Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    Good job on writing out your insights to do with your dating proclivity. I think that even without a sex partner it's possible to go no PMO, though it's not easy.
     
  2. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @nuclpow, not only is it possible to go no PMO with a sex partner but I've done it before.

    I've been working on this for years as @Mozenjo will tell you.

    When I started I would binge for hours during the day, hours into the night. It impacted relationships, my business, finances, health -- it was toxic to nearly everything in my life. I would fap and miss meetings or be super late. I would be late to my kids events. I was in a constant fog and felt like a giant fraud in life. I lied all the time because the truth was that whatever the question was the answer was usually "because I was fapping instead".

    Today, I have more than my fair share of healthy relationships -- particularly with my sons who know of my addiction and whose connection to me was somehow not permanently effected by where I was 5-8 years ago. I have several best friends that I hike with weekly, backpack with at least 3 times a year and have deep conversations with routinely. I have 3 female colleagues at work that I am close with .. close enough that 2 of them and I have friendships that are outside of work that are non-sexual which is huge because "then" a woman for me was nothing but sex object. My finances are getting into order. My professional career is booming. I tell the truth even when I don't like it. This change in me has been noted by my sons, my friends and my boss (one of the 3 women colleagues). My friends and my boys know why. My boss does not but sees the difference from then until now.

    Yet I PMO just enough that I have PIED (didn't 6-8 years ago when the addiction was at its high point) and just enough that I know that while I'm healthy in a lot of my life I'm not healthy emotionally, spiritually or mentally. More healthy than I was but certainly not healthy. And that poor health -- particularly the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect -- creates a moat around me and any potential romantic relationship.

    Where I am right now feels safe and comfortable. I want to share my life with a woman but I don't want to take the risk of losing her. It has hurt deeply and badly when I've lost before. And I don't want to go through that again. I am confident about many things in my life but I am not confident that the next woman I bring into my life won't leave me.

    PMO in my life right now is a choice I make to keep the moat deep and filled with water, uncrossable. Sometimes it fills the void of being lonely. Sometimes it takes the edge off of stress. Sometimes it helps me go to sleep. But mostly it keeps me in a mindset when I meet a woman of "why bother you can't get it up". And so I say NO for her without her even knowing there's a question.

    And I add to her NO by keeping my apartment in disarray and my belly a bit too fat. I'm a pretty handsome guy at 220 and get hit on all the time. I feel safe north of 250. I'm 265 right now.

    And @nuclpow writing out those insights and the work I've done in therapy got me to this moment. I didn't know the words above were in me until I started to journal today.

    More to think about.

    I usually spend time asking "how do I stop PMOing" but it appears as if the real question is " how do I get myself to where I feel safe to take a relationship risk again".

    When I was in a strong positive relationship 4-5 years ago is when I cleaned most of my act up. That breakup was the last sting. Until I can feel safe again with a relationship the merry go round is going to continue.

    RD
     
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I set a rule for myself about a week ago that I wouldn't do any client work over a weekend. I would do strategic stuff or take training classes or read, but I would not work on client projects. Keep the work between the weekends.

    Last weekend I spent most of Sunday buying food to food prep. And I've had some good meals over the past week, have a bunch of meals pre made and in the freezer and ate healthier. I'm ahead of the meal game and don't have to grocery shop at all this weekend (NOTE TO SELF: But Coffee!).

    I can cook. I can pause a training video and play with the dog. I can take a drive with the heater on blast and the sunroof open. I can row for 10 minutes. I can do nothing. I can do any of those things and ponder life and how I'm feeling.

    I'm going to have to break the client work rule today. But I started the morning as if it was in place. I'm enjoying the first coffee of the day. Last night I spent a lot of time thinking.

    Huge conclusion.

    Much of my "improvement" talk on here and in real life has been about getting put together enough to be attractive to a woman. But then much of my effort in those improvement areas as been subconsciously / intentionally fighting it. The list of things that I must improve, including stopping PMO and ridding my life of PIED, has always been long and complicated. Impossible. But just right in their unattainability because I've discovered I'm not really motivated by the "improve me - find her" approach.

