Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    I'm also really happy for you, Rugger. You so deserve this place you're moving to!!!
    Yes, maybe the commitment to change is making the monster fight back, but this is normal, and the only way it will finally stop is for you to stop feeding it. We've let it roar back and defeat us too many times. The endless loop keeps reinforcing whatever negative talk we keep repeating, and the cycle will never end until we rip up that playbook.
    Maybe that sounds trite after all these years, but I'm trying to rip up my own playbook, and I know we can actually do it. Why? Because we deserve it, we never didn't deserve it, and we've been waiting way too long to get on with life free of this burden. Maybe you found what drives you to keep using, but now that you have done that, the best way to deal with it is to stop using. Whatever made you think you weren't worthy of the success you deserve is just residue from a past that is long gone. Just say to yourself, "I've punished myself long enough. I've always deserved happiness. My life is bountiful." You know it's true, I know it's true. IT'S TRUE!!!
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  2. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo, lots to say to that!

    I logged on to comment on two things I've come to realize.

    1. I porn b/c of either distress (from negative things) or eustress (from positive things). I discovered that this weekend that the porn I look at is directly tied to the type of stress. If I am porning because of negative stress I porn to self medicate. If I porn because I feel uncomfortable feeling good, I porn to self sabotage. It is like my mind wants to keep my emotions in this little box I can deal with. The big deal this weekend was the anticipation that comes with the new place. There were other positive things from the weekend. And I fought a fight internally. I am resetting. If I am self medicating I am drawn to power positions for the male in the porn I watch; if I am self sabotaging -- porning because I feel good -- I am looking at negative power positions for the male.

    I've got things under control now but I had about 24 hours of ugly tug of war and lost the round .. will reset.

    2. Hiked almost 7 miles yesterday. Woke up feeling great about it. Put workout on my list for the day. It is now 630 pm and I've been fighting myself (i.e. "do it tomorrow and you'll still get 4 lifts in for the week" " go get beer instead" "you need to rest from yesterday" and a bunch of other BS). I am going to row 10 minutes, lift and then go for a run -- my first run since COVID hit. I feel good thinking about working out. I will feel shame tomorrow. And I will feel elated after a good workout ... but I'm fighting that good feeling.

    F U C K E D U P!

    But I know this now. To know it is to manage it. I don't know how quite yet but I'm going to figure it out.

    More comments from your post later Moz!

  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

  4. badger

    badger Active Member

    we all have those some times. hang in there.
  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Better day today.

    This feels like the fight I fought in 2016 all over again. Except now I can fight from a position of strength. I don’t have a girlfriend I’m trying to win back. I have a whole lot more resources available to help me. I know the why behind my addiction. And I have nobody else to do it for but myself.

    I really wish I could do the therapy thing every day for a couple three weeks. Between my job and my new place and other good things in my life that I don’t deserve it fight is very real.

    For a very long time I try to understand why I self sabotage. I know now! But I have some learning to do… Or rather maybe some habits I have to change… Some thought processes about how I deal with that feeling. That’s the work. It can’t happen fast enough for me.
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee.

    I am sitting at a day PMO free and 4 days of working out in a row ... therapy next week .. need to find some time to get my homework done.

    Slept well last night. Miracle that was! I am terribly behind at work. Drank two cups of coffee and then decided it would be better to sleep a bit and wake up early. Meditated 2o minutes and then slept with a Deep Sleep spotify station. Actually, had great sleep with good dreams. I think that is going to become routine because though I did wake up I focused on the music and kept all the crazy thoughts about being late with stuff at work from taking over and ruining my rest.

    Wendy and I talked yesterday. Started out as just casual texting. She asked me if I found a new place. I told her I had and was excited. The day was loaded with an emotional shit show in the background as she finally realized that we were likely not going to be a thing. It's been 6 or 7 months since we broke up. We still talk time to time. I've been out there for dinner once since the breakup. That she expected me to be on the shelf ready to bring back into play when she was ready is fantastical. I've never broken up and remained friends (or friendly or even polite, really) with past girlfriends. So I'm on new ground with this for sure! I'm sad she's so torn up. I feel good about how I dealt with it because I 1) held to my plan 2) was transparent and authentic yet gentle.

    I've been taking the Acceptance course on headspace. It is helping with a number of things. I have learned over the last 10 days in the course to "release my resistance" to things. That helped last night. It has helped as I continue to not like the environment I'm living in. And I've come to accept that I want to get mentally healthy before bringing a woman into my life. I accept being alone (and don't feel as lonely) which has kept me off the dating apps. I should have a counter for that but I'm about 2 weeks of no dating apps on my phone.

    It has been a difficult few days. But there is positive in where I am at, too.

    Great day today!

  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee, again.

    Shaky start to the day. Woke up feeling the urge to touch. How do you know when it is your libido with a real craving v. when it is your addiction wanting to take a hit?

    Regardless, I got out of bed intact.

    Busy day today. Want to make time this evening to start my therapy homework.

