Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by ruggerdoug, Jul 31, 2014.
That's an important awareness, RD. Good for you
I can’t sleep. 3:45 in the morning. Hiking later this morning so I really need to go to sleep but I’m just laying awake in bed. My mind is on everything and nothing. I meditated for a while and it has not helped. Earlier tonight that unfortunately created a reset event for me.
I think I need to go back to a counselor. It helps so much to journal here and all of this hiking with my friends has turned our conversations into unusually intimate male conversations. But I need somebody that’s totally objective to help me sort some of this out I think.
Atomic habits came the other day. I think I’m going to sit someplace quiet and read it for a while.
It's good that you posted here. I agree online support definitely helps, but maybe not as much as support in meat space. I say maybe because telling anyone in real life is still a step I have been unwilling to take.
I hope the hiking goes well.
Hiked 2 hours with my friends yesterday morning. Talked some things through. But that kind of talk is better one-on-one. We hike and talk which means we talk things out but we roll from topic to topic pretty quickly. Grabbing dinner with the one guy in the group who is my best friend next week.
This -- my porn addiction -- didn't make the trail. Two of the guys know but they don't know details.
@postiveef, I divorced in 2016. First came here well before the divorce. I was an absolute wreck. Binge entire days away at the office (I was owner and all employees worked remote). Do the same at home at night "working late". My marriage was a problem before porn but the porn finished it off. Damn near killed my company and my finances. Both guys that I hike with that know were told because my ex played the victim and told their wives, who were best friends at the time. I came clean with the guys. End result -- there's more to it -- is that my friends wives told my ex she should stand by me and help love me through it. She chose another path and those friendships severed.
I also told my sons as we were divorcing. Part of it, I admit, was defensive. I wanted them to hear it from me and not their mom. But it was cathartic. I think it helped them with the topic, too. And they rode the divorce out on "team Dad".
Having so many people know was at some level shameful and humiliating. And I did lose some neighborhood friends from what my wife shared. But in the end the people who really cared for me stood by me in the darkest times. And just last week aroud the campfire the guys were all talking about how obviously far I've come -- not a reference to just porn but to the entire mess I was and created.
I advocate telling but being very thoughtful about it.
@postiveef, thank you for the comment and good luck to you in this fight!
Yesterday was a good day until it wasn't.
Hiked. Bought a new lamp for my bedroom. Did some chores. Worked out. At healthy. That was the plan for the day and I did all that.
I also rationalized myself earlier in the week to jump back into the dating apps. I had connected with a woman in the Spring after a work function through LinkedIn. It was weak ass flirting right before I met Wendy. It went no where. She reached out the week after Wendy and I turned things down to "check on me through COVID". Long story short we had a drink. It was more exciting until we met. Turns out my sons and hers are friends. She's nice but not for me. Given her text backs after the date I'm the same to her. No big deal but I did shoot my shot.
There is an abundance of available women in the world after all and many of them fit me. Fact.
All I need to do is have a way to meet them. Fact AND Rationalization.
So there I went slowly adding all the usual suspects to my phone.
And the craziness began. Slowly but it began.
For a while it just was swiping, connecting and talking. But as the swipes and the connections climbed so did the sexual tension. Some of the "girls" are bots. Some of the "girls" are content creators. You think you are talking to a perfectly normal woman and the next thing you know you've got a couple nudes in your face offering you a chance to pay for more (I didn't/never have). And then in that environment a woman who you can be talking to for days just ghosts or disconnects. Twice in the under two weeks I've had dates to meet set up and then they ghosted. Eventually the tension got to be too much and I was stressing / enjoying it all through M. It turned into a fight mid-week. By yesterday it became near binge like. Amazingly I got my list done but I wasted so much of my day.
Woke up this morning and it all started again.
Got up. Walked dog. Made coffee. Deleted all the apps. Came here to work it out.
I have a plan. I've worked some of it out here in front of everyone.
The fitness part of it is at least working. That's easier. Act fit -- workout, eat right, don't drink much, walk a lot, be active, etc. - is changing right now. A week of that and I've lost a few pounds and feel better. Easy peasy. Just keep doing that and I won't have to act fit for long.
