Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm missing somebody. Nobody in particular. Just feeling very lonely. Missing touch. I am a natural hugger. I enjoy shaking hands. My "love language" is touch.

    I right now have a 10 year old Boston Terrier to touch. And myself. I am not supposed to touch myself.

    But not having another human to touch is cuing me up to touch myself.

    I feel overwhelmed with work, completely distracted by fighting this fucking addiction, lonely and totally disappointed in myself for letting it get out of control even as I work the hardest I've worked in a couple of years to stop it. It's like I'm hanging from a pipe over a big drop and the harder I squeeze on the pipe the weaker my grip gets. I have got to destress and relax a bit b/c all the stress is just magnifying the desire to act out.

    Needless to say today was a pretty fucking horrible day.

    I'm writing this at nearly midnight my time. Going to bed for 4 hours and then getting up to try to make some headway on the work.

    PTO/T-giving in 2 weeks. Tomorrow I'm going to make a plan for that.

    I just ordered a magnetic calendar for my fridge. I'm keeping the counter but I'm going to start using check marks for days with NO PMO and BIG FUCKING RED X's when I slip.

    RD
     
  2. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think if you can find a way to manage the stress and calm your mind when you're overwhelmed, dealing with your problems will be so much easier.
    When you find out how to do that, please let me know what it is, won't you? :cool:
     
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    So far so good today.

    I think I'll make it through the rest of the day.

    RD
     
  4. realness

    realness Active Member

    This reminded me of HALT, hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Common triggers that put us in a weaker position to respond in a healthy way to things around us. You have a few of those going on and some you can't control very much but others you can. Could you add structure to your day so that you're getting the rest that you need? I think we're in different stages of life and structure comes easier for me but I don't appreciate it as much as I should. My young kids get me up early, keep me occupied outside of work, so that I'm forced to plan my leisure time in the evening and being in bed at an ideal time for my physical health. And this naturally improves my spiritual and mental health. This has been a recent change for me though.
     
  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @realness, it is exactly that.

    Or you call it COVID crazy!

    For 6 months of the year I had an ongoing relationship that suddenly ended. Communication is amicable but greatly tapered off. My sons were with me over the Summer until they went back to college in August/September. I've been managing a department that is setting record revenues this year (a blessing all things considered) that until 2 weeks ago was operating 3 people down. We've had two new employees join us in the last 2 weeks with another position being filed shortly. Our team is tight but only together twice a week. I'm a huge extrovert but the whole world is keeping to itself. I have unused PTO and time off scheduled but I have NO idea what I'm going to do with that time. It is depressing to think that anything I'll do I'll end up mostly alone over that PTO time period. Needless to say, I am not doing well in a world that is distanced while living alone.

    When Wendy and I started up I was getting to a point of COVID crazy. I'm also extremely ready to change my environment. I'm in the same place I was in when my disastrous 2016 struck. So I had a taste of "somewhere else" and liked it. I had a taste of "with someone" and liked it.

    It is definitely HALT particularly if the A is for anxiety instead of angry.

    I committed to my therapist that I would transparently write about my struggles. This week I feel back into a routine of dating apps. I started them last week. God I feel so stupid. I'm so lonely and KNOW that they are a toxic place for me. And then on top of that I totally abandoned the no drinking thing. So I all of my angst the last few days has been totally self inflicted.

    I'm on dry ground right now. I had been deleting the apps from my phone but then after going a few hours without them reinstalling them. I found it in me today to realize that I just needed to delete the accounts. I am now totally dating app free. I did that and then took a long afternoon nap. I woke up and door dashed a big meal. I feel like I have my senses about me right now.

    But damn I haven't had them this past week.

    I want to be comfortable being by myself. And I am not.

    Taking the dog for a walk.

    RD
     
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Nice Fall night here. We had a nice walk. Every lamp post in the neighborhood has been properly marked and returned into the ownership inventory of my Boston Terrier, Sully, and I had a good amount of quiet time to think.

    I feel even more settled down.

    @Mozenjo, you know I've been through this before. I'm one of the old men in the old men's group I've been here so long!

    Anyway, there's a technical term and can't quickly google it ... but it is a thing that as you begin to fight against an addiction the addiction gets worse. I forget the term. But I was doing the right things and stepping away from it until I wasn't. That was doubly compounded by the success I had over my relationship with Wendy where I was posting streaks of 30 days or more and then the fall I had coming back home. Then I stepped up and started fighting again but without the structure I needed. The addiction started getting worse as I started building the structure ... and I just fell into the abyss.

    Predictable actually.

    Unfortunately in not remembering that and letting it happen I've set myself up to be even deeper in the hole.

    But I've set some positive structure ..

    Business lunch tomorrow with new employee
    Dinner with son and his girlfriend tomorrow night
    Dinner with my best friend Thursday night -- planned to help me talk through my living situation plans
    Need to shore up the weekend.

    I'm going to be ok.

    Thanks for the comments this week guys ...

    RD
     
  8. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I am enjoying a calm night.

    The lonelier I felt the more I gravitated to the dating apps. After a while the likes weren't coming in fast enough - I am under NO illusions about my popularity as most of them were bots -- and I slid to porn. I was constantly touching myself.