  8. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    For me, the question is more, "how can I move on whether it's the physical craving feeding the addiction or the addiction feeding the craving?" In other words, who cares which one it is? If acting out is off limits for each scenario, don't waste energy trying to parse out the difference. For us addicts, they are inextricably linked.
    Make it a clean Day 3, my friend.
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo I don't disagree with you.

    The therapist as well as the book I'm reading by Paula Hall both coach to understand the source. I did the work at recovernation.com years ago and Hall suggests that which includes some work on understanding the why.

    I've learned a lot about myself asking those questions.

    If I'm in a great mood and feel good about myself but have something emotional going on I'm likely to look at one type of porn.
    If I'm in a "I don't deserve it" mindset I'm likely to look at another type.

    I've started to find different paths away from the edge of the abyss given the different drivers.

    I guess it matters less since I am not in a relationship. The way I woke up yesterday ... not stressed but with urges .. made me wonder.

    I'm now 3 weeks away from moving. Not that where I live is the solution to all of this but the changed environment will give me an advantage.

  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Today is my youngest son's birthday AND Dad's night at my oldest son's fraternity ... fortunately they go to the same school!

    I've got a 2 hour drive this afternoon and one back tomorrow.

    It is going to be much needed "windshield time" which is where I do my best thinking.

    I'm going to write the "Vision" that Paula Hall suggests as one of the first steps in the treatment process.

    I did it years ago at recovery nation.

    PMOing is not in my vision.

    Drinking beer at midnight with a door dashed pizza is not in my vision of being fit enough to do the outdoor things I want to do .. It is more than PMO that I use to self medicate and sabotage.

    If I define my vision then I begin to set the boundaries of what is ok and what is not ok.

    I'm going to noodle on that during windshield time.

    I usually make it too complicated.

    This time I'm going to try to make simple ...

  11. badger

    badger Active Member

    i agree with you Mozenzo. this paralysis by analysis. for me, for now, it doesn't matter what comes first or why i am pmoing. just for today i focus on not "accidentally" winding up in front of the computer with porn on it. there are many steps before i am in front of a computer. i need to stop think redirect act, whatever it takes at the moment. just for today i keep it simple-if i don't have any business online. don't even turn it on. another day clean.
  12. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @badger, it isn't analysis by paralysis. Different triggers call for different actions to redirect. In neither case above did I PMO, but the craving to PMO felt different. Perhaps I should have just said I don't know what it means to be truly sexually aroused as opposed to feeling driven by the addiction to act out.
  13. Cali

    Cali Active Member

    Wow, that statement really hit home for me! Thanks RD for reminding me how wonderful it will be to once again get truly sexually aroused with the simple act of tender intimacy. I will put that statement in my toolbox of reminders of what PMO has done to my brain and why I need to move beyond this addiction. I may be taking your quote slightly out of context, but regardless it really struck a nerve for me.
  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Found my old account on recovery nation.

    Started that process again last night.

    Two big takeaways ...

    1. In discussing my goals for recovery my discussion back then -- 7 years ago -- was to not be scared to have people look at my electronics, to not be a liar anymore, etc. I've come a long way! I freely share my electronics all the time with no fear I've got something embarrassing on them. I used to lie about things I didn't need to lie about I had learned to do it so well, so much to cover the addiction. I had a list of 10 things and fully 5 of them have been dealt with. Things remain and that is why it makes sense to go back. But where I am now and where I was then are so hugely different.
    2. I make decisions with my emotions. In the reading last night I relearned that addiction is not hiding emotions but shifting them. Interesting thing to ponder.

  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Stress winds are blowing.

    Went to Wendy's for dinner Saturday night. Wonderful time. She wanted me to spend the night. Though we fooled around a bit I did not spend the night.

    We've been talking on and off since she invited me to dinner the Friday night of Valentines Day (all 3 of my boys said at the time -- Dad what are you doing?! You know what that means!). She knows from when we were dating about my porn addiction. Several times she's brought up us getting back together. I've consistently said I'm working on me at the moment, would love to date but I'm not in the right place to "get back together". Let her know I was moving into a new place last week and she got upset b/c she had "always thought you'd live here next". Anyway first date in 7 months is Saturday night. She invites me out for family dinner (I'll make you a Fred Flintstone steak -- told her Saturday night I was eating a strict diet b/c I need to shed some weight for backpacking in Montana in June). Texted me Sunday night. Have told her a number of times I'm not with my phone all the time anymore (because I'm trying to keep the temptation out). She texted repeatedly today. She had one of her daughters text me and invite me to another one of the girls birthdays tomorrow. I texted back and said I couldn't make it but that I appreciated the invitation.

    KAPOW! Stream of emotion texts about how I don't respond when she texts and if I was not interested I should have at least told her that instead of playing her .... and on and on.

    In all this time of talking she's never asked me what my working on me means. She knows about the depression and the porn. There's more, of course. And I've let her know in general terms how this last few months have had an enormous impact on me. Backpacking trip where my buddies give me good honest feedback. My COVID Christmas where I spent nearly two months feeling like an 80 year old man. My discovering some big "AH HA's" that give me confidence that things I've struggled with for 45+ years might finally get put to bed. And so on. No interest in the details or even asking how it is going.