The relationship one is harder because I have to start with nothing. To meet the vision of myself of being sexually healthy by myself I have to embrace being by myself. I do not like that. I've had two month long streaks this year. Both were with Wendy. This past 3 weeks show how dependent I was on that relationship to give me a foundation for the streaks. To be that sexually healthy man in a relationship I can't need the relationship for abstain from PMO (actually my issue is mostly M but porn creeps its way in).
Those are my two "identity goals" at the moment.
Fitness is a list of dos. Do workout. Do eat right.
Sexual health ... the way I'm thinking of it .. is a list of don't. Don't dating apps. Don't porn. Don't M. I need to find another way to think about it at the very least.
Every single time I've made serious progress in fighting this I've committed to the plan and then seen it run into obstacles. Self sabotage. But in those times I've progressed I've accepted how I'm getting in my own way and make adjustments.
I want to be sexually healthy and capable of being sexually involved in a relationship with a woman as the confident sexual partner I used to be.
I want to enjoy the euphoria of sex a few times a week with a woman I love which I know is far more satisfying than having sex with myself several times a day.
I want to have the strength to remember that thought when my feelings in the moment give me all sorts of reasons to just have sex with myself.
I want to stop getting in my own way.
Horrible night. Could not sleep and when I did I had crazy dreams bordering on nightmares.
From experience that is a sign that I'm moving forward. This week will bring with it -- hopefully -- the beginnings of a good flatline which should reduce urges some. At the end of the week -- around day 5 -- I'm going to get the urge to test. None of that matters though is all I need to do today is to make it to bed tonight without PMO.
Well, that's it in a nutshell! I'm with ya, bud.
Committed today to the 100 day Spartan challenge on Nofap.
I've had a good day. I'll make it to bed without touching which was the goal.
I fear the weekends. I don't have to manage the next one for 5 days. Need to pack it in with things to do.
But for now I need to focus on now.
I know there an "other side" to this for me. I've been there, briefly, before.
I am wanting to try something different to shake things up a bit. The book Atomic Habits is helping. I want to change my environment and know that will help.
I feel that my ED is not all PIED. I am going to set a doctor's appointment and a counseling appointment this week and attack the physical problem and the mental problem (I think it is this b/c just a few days of abstinence and I get morning wood).
I've been searching alternative ED and sexual dysfunction therapies. I'm going to start meditating in earnest again tonight after the gym. I've been reading about hypnosis and its positive effects on sexual dysfunction and compulsive behavior. I read the web sites of some of the practitioners and they see so out there. I don't know how to evaluate them. And I'm not sure what other treatments there might be. Only looking to augment what I'm doing b/c just that is like a merry go round - I keep coming back to the same place.
1 day. Actually pretty solid 1st day. Woke up with wood when I was anticipating -- hoping -- for the start of flatline. Think it was the combination of sleep (sleeping better with CPAP) and the fact that I've been working out consistently. Last night had a great lift. It's been ten days and both strength and work capacity are coming back.
Was solid monk yesterday. Morning conditions challenged the monk yet here I am sitting at work / kitchen table just fine.
The sexual urge that came with discovering the wood is still hanging around. My first action if it gets too bad is cold shower.
Good. Get past whatever urges are there and move into your day doing what you really want to do. You have an impressive checklist of goals, and making progress on them while staying clean will give you more strength.
@Moz, it is the other way around. Focusing on the goals is giving me the strength to stay clean.
I'm particularly bolstered by the time back in the gym. I've lost a couple of pounds, getting strength back, able to workout longer ... but when I'm not in the gym that keeps me on the straight and narrow ... I was tempted to run to the store last night and grab a six pack but didn't ... had I had the six pack I would done some combination of P M O and then felt like shit this morning and done it again .... instead I woke up with some morning wood and my feet hit the floor carrying a confident man ...
That said ... I'm keeping a running journal today as thoughts pop .... pretty wild what I'm seeing as I journal ... I'm going to post the whole mess tonight ... came in here hoping someone (thank you @moz) would pop in. Just need the connection. Zoom meeting in 10 and not enough time to cold shower through this.
Your comment was the cold shower .... thanks!
Just back from the gym. Leg day. The leg room is off the main room with 6 racks and some other gear. Every single station was full. Petri dish! So I just rowed 30 minutes and checked the box.
Today was interesting.
Kept a running commentary as I worked on the things that crossed my mind.
I'll finish today positioned to claim Day 2 tomorrow but it was difficult. Fortunately I stayed mindful of why it was difficult and worked through it.