    Kind of been a "hey look at me! I'm trying really hard because of got this long list of things that I have to work on!" And then not do most of it because the list is ridiculous.

    So here's the new plan.

    I want to be healthy. Most of the things in my life are in pretty good shape, some in great shape and some could improve a bit.

    For the most part I like the me those things represent.

    But there a few things that limit me and I want to change them.

    • I want to be fit. I am not fit. I want to be fit because I'm backpacking this Summer in Montana. I will have a miserable time at altitude at 265 pounds. I will be the slow fat guy instead of the slow strong guy (not going to fix the slow!). There are other reasons for my being fit. I only need one to motivate me. I feel like I look pretty awesome around 220. I have some swagger around that weight. I'm sure the ladies will notice, but I'm not doing it for that. I want to get fit so I don't lay in my tent early evening on a mountainside in Montana, sore, sad that I slowed the trip down and dreading the work on the trail the next day.
    • I want to stop PMOing. It feels good. But it also feels shameful afterward. I don't want to feel like I'm kind of a man and that's how it makes me feel when I'm constantly doing it (1 x per day is my constant now so that is a relative term). Sure if I meet someone I won't have to worry as much about PIED but I'm doing it for that reason. I'm doing it because I don't like feeling the shame of meeting a woman in public and thinking she's attractive but I can't have her because I'm going to disappoint. I don't like feeling quiet shame 30 minutes after I've fapped. I don't like feeling fat and out of shape and fapping to make that bad feeling go away. I don't like avoiding talking to a woman when I'm out and about because I feel that shame. I want the shame to go away and my masculinity to fully come back. I know how strong and healthy I feel when I wake up with morning wood. Right now I use that to knock myself back down. I know what it feels like to resist the urge, get out of bed and attack the day instead of rubbing one out and starting the day ashamed of myself.
    • I want to balance work and life better. Because -- and, yes, I get the irony -- because I will be more productive when I work. Two weekends mostly under the no client facing work rule has been and I feel better about life. I've relaxed. And I've been more "on it" during work. Yes, there are other reasons to now work so much. And benefits tied to those reasons will certainly show themselves. But I don't care about them. I work hard, always have. I am at the top of my profession and enjoy it. I want to climb more. But where I am I have to relax to keep climbing. When I look at my successful peers they work less, think more, leverage others to get things done -- and live balanced lives.
    • I want my apartment to be comfortable for my sons to come over. They come over regardless but I'm embarrassed sometimes by the clutter and disarray. I'll always be a little cluttered but last nights dishes don't have be in the sink from 5 nights ago. And the clean laundry doesn't have to be piled up on the living room chair. I'm not going to turn this place into a place to entertain friends but I can at least turn it into something that doesn't feed my shame when my boys come over. I plan on having a nicer place when I move so if nothing else the habits that need changed might stick in the new place. Again, other benefits for sure. But the narrow purpose is motivating while the broader "clean it up for "her"" did nothing for me.
    • I want to change my environment. It is time to start planning a move but that is 4 months away. Going to go quickly but I have the time to do it right.

    And that's it.
    1. Get fit.
    2. Stop PMOing.
    3. Balance work & life
    4. Clean apartment
    5. Move
    And frankly in that order.

    The rest will work itself out. And once I work these things out I'll certainly find more.
     
  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Ok. Not a perfect day yesterday. But I just finished a real lift. I moved my weights into the living room from the garage. It now looks like I live in a garage! But it is too cold out to lift. I have a gym across the street but their hours are reduced with COVID. With it set up in the house I have ZERO excuses. I'd prefer to go across the street but with it staring at me all the time I'm less apt to not do it.

    Workout I've committed to is to lift 4 days 2 on, 1 off, 2 days on, rest and then to row or walk at least an hour total every day. That includes the times I walk the dog. Easy peasy. If I just put the time in I'll get myself fit again.