    It would go .. feel anxious or lonely ... dating apps .. not fast enough connections ... erotica ... not enough ... full on porn .. SHAME!

    Apps gone. Tension. Loneliness. Anxiety. "I can handle it!" Dating apps back ... and repeat.

    It has been a week of that.

    I'm mentally exhausted. But I've actually gotten some things done tonight after the walk because I feel calm.

    RD
     
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I had a good night of sleep. I am at the solid 12 hour mark on no PMO. Before bed, I was mildly tempted to crack a bourbon bottle open but had a couple glasses of water instead.

    I woke up in the middle of the night with the craziest of night time wood. But other than noticing it didn't play with it at all.

    Crazy how much bigger and firmer I am when it is just a pure physical response as opposed to it involving my mind.

    RD
     
  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Day 2! Very solid day 2!

    My calendar came yesterday. It is not up on my fridge with a Purple check mark for 11/10 (NO PMO) and 11/11 (NO PMO). Morning ritual is that I get up, walk the dog, make coffee and then CHECK one more day clean!

    As crazy and out of control as I've felt the last week I feel as solid right now.
     
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    3rd check this morning!

    I feel great with where things are. I have my next therapy session on Tuesday, 11/24.

    So my immediate short term goal is to earn another check for tomorrow morning with an intermediate goal of stepping into that session with 14 days of checks built up.

    The check marks are more motivating than the counter. I see them on my fridge numerous times a day while the counter is only something I look at when I am on here.
     
  12. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Keeping a running journal today. I struggle at home even when the day starts off well. So I'm going to keep this up and just visit it as I feel the need.

    -------

    Relaxing work from home day today. Sun is shining. I have a lot of work to do but none of it stressful. No crazy deadlines just a pile of tasks.

    Went out with my best friend last night. He and his wife are selling their house and buying a condo downtown. We walked around that neighborhood hopping craft breweries. It was a planned night out. I'd asked him a couple of weeks ago to be a sounding board for my plans. It is one of the neighborhoods I've got an eye on so it was very motivating to walk around and see what was possible.

    Dinner with my son Wednesday. His treat because "you've been such a great Dad".

    He said something profound. I was talking about making some habit improvements and without knowing it I kept referencing things like "because women want someone who appears established and I've come a long way but I'm not yet established". I don't know how many references to doing me better for the women when he said "DAD! Don't do it for them! Do it for you!" which was followed by a relentless lecture that I could have done without but appreciate.

    -------

    Just took my first cold shower in a long time intentionally to knock back some cravings. I'm sitting here getting work done and the environmental cues are calling me to act out. I can actually see my little calendar from where my desk is in the apartment. Do not want a purple X tomorrow so off to the showers.

    Doug
     
  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Keeping a running journal today. I struggle at home even when the day starts off well. So I'm going to keep this up and just visit it as I feel the need.

    -------

    Relaxing work from home day today. Sun is shining. I have a lot of work to do but none of it stressful. No crazy deadlines just a pile of tasks.

    Went out with my best friend last night. He and his wife are selling their house and buying a condo downtown. We walked around that neighborhood hopping craft breweries. It was a planned night out. I'd asked him a couple of weeks ago to be a sounding board for my plans. It is one of the neighborhoods I've got an eye on so it was very motivating to walk around and see what was possible.

    Dinner with my son Wednesday. His treat because "you've been such a great Dad".

    He said something profound. I was talking about making some habit improvements and without knowing it I kept referencing things like "because women want someone who appears established and I've come a long way but I'm not yet established". I don't know how many references to doing me better for the women when he said "DAD! Don't do it for them! Do it for you!" which was followed by a relentless lecture that I could have done without but appreciate.

    -------

    Just took my first cold shower in a long time intentionally to knock back some cravings. I'm sitting here getting work done and the environmental cues are calling me to act out. I can actually see my little calendar from where my desk is in the apartment. Do not want a purple X tomorrow so off to the showers.

    Doug
     
  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    4 days .. 4 checks on the calendar.

    Hiked this morning with my friends about 6 miles. Took myself out for a big breakfast. Came home and took an awesome shameless nap. Since waking up I'm a little wobbly. Made a list of things I'm going to do to keep myself distracted and productive.

    Weekends are a trap for me. So far so good. But I'm feeling an urge to do the dating app thing b/c I feel lonely. And that is causing a swirl of other temptations. Frankly, laid down for the nap fine but had several vivid dreams of being out on dates or having sex and woke up feeling wobbly.

    So I've got to keep moving.

    RD
     
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    5 days ... yesterday's wobbles have been with me today ... just feel like "just once" wouldn't be such a bad thing ... I think differently. That's what some of this battle is ... using your brain to fight your emotions ...

    I am feeling lonely. And a bit anxious with some things I have to get done for work today. I also am beginning to put together a plan to move. I'm shocked that I might be in that position. I feel uncomfortable because I don't feel like I deserve it.

    And that all rolls up into a bundle that feels emotionally bad. PMO will take that feeling away if only momentarily.

