addressing it directly. My therapist and I have talked about this. He is not a sex addiction counselor but has suggested a new therapy that has shown positive effects in sex therapy called ... and this is from bad memory .. ERMD. I'm pissed off that he hasn't returned 3 phone calls that I've left over the last 2 weeks. Unlike him. But adding to the wondering if I should find a different therapist. I'm thinking that a sexual additction therapist with some understanding of the issues related to PIED might be helpful in guiding me on a slightly different path.

    I think that there may be some physical contributions to the mess.

    Three or four days in with zero PMO and I am dreaming and getting morning wood. I don't think the pipes have issues. Yet, I've never been to a urologist and wonder if the effort would be worth it.

    I'm fit fat but overweight. I can not remember the actual numbers but I read awhile ago that for every so many pounds over ideal weight we get there is a % gain in ED likelihood. When I read that and did the math my % likelihood was over 100%.

    My personal doctor weighs over 300 pounds. Not fit fat. Not particularly helpful with the ED issues. It is free samples of cialis or viagra and off I go.

    I don't feel like I have any libido. I'm attracted to women but not sexually. I have zero confidence with women most of the time because of weight, money, ED. Money is starting to sort it self out. Weight I need to address. But I'm about as motivated to deal with that because I know what it means ... cleaner diet and consistently working out ... as I am to not PMO.

    Of course, as I work this through "on paper" I realize my motivation is starting to pool.

    I like this woman I've met. Not love like. I don't think given our respective situations she's the long term choice. She's much younger, wants a family one day. I'm done having kids. She's still in school and looking for something casual, consistent and trusted. I'm working my shit out and while I don't feel available to most women we've clicked. We've been texting on and off for over a year so this isn't some passion pursuit. I'm looking forward to the next date and the potential for a couple of weekend trips NOT playing house some day. And that's enough. More than I've looked forward to socially in a long time.

    Not doing it "for her" but coming to the realization that if there is to be a "her" I have to change things up.

  10. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I can really recommend you to read the last whole page of @Saville 's journal.
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Gilgamesh, thank you for caring enough to comment.
  12. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    It's EMDR. A type of therapy based on eye movements, I've heard it's a good way of uncovering trauma but haven't tried it myself.

    Try not to overthink it. Stop fapping. Aim to stay away from P/dating apps etc for 90 days and the ED issue will resolve itself. You need to give your body and brain that many days in order to reset/reboot. You said you lack confidence with women because of your weight. How about you start doing some exercise daily. Start small and build up each day. You'll get a natural dopamine rush from the exercise and over time you will start to feel better about yourself and your confidence will return.
    Doofus likes this.
  13. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    All good advice. I'll add a couple of things though.

    1. In the beginning of therapy, last fall, my therapist used EMDR on me. I think his theory at the time was that I was suffering from PTSD. During the session in which I did it, I didn't feel much better. But later? I did. Was it because of EMDR? I don't know. I was pretty skeptical about it, but it may work for you. Heck, it may have worked for me!

    2. Just a small caveat to what forlorn wrote: You may find that 90 days is enough. You may find 30 days is enough. But lots of guys (and girls...) need more than 90 days. Just have faith that if you stick with it, you'll get better. And the longer you go the better you'll get.
  14. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    From what I've been told, the reason they say "90 days" is because that's the typical period which research shows is required to 'reset' one's neural pathways.

  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm sitting at a very solid 4 days.

    Part of me wants to toss the counter. I've been reading a lot of success stories both here and nofap as well as some of the declarations of no PMO streaks starting. I read one this morning on nofap where the guy declared he was starting a 270 day streak. Does he schedule a porn binge on day 271. I just want to stop. No make any certain number of days. But I realize the days give us something to focus on and give us a scoreboard to measure success or record failure that lets us learn and adjust.

    Anyway sitting at 4, I only have 3 to go and I'll be at 7, which is the longest streak for the year. I feel extremely confident I'll make that. And there is no porn binge scheduled for day 8!

    I have been frustrated with some of your comments even as I appreciate them.

    I've not been expressing myself well or completely.

    I've been at this for 4 years. I've had streaks in the hundreds of days in that 4 years doing everything that has been suggested. I know the formula.

    The merry go round I feel like I am has been a problem to just get started again. This year I usually fail by day 2 or 3. When I hit 5 days tomorrow, that will represent the second 5 day streak in 3 weeks.

    Everything everyone wrote resonates with the me struggling to just get the streak going. I think I am there.

    I have a longer term struggle on my mind.

    Agree with that. Mostly. At some point because of the way I live my life, the way I'm wired emotionally, or something else, I'll slip. And that slip may not be porn related. But it will lead there. My porn problem is part of a knot that includes severe depression, anxiety, poor self medication choices (that includes porn, drink, food, etc.) and some other things.

    I needed to get started. I think I am. That was a short term merry go round. I feel confident that's behind me. A few consistent mornings with good wood is a great reminder that things will get better.

    I also need ... yes, without overthinking .... how to stay in healthy mode. And that also feels like a merry go round. But it is a much slower spin.

    4 years of the the no PMO formula, the same therapist/therapy technique, the same home routines, etc and I believe something has to change to keep the streak going. Not to get to day 5 but to get past the next hurdle and the next and the next so I stay healthy. If I don't make some real changes to my approach I'm going to be, at some point, be back to day 0 again. I'm good in the short term (I'm going to make 7 days, feel like 30 isn't a huge deal the way I feel right now). Its at day 277 or 315 or whatever when I let things drop because the depression kicks in that I am wanting to change things to avoid.