More so I can come back to it sometime here are the thoughts from the commentary:
Even with 1 day of abstinence I notice a calming of my sexual thoughts. They are still there but they are not as dark and taboo ridden as they are when I'm actively PMOing. I'm a monk but I'm a dirty minded monk! But the dirty thoughts have both receded in volume and intensity.
Why is it that I have such a fascination with age gap dating? Alicia was 29 and I was 48 when I met her. I've connected through apps -- I'm approached more than I approach --- with younger women and go out. Sometimes the gap is socially unacceptable. Alicia was borderline at best. Why? I don't know why.
I miss the texting and calls throughout the day from Wendy IN PART because they push whatever button dating apps or quick peeks at stuff I shouldn't look at. Like a brief venting of steam. I miss the connection, too, but I just stopped myself from texting her when I realized the feeling that pushed me to text was the same feeling that pushes me to look at a dating app when I am using them.
I’m trying to get a to do list of things done today. I'm being constantly interrupted with non-essential emails from my team members. With each new non-essential message my stress is rising as is the temptation to vent it with PMO
This rolling journal is insightful.
Day 2. Struggling a bit. Wood again last night. Woke up with my hands on myself. When I was wide-awake and thinking I stopped.Not killing the streak b/c of an unconscious habit. Just realize I always have to be mindful. COVID adds an element to this. ZOOMing all day with people is not the same as personal contact. That is increasing the urge to text Wendy, download apps, text old g/f's ... I'm making it day to day but I'm a pretty tempted monk.
Good news! Stepped on the scale .. 257 which means I've dropped 5 as my "official" starting weight was 262 though I had peaked a few weeks ago at 267. The old wrestler in me knows I float about 5 pounds of water after a pizza and I'm not going to celebrate peeing my weight off!
The positive focus on fitness is helping everything else.
CPAP making a difference, too. I attribute the morning wood as much to good sleep as I do no PMO. It wasn't happening with PMO but that it popped up (as always the puns write themselves!) quickly because my sleep has improved so much. That's helping the weight loss. The other positive as I think this morning about good news is that with the CPAP I am sleeping longer and better which is translating into fewer naps. Laying down during the day for a nap is setting the table for a PMO session. Less naps means less temptation. Really changing my environment. And because I'm not napping when I'm tired at night I am TIRED ... and so I'm going to bed earlier also removing chances of doing something dumb.
On to day 3!
Yes, Day 3 it is. We made it past some dicey moments, which is all too common in these first couple of days. So we forge ahead with the knowledge that we've done this before (getting through the first week anyway), and that we can do it again. If you're like me, and feel like a pinball sometimes, being batted around by life's paddles, just roll with it. It's just life. We all get batted around. We can deal with it.
I am so intent on finally digging this fucking thing out of me ... I am a porn addict and an ED sufferer. It isn't all about the erection but it certainly is a big part. If I could get an erection consistently, I likely would change nothing in my life. Lots o things in my life need to change and some of them go much deeper than my plumbing. But to keep my eyes on the ED problem motivates to fix the other things.
That said, I posted this in another forum:
For those that read my journal and know me a bit:
I am a porn addict and have serious PIED that begins to subside if I can get to a 90 day milestone (begins improving at 30).
I had ED and ejaculated prematurely the night I almost lost my virginity when I was 17. I had been masturbating for a few years before that. That failure and others after it, I think, weren't just porn related or M related but "in my head".
I'm low T (being treated), overweight (working on it), sleep deprived (CPAP on the nightstand and working on it) and depressed (lifelong thing). All 4 of those are ED contributors.
I am a regular drinker (on sabbatical for at least 30 days). Regular alcohol use is an ED contributor.
I am in a high stress job and have never learned to effectively keep stress contained. That is an ED contributor.
I'm focused on the 90 days, have done it before and am confident I'll hit it. But I am also knowledgeable enough about my situation that I won't completely cure the ED unless my treatment includes the physical, the mental and the environmental.
Are others like this? What else are you doing to treat it beyond just the no PMO abstinence? And I am particularly talking about outside help. I'm meditating, eating right, working out, cutting bad things out of my life, etc.
Fuck you addiction, I am at 3 days.
Learned some things today I am not exactly happy about knowing that I had to learn. I guess that doesn't really matter. I needed to learn them.