    Feeling bad isn't going to kill me! But I do not feel comfortable feeling lonely, anxious about not getting things done, anxious about all the details of putting a house plan together. I don't feel comfortable feeling like I don't deserve the things I'm working toward.

    So I've been tempted all day.

    No Porn has been easy to avoid. But the other things have been calling my name pretty hard ... dating apps and erotica ...
     
  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Six days.

    I woke up in a total panic this morning. First woke up at 530 and laid in bed worrying about all sorts of things. Finally got out of bed at 630. Temptation was there to act out but I didn't. It was torture laying there. It was also one of the few times I just really mindfully tried to focus on what I was feeling and understand where those feelings were coming from. Why was I having them? No clue. But they were strong.

    I'm pretty certain that I am self sabotaging myself because I don't feel like I deserve what I'm building. The PMO is just one of a number of things I'm doing that is self defeating. I don't know how to stop.

    But this morning I felt the torrent of emotions that I often PMO away. I didn't run from them. Don't know what to do with this.

    RD
     
  17. badger

    badger Member

    i understand about that deep want. have to have a "why". i give myself permission to relapse. all the rest is just rationalizations, excuses. bottom line-i want pleasure. don't want to deal with pain of withdrawal. today i beat it. one more day. this is usually the most-3wks i have gone. hang in there.
     
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    It's been a week. Looking at the week ahead trying to put things together so I don't repeat last week.

    Some context. Met with my therapist almost 3 weeks ago. Firmly set my appointment with him on Tuesday as my chance to hit a 3 week streak. M'd on and off for a few days after that meeting and then found solid ground. Went a solid 7 days and then the flipping world fell apart. 3 14 hours days for work and I was right back into it. Dating apps and porn. Full on. Finally caught myself last night. It was about a 3 day binge.

    I have found that one skill I've picked up over the years is being functional in my addiction. Do just a little bit so it doesn't impact life and that's all good, right? No, it sucks, because it is easy to rationalize from there that just a little bit is ok. That is the trap I am in right now if I'm honest with myself

    But I went from that to full on non-functional for awhile this past week. I stopped and caught my self when the alternator on my car went on the fritz yesterday and I realized how things were going to tumble if I didn't deal with life.

    Some thoughts:

    1. I'm "ok" when I'm not overly stressed. Last week was a full on stress fest. HALT applied all over the place. I just dove in and did nothing to manage it.
    2. I'm best when I have a system that I follow. Most of my life I've had no system. When I moved to Wendy's I gained a system of sorts. School started the day. I walked the dog 4 times a day at regular intervals. Dinner was when practices were over. In two months I had two easy 30 days streaks. Of course, I was getting sexual with Wendy regularly. And things weren't always working but I was seeing improvement.
    3. I struggle to put my own system in. I was getting there over that 7 days but then when the stress bomb went off it went all to hell. My boys are coming home from college tomorrow. We are going to create a system together and I'm going to tell them why. I can't live without routine. I can't build my own routine. Routine gives me guardrails that I desperately need.
    4. I'm ok when life is good. In that mode I want a girlfriend. Even without one I don't go crazy on the apps looking. I am more forward out in the real world, but appropriate and contained. When I'm bad and I feel awful and need one. I hit the needy space this week along with everything else. This want/need thing has to be dealt with.
    5. The dating apps chewed me up this time more than normal. The profiles have so much of a sexual undertone ... see one you like and read, "only financially secure" or "only men who can perform in the bedroom" and I begin to feel ashamed and more frantic.

    Too much stress. No system. Needy. That was last week in a nutshell.

    RD
     
  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Three days in. Feeling solid. That's as much because two of my boys are home from college as it is from my efforts. Between my focusing on being present with them helping me not even need to think about tempting things and the close quarters we have in the townhouse that prevent me from acting out. The work of the week is going to get some basic routines set and change the home environment up a bit.

    My youngest will be with me week on and week off over the Holiday. I want the place to be more livable for us than it is now. And some of those environmental changes will have a lasting impact on me after he goes back to school.

    I'm up this morning thinking with my first cup of coffee. Alone, I would be thinking about not having a woman in my life. That would morph into anxiety about money, living space, and a bunch of other things. That would change into temptation to either act out and PMO or into temptation to go looking for her which would lead to dating apps and ultimately acting out. Sometimes it triggers both.

    With the boys here -- both are sleeping in the living room where we crashed watching movies last night -- I am neither alone nor lonely. It is quietly raining. I can hear the rain, the furnace and nothing else. It feels so peaceful. My life is no different right now -- I have the same job, same bank account, same townhouse I want to move from, etc. -- but their presence gives me great peace.

    I want to find at least some of that peace when I'm by myself. I don't know how to do that.

    RD
     
  20. badger

    badger Member

    I been doing a great deal of writing when alone. I just get a pen and start writing in a notebook. stream of consciousness-whatever comes to mind. I write what I'm feeling, what I am fearing, look outside myself and look at myself. then I try to think/meditate of my childhood and how I came upon these fears and or feelings. what action can I take today to whittle down those fears and emotions. for me action first then feelings will follow. just my 2 cents. hang in there.
     

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