    My thinking out loud didn't separate those two points.

    And I don't think my internal thinking did either.

    Anyway, off to live a healthy day.

    Doofus likes this.
  16. Doofus

    Doofus Active Member

    First, please be kind to yourself. You're not alone. In fact, I would wager that the overwhelming majority of people either are doing their best to beat this problem, or, have the problem but aren't fighting it because they don't acknowledge it's a problem.

    I've written elsewhere that PMO is a very difficult thing to give up because sex is pretty close to a biological need. Beating this thing is hard for the same reasons that the success rate in beating eating disorders is so low.

    But people have gained control of this. I have two pieces of advice (for myself as well....)

    1. Set attainable goals. They should be challenging, but not impossible. Then, as you attain those goals you can ratchet it up. This is what I'm doing with booze and, in a way, what I did last fall with PMO. I myself fell off the wagon yesterday for many reasons, but, in part, because I may have set unrealistic goals. Or fuzzy ones.

    2. Find a replacement. The other day I watched some videos on reboot nation. In one of them they talk about how many soldiers in Vietnam developed heroin addiction. Understandably. Most, though, when they came home were able to kick that addiction because they plugged back into life (plus they weren't doing the incredibly hard job of soldiering in that war...). There's a famous experiment with rats in which they compared the rate of rat addiction to cocaine between rats in a typical caged environment and that of rats in essentially rat paradise. The rats in rat paradise were significantly less susceptible to addiction.

    Try to think of what sort of permanent changes you can make to put yourself in RD paradise. Dream big. The first step in making significant change in our lives is imagining that change.

    I'll be doing the same.
  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Reset on the counter on a technicality. Ended up going to a porn site, lingering but not watching. With a few thoughtless random tugs I'm resetting.

    I should go back to the use of the spreadsheet b/c that is hardly a big deal but when I say I am porn free I want to be porn free.

    No shame in it like there would be if I'd binged instead of lingering for a few minutes deciding what to do. I made the right decision but I'm still going to be accountable to myself.

    @Doofus, suggested setting attainable goals. I've had a no PMO goal but never defined it which let my lizard brain find loop holes.

    I have been playing around in the gym with a new workout. Dan John, a lifter and coach, has a 40 day workout where you do the same workout every day. Takes about 30 minutes. Routine is my problem. I've done this before. It is simple and highly measurable. Did you lift or not? Yes, or no. I'm going to set up my no PMO goals in parrallel.

    My PMO related goals:

    NO, ZERO, ZILCH porn at all.
    NO dating apps on my phone or online.
    NO porn subs -- erotica and dating apps being the worst of that.
    No PM, No O, but I'm going to give myself a break if I M a bit here and there.
    No edging. A "bit here and there" means just that ...

    My non related supporting PMO goals:

    40 days lifting
    40 days no beer, no whiskey
    40 days keto diet
    1 outdoors "adventure" each week


    Working on a meaningful reward that is healthy.
    Lizard brain suggests installing dating apps and finding a date to test things with ... likely a good rewarding outcome but a lousy way to pursue.
    Still working on the reward.

  18. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Especially like this one! A healthy reward for healthy behaviour :)
  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Today starts my 40 day life changing run ... 40 day workout, 40 day routine of self care, 40 day keto diet and tucked right in there with it a 40 day run with no PMO.

    June 22nd is day 40.

    I struggled yesterday. Spent way too much time thinking. All that thinking coalesced into an "AHA!" moment.

    I don't really want to change.

    While I'm lonely, unhappy, depressed, etc. ... I'm largely content with the fake connections that come from a dating app conversation, the pleasure I get from a session of M, with or without porn ... I'm largely content being a touch overweight and out of shape ... largely content with my apartment even though it is embarrassing to think about someone visiting..

    I spent a lot of time asking "why?".

    Because I'm scared. My last break up hurt like a bitch. I'm scared of success and what that might bring. I'm scared of a relationship. I'm scared of bringing a woman into my life and disappointing her with my ED. Or my poor financial situation. Or being found out that even though I'm a big important executive it feels like I'm a paper tiger because of all of the flaws.

    And here is where the conflict gets crazy.

    I am not content with my contentment. I want to get over the fear. I wish I was fearful of dying at the end of an unfulfilled life. I wish I was fearful of missing things in life. I am not. And I am not content with that.

    Anyway. Day 1 of 40.

    Up on time. Invested the first hour in myself. Meditation. Breakfast. Meds. Shower (cold shower).

    By day 40 I want it to be habit.

    Fish Hawk likes this.
  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Just a thought.

    I've retired from the Rugby pitch. Playing, even last year when I hurt for two weeks after a game, made me feel like a bad ass motherfucker. It kept my swag about me even when things sucked. For a couple hours on a Saturday you'd toss the ball around, bang into some other guys, maybe bleed a little ... and I felt alive.

    I'm done. It is not a fitness thing but a safety thing. Packing down at 54 just doesn't feel safe and when you don't feel safe is the time to stop. If you don't you are likely to hurt you or others.

    Rugby always kept me in the gym even if I wasn't consistent I would push myself when I was there.

    I don't have anything in my life that makes me feel like a bad ass motherfucker.


    Fish Hawk likes this.

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