1. There is no feeling more lonely when you clean out your phone for apps and pics that are counter to your aim of being porn free. I was surprised at the shit I had saved a long long time ago that I hadn't looked at in a long while. It was if I was saving pics to capture souls. Eww. Anyway, phone is clean. And I feel lonely. Lonely because two dimensional images at one point spiked an emotional response in me that I felt something beyond them being 2-dimensional pictures and not real women.And now they are gone. And there are now ZERO multi dimensional, 3D real women that fit that bill in my life. Good news the crap is gone. Interesting that even though I didn't know they were there ... did not look at them ... I'm feeling a sense of loss at the deletions. FUCK YOU ADDICTION.
2. Alcohol is part of my problem. Meaning both ED and as a PMO gateway. I am allowing myself one cheat a week as long as it is a social drink or a work drink. Plan was to hold to 2. I have 4. Came home and killed two more from the fridge. Went to bed. Woke up woodless this morning. Everyday this week, even when I would normally expect it to to take awhile I've had wood except the morning after I drank too much. I thought about PMO this morning and actually reached for the phone but remembered I'd cleaned it. And then I remembered why I cleaned it. I'm depressed this morning and still feeling the desire to tug one out to sate the depression. Not going to do that. I also feel like crap. Not hungover. Just after eating clean for 10 days feeling like I loaded up the temple with a fraternity party.
Went to the office today. Would have been bad had I not. Seriously feeling lonely after the clean up. I didn't know some of those pics where on there. Yet, after finding them in the camera roll and deleting them and not having any active dating apps I feel totally alone ... cut off.
It is not a good feeling but it is the feeling I need.
I feel a sense of loss from deleting pictures. Emotionally I feel those pics as pics. They are not. The girls/women in them are but I did not know those girls or women (and before anyone freaks out by girls I mean women .. I am a neanderthal but not a pedophile!) as I delete them feel like I am losing a family member.
There is no real loss.
Ready for the weekend!
Purging old photos is not a "real" loss, of course, but I know that feeling well. We spent lots of time obsessing over some of them, and we got attached to them. So it's a loss of something we did to compensate for reality.
That's exactly why giving up internet porn feels the same way. Good riddance!
@moz, it has not been just old photos. It was sexting texts from two years ago, some with pics in them. Some apps on my phone. It has been a big "Spring" cleaning of a lot of digital breadcrumbs from my addiction.
Yes, you mourn the lost of pics and such. It's a natural part of the healing process actually. Though it is pretty effed up.
This - not just doing it but that I am doing it mostly without hesitation -- is a sign that I'm really committed this time. That gives me confidence. The last time I was REALLY committed was 4 years ago when I thought I could win Alicia back. Since then I've had long streaks that were pornless but not streaks that included no P subs or other unhealthy behavior.
And I'm doing it for me this time not for someone else.
I've had some crazy ass dreams lately too. That has for me been a sign of healing as well.
Called my long time counselor last week to set up an appointment.
I'm thinking that I need help in this.
I'm doing ok with no PMO. And I'm cleaning things up on my own.
But mentally I have not totally dealt with the the mental health issues (e.g. depression, etc.) that make this more difficult.
Also I think my ED has a mental component that isn't going to be "cured" by abstinence. For one thing I've had enough limp dick moments sexually that will always be in the back of my mind. For another I think performance anxiety and stress wreak their own havoc on my system.
Physically I'm not at my best either. I'm losing weight, cutting drink down, eating a low inflammation diet, dealing with the sleep issue but I'm not sure I'm doing everything in that department either.
My Dad is 83. I'm 55. I certainly don't want to live another 30 years of life with a limp dick and I'm going to bomb the shit out of this thing.
But I'm not sure where to go or what to do. I'm not sure Frank (my therapist) is the one to help me deal with some of my sexual "things" but I'm confident that he can help me organize things to attack this.
i have not told anyone. i think my wife may suspect it due to my ED. did this in step 5 in AA. sat with another human being and told him all my defects of character. have done that step multiple times. never kept me sober. been sober 17yrs now. mainly on my own. read Rational Recovery and made a lot of sense to me. anyway, have tried to apply 12 steps to porn addiction-has not helped. day 6 today with no pmo. have gone up to 3wks. new on the forum. very informative and supportive. thank you
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