    I feel very good about myself right now.

    It feels good to get a good pump.
    My workout plan is not some crazy out of this world unattainable workout. The lift took about 30 minutes and then I rowed 10 minutes as a finisher. And called it done for the night. It is a sustainable, attainable plan. Not my usual!

    I really feel like today is my Day 0.

    We shall see how things go.

    RD
     
  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    When the "snow" makes a sound hitting the slider window you know it is a night to stay in!

    Getting ready to lift. Today has been the easiest no PMO day I've had in a long time.

    I feel as if I've made some important discoveries. And admitted some things to myself, importantly. Those are two different things but doing both has put me into a good place.

    I don't want a relationship. I'm comfortable by myself. I do feel awkward at times -- judged -- for not having a relationship. I felt left out when couples would get together pre COVID. I used to think I had to turn down an invitation to events because I didn't have a date. Certainly not a "confirmed bachelor" here!

    I do sometimes feel lonely. And those are dangerous times for me. But where I am in life I'm just not interested in compromising and letting a woman in my space. My middle son surprised me Friday afternoon by coming home from college. He was in town to see friends and dropped by my place to say hello. Drove me nuts! Miss him terribly b/c he is so fun to have around when we are living together. But I had my whole day planned out and his showing up screwed up my day.

    Get off my lawn!

    I sound like a grumpy old man. I was able to relax when and enjoy him. Same when my oldest dropped by Sunday. Turns out they are all worried about Dad being on his own.

    My point is that I just don't feel I have the emotional space in my life right now. I do feel like the therapy has helped make huge progress since December.

    I feel like I am getting to the core source of all of "this" .. my drive to PMO, if not just M a lot, as well as a number of other emotional things ....
     
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    When the "snow" makes a sound hitting the slider window you know it is a night to stay in!

    Getting ready to lift. Today has been the easiest no PMO day I've had in a long time.

    I feel as if I've made some important discoveries. And admitted some things to myself, importantly. Those are two different things but doing both has put me into a good place.

    I don't want a relationship. I'm comfortable by myself. I do feel awkward at times -- judged -- for not having a relationship. I felt left out when couples would get together pre COVID. I used to think I had to turn down an invitation to events because I didn't have a date. Certainly not a "confirmed bachelor" here!

    I do sometimes feel lonely. And those are dangerous times for me. But where I am in life I'm just not interested in compromising and letting a woman in my space. My middle son surprised me Friday afternoon by coming home from college. He was in town to see friends and dropped by my place to say hello. Drove me nuts! Miss him terribly b/c he is so fun to have around when we are living together. But I had my whole day planned out and his showing up screwed up my day.

    Get off my lawn!

    I sound like a grumpy old man. I was able to relax when and enjoy him. Same when my oldest dropped by Sunday. Turns out they are all worried about Dad being on his own.

    My point is that I just don't feel I have the emotional space in my life right now. I do feel like the therapy has helped make huge progress since December.

    I feel like I am getting to the core source of all of "this" .. my drive to PMO, if not just M a lot, as well as a number of other emotional things ....
     
  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Good day. At 3 days.

    Just finished my workout. That's 4 days on the workout program.

    Last night went for a Fat Tuesday beer with my hiking / backpacking friends.

    We all committed to a 40 day Lent health/fitness/spiritual focus:

    · Weigh yourself tomorrow morning
    · Commit to no alcohol
    · Commit to not eat any sweets
    · Commit to not eat in between 7pm and 7am
    · Commit to a minimum of 40 minutes of working out each day
    · Commit to eating healthy ( not going to set standards on this)
    · Commit to minimum of 40 min of reading/meditation every day
    · Commit to a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each day
    · Commit to no online social media
    · Weigh yourself on Easter Morning

    I'll have all of them helping with accountability. The timing is perfect.

    Sleep and beer will be the biggest challenges.

    My definition of social media includes porn.

    Anyway so starts the 40 day challenge.