    KAPOW tonight when I responded with a long "I told you I was putting me first to get myself mentally ok for the first time in 45+ years. I'm sorry you feel like you do but I'm not bringing this stuff into a serious relationship again."

    I didn't say that I'm not bringing this stuff into a relationship with someone who isn't interested in at least the process and who I want to be afterward.

    I'm actually ok urge wise.

    Since I started typing this there have been 3 more texts.

    It's a lot like my ex-wife (their birthdays are 4 days apart). She will throw text bomb after text bomb tonight. If I don't respond I am the shit she thinks I am. If I do respond nothing I say will make a difference.

    I had hoped that we could go out casually (not friends with benefits casual, but just do things together) while I work on this. I shared that with her.

    It is obvious that isn't her desire. When I was married I would roll over in these moments. To roll over here would be to put my work on a shelf and pretend something that isn't real, is real.

    I am sad she is hurting. When we broke things off she was going to start seeing a therapist to work through some of her own issues. That did not happen.

    I am angry I can't get her to stop the texting. I feel stuck in that regard (but that's not going to cause me to act out).

    I feel lonely. I truly enjoyed hanging out Saturday night. I wish the friendship could exist without the pressure for a serious relationship and a return to where we were in July of last year overnight. But that she can't respect where I am and even after my sharing that fact that I wasn't of a mind to just flip the switch back she persists.

    I am sad she is hurting but this will blow over like all difficult emotional moments do.

    I must let it blow instead of PMOing to give it the illusion it has gone away.

  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning thoughts.

    The Headspace sessions on Acceptance helped give me the skills to get through this.

    I've not acted out to shift the emotions.

    I have "game filmed" it. What could I have done differently?

    I should have insisted on a serious conversation early instead of having the information from both of us bleed out over several weeks. She wanted a serious relationship. I am not available for a relationship right now. I wanted someone I enjoyed to go out with. She was "ready" and wanted more. Truly, we both tried to exert our wills on each other. In hindsight I should have known we'd end up here and I should have been able to express that up front.

    I truly enjoyed Saturday night. She made dinner. She's a sports nut. We watched the NCAA wrestling finals. She'd never seen wrestling before so I explained it as we watched. I would be content for occasional evenings like that. She wanted me there daily.

    Going to the office today. Trying to get back to where that is the norm rather than work from home.

    In 3 weeks I move! I'll be 1 mile from the office rather than 30 minutes. I need to make sure that extra time I'll have in life is used to good purpose!
  17. badger

    badger Active Member

    sorry RD, didn't mean that personally. i meant for me it is a paralysis analysis. i try to make excuses/rationalizations for me to PMO. again no pointing fingers, who am i to do that but someone in the same mire trying to get out. keep trucking.
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Quick morning thoughts! I slept in and have a meeting online in 10 minutes.

    @badger, I appreciate that. I did take it a bit too personally.

    I have discovered there are different triggers for me -- self sabotage when things are going well and I feel undeserving v. shame when I am feeling anxious or otherwise stressed out. I also, based on the triggers look at different kinds of porn. And it seems -- though I've yet to totally figure it out -- that the antidote is different for each. In figuring that out -- and not knowing anymore what real sexual arousal feels like it is a question that feels important. I'm not in a relationship at the moment so it is likely a moot point. That was were I was going with it.

    Slept well last night.

    I realize I wake up every morning expecting to fap. I woke up thinking about sex. And it clearly wasn't natural arousal.

    When I lay down for a nap I think about sex too particularly if I am stressed out.

    The meditation I've done lately .... pretty frequent longer sessions .. have helped me acknowledge the thoughts are there and to just accept and release them.

    I believe I am risk of acting out every time I lay down to nap/sleep and whenever I wake up in the morning.

    I felt it intensely this morning .. no morning wood, no arousal, just intense sexual thoughts ... but did not act out.

    My last several days have been the most solid clean days I've had this year. I'm not acting on these feelings but I'm letting myself feel them, accepting they are there but not obsessing or acting on them.

    That feels like growth.

  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I am going to brag a bit.

    Wendy wants to get back together. I want to date and enjoy time together.

    We are on very different pages. She's been trying to text about it the last few days. I don't go for serious conversation in texts so I suggested we talked.

    I won't bore with details. I shared what I wanted, what I needed and what I was willing.

    She wants a traditional relationship that is family like. She has 4 girls at home (who I get along with great).

    Last Summer I was fine for that to be my jam. I've learned a lot about myself since. Not my jam now.

    Tears. An attempt to get me to stay over. I had told her earlier that that wasn't my plan. "Staying over" would have meant sexual play of some sort. I told her I was sticking to my plan.

    Pulled into the driveway to a slew of texts. She thinks our desires aren't compatible.

    I'm proud of myself for being clear about what I want (I didn't say it but what I deserve).

    It was difficult but not impossible. Stressful. But not triggering. I'm about to go to bed and I feel no need to shift the emotions.

    That feels like growth!

  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Drew a firm line. Great therapy session today. Committed to telling him at our next appointment that I am at 29 days.

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