    RD
     
  8. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Not a perfect 4 days but a 4 day mark that overall much healthier than I've been. Two days into the 40 day challenge with a 2 day head start on my buddies.

    I'm still struggling with two opposing viewpoints:

    1. I accept that right now I am comfortable alone and by myself. Any attempt to go out, meet women, etc. falls into the PMO zone b/c I truly don't feel open to sharing my life right now. I get on dating apps for the porn like rush even if I don't M. I text old connections for the same reason. I'm not really looking for someone even as that bad suggests the motions of looking for someone. Like a dog that catches one of the cars he chases I'm not sure what I'd do if I caught her right now. I'm better off not catching her!
    2. I feel lonely and isolated.

    I kind of lazily slide back and forth between those two points though I spend more time at #1 than at #2. Either point -- feeling lonely and isolated or going through the motions of looking (I guess that is an outcome of feeling lonely and isolated) ...

    Mind change .. feeling lonely and isolated or going through the motions of looking for someone I don't want to catch trigger PMO at worst but usually just out of bounds touching.

    I am working on learning how to be ok with the current state that I've accepted as right for where I am in life right now.

    RD
     
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Hiked 90 minutes this morning. Door dashed a fancy breakfast as a reward.

    Busy season for work. Report to write and issue today. But also plans to break the day up with a lift and a row.

    I've lost 6 pounds since starting this challenge.

    Reset last night. Couldn't sleep. CPAP was working more like CRAP so I turned it off and gave in. Slept.

    Focus for the weekend is to not totally get sucked into work, move at least 3 times today and tomorrow. To me that means significant exercise. Today I have a 45 minute lift and 30ish minutes on the rower. Tomorrow lift, row and if we get some melt walk the dog long.

    To help with the move goal if I feel tempted to FAP I'm going to row 5 minutes.

    Have a good weekend.
     
    Mozenjo and nuclpow like this.
  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I am not in a good place mentally.

    I had a good Saturday. And then depression set in Saturday night and it is still with me. Much of it is caused by the isolation of the pandemic. Some of it, I'm sure, is also part of the after effects of having had COVID.

    Not much to say.

    Therapy tomorrow.

    Up late can't sleep.

    I feel stuck.

    RD
     
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Therapy in a few minutes. Slept terribly last night. Woke up anxious about the work I have today. Running on day 3 of this depression storm. Trying to collect my thoughts.
     
  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Ride through this storm, Rugger. I hope it passes soon. Anxiety throws me for a loop too. Stay away from PMO; as you know, it will not help. Wishing you well today.
     
  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Still kind of stuck. But made some good progress today with therapy.

    Theoretically I've known this but not KNOWN this. But I have negative core beliefs that get in my way. I finally got that today. So partially unstuck.

    And as we talked through what's been going on in my life ... last week went from being focused on the Lent challenge with my friends, working out where I was moving forward to a complete dump into depression over the weekend that has still not dissipated.

    Pretty obvious -- and it's cliche -- self sabotage.

    We are going to start EDMR next session and start to work to the core.

    The hardest thing for me is finding that core belief that is the core.

    I don't deserve it. I'm not enough. Both compete for the prize.

    I went to head space last night for 30 minutes. Just the one long session helped. I AM getting in touch with these deep feelings. I just don't have a complete picture or understand them.

    I do understand their impact on my life. And on PMO. I'm not PMOing like I used to. I'm handling stress much better. But I am still PMOing. And it feels accurate that I am choosing to do it to keep that wall up. I meet a woman and say to myself "she's attractive but won't be interested in me b/c I can't get it up". Self sabotage.

    The depression is fading. Hate it. But I learned a lot from this round. Not sure what I'm going to do with it. Or rather not what to do with it!

    RD
     
  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Still kind of stuck. But made some good progress today with therapy.

    Theoretically I've known this but not KNOWN this. But I have negative core beliefs that get in my way. I finally got that today. So partially unstuck.

    And as we talked through what's been going on in my life ... last week went from being focused on the Lent challenge with my friends, working out where I was moving forward to a complete dump into depression over the weekend that has still not dissipated.

    Pretty obvious -- and it's cliche -- self sabotage.

    We are going to start EDMR next session and start to work to the core.

    The hardest thing for me is finding that core belief that is the core.

    I don't deserve it. I'm not enough. Both compete for the prize.

    I went to head space last night for 30 minutes. Just the one long session helped. I AM getting in touch with these deep feelings. I just don't have a complete picture or understand them.

    I do understand their impact on my life. And on PMO. I'm not PMOing like I used to. I'm handling stress much better. But I am still PMOing. And it feels accurate that I am choosing to do it to keep that wall up. I meet a woman and say to myself "she's attractive but won't be interested in me b/c I can't get it up". Self sabotage.

    The depression is fading. Hate it. But I learned a lot from this round. Not sure what I'm going to do with it. Or rather not what to do with it!

    RD
     
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I have definitely found the negative core belief that has fueled much of my addiction, negative behavior and self-sabotage.

    I feel deeply that I don't deserve a happy life, a healthy relationship, a fit body, a nice place to live -- I'm sad typing it but that is how and feel and that is what drives all this mess subconsciously.

    It has been a perfect storm -- in a good way -- COVID isolation provided good quiet time with myself, my picking therapy back up, this Lenten challenge with my friends and the obvious self sabotage over last weekend -- that has shown a light on it.

    I feel I know part of the why I feel that way but not completely. That is the work I'm doing right now.

    I wish I could take work off and just focus on this. I may need to take a few "mental health days" off. But I'm not sure what I would do at this point to work on it if I did take the days off.

    I don't think it is as simple as saying "Nope! You're wrong Rugger Doug you do deserve it!" and then I'm fixed.

    I know I deserve it but I do not feel it.

    RD
     
    nuclpow likes this.
  16. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    We can tell ourselves what we know in our hearts to be true (that we are worthy of all the good things life has to offer), but negative self-talk is still there. I could have the best day ever, and then the negativity shows up that night in a dream, where I am failing at something one way or another. It's subconscious sabotage, and I'm also not sure how to stop it. But I will say that some of those dreams have centered around my failure to stop this nasty habit we are trying to kick. If the brain wants to latch onto something to pick at when we're feeling vulnerable, it will find something easily enough. And PMO is an easy target.
    Just know that continuing on your path of self-awareness and self improvement will help quell the negative side.
     
  17. nuclpow

    nuclpow Well-Known Member

    I feel you, @ruggerdoug, about feeling I don't deserve things. I don't have a solution, maybe counselling.
     
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo I am in a bad spot right now because I'm in the spot I've been working to find since I started this journey.

    I've never known why I took to porn.

    Now I know. It was a choice I made without knowing I was making it. It was to self medicate the feelings that I don't deserve "it".

    I am having a bad day emotionally today. Fortunately working remote you can fake work ... all cheery and smart on a Zoom ... a mess when the call ends.

    Depression is gone but the emotions are raging. Sad. Angry. Anxious. Scared.

    So strange being exalted I feel like shit.
     
  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo I am in a bad spot right now because I'm in the spot I've been working to find since I started this journey.

    I've never known why I took to porn.

    Now I know. It was a choice I made without knowing I was making it. It was to self medicate the feelings that I don't deserve "it".

    I am having a bad day emotionally today. Fortunately working remote you can fake work ... all cheery and smart on a Zoom ... a mess when the call ends.

    Depression is gone but the emotions are raging. Sad. Angry. Anxious. Scared.

    So strange being exalted I feel like shit.
     
  20. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Rugger, if your reason for taking it up was to make up for feelings of inadequacy, then I'm glad you discovered that. But you know and I know that you are worthy of whatever you want from life.
    I don't have magic words to make you feel better, other than keep trying to leave PMO behind. The other thing we both know is that PMO will not make anything better.
     

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