Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I feel like I am at the end of my wobbly two weeks.

    I explored the whole episode yesterday with my therapist.

    NSA sex followed by news that all my married friends were busy doing cool things with their wives multiplied by the loneliness of not having anything to do triggered a "fuck it! I'm doing dating apps".

    One of the hard things about this addiction is that sex is normal. It is like a food disorder. You have to eat and manage the disorder. Well, with this thing you have to connect with others and manage your sexuality. I don't think just the sex triggered my jump to the dating apps.

    I did manage the dating apps ok at first. Respected geo boundaries, age boundaries, etc by using filters on the apps. Did not M while looking at them. Disengaged immediately if a woman dove straight into sex talk. I have a pretty precise list of the who I think I will thrive with when I find her. I stuck pretty tight to that list. Connected with two women in that zone. Went out with one. We had a second date planned but she backed out. I participated in a very adult conversation about that. She was upfront about it and I've been cautious about my nack for falling immediately in love. I'm talking to a second woman. We will see how that goes.

    Prior to the conversation with the first woman her communications started to lag. I knew she was processing what's next and knew from the slow texting where it was heading. The conversation wasn't a surprise. It felt like the ghosting that ended my relationship with Alicia. And then every non-connection on the dating app is another micro loss or no. After a while that built up and it became a rampage. I couldn't stop looking at the damn things. That was the point I crossed the line.

    That rampage felt like the worst days of the addiction. This frantic urgency for what's next. The rush from something knew followed by more urgency for the next. Awful!

    In therapy yesterday I processed through all of this. I have no dating apps on my phone. I spent time last night methodically killing subscriptions, deleting accounts and deleting applications.

    I woke up this morning calm.

    RD
     
    Professor Chaos likes this.
  2. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Well-Known Member

    Riding out the storm is all part of the process. Great work! You got this.

    PC.
     
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    So morning wood back today. Not redwood proudly spanning up above the Pacific ocean but more like a a little sapling planted on Arbor day with the hopes that one day it would be tall and stout!

    Good news is that I am at a point where a slip isn't a huge impact on the work I've done. I'm not where I was 2 weeks ago. My confidence is not strong but the morning wood is a sign that I'm heading back in that direction.

    Work / life balance is poor right now. The root of it is the staffing situation at work. I'm making some behavioral changes at work as well as some changes to work (i.e. bringing some contractors in, etc.)

    But the crux of it is I need to schedule ME time first and I don't. Too deep in the week to fix that but that's my weekend project. I must figure out ME time, calendar it and then the world can have what's left.

    That imbalance fuels my unwanted behavior.

    RD
     
  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Great weekend plan blown up before I went to bed last night.

    Was not a PMO problem but a healthy life problem.

    Plan was to work on a presentation I am giving at a virtual conference on Monday, play a couple rounds of Call of Duty with a beer or TWO and then go bed. Prior to the conference work I had a killer workout that lasted 90 minutes. I was highly motivated after the workout to kill it this weekend.

    Presentation work done. Played a couple of rounds of Call of Duty. THREE beers. Uh oh. War movie. A couple more beers. Then I stayed up until 3 reading trivial things on the web. No porn but wasted time is wasted time, particularly when it is because of something emotional.

    I couldn't shut my brain off so I bathed it in beer and mindlessness.

    Better move would have been to cut it off at 2 beers, switched to water, taken my ZMA/melatonin that helps me sleep, hit a 20 minute headspace session and then a cold shower and ZZZZ.

    No porn. No PMO. No M. But that's not really a victory if I make other bad choices as replacements.

    I woke up decently early. And I'm not exhausted but I am 4 hours behind the plan I had for my day. You can't make that up. And as long as my default is to choose unhealthy much of the time I am not healthy and at risk of heading back into the porn abyss.

    RD
     
  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Great weekend plan blown up before I went to bed last night.

    Was not a PMO problem but a healthy life problem.

    Plan was to work on a presentation I am giving at a virtual conference on Monday, play a couple rounds of Call of Duty with a beer or TWO and then go bed. Prior to the conference work I had a killer workout that lasted 90 minutes. I was highly motivated after the workout to kill it this weekend.

    Presentation work done. Played a couple of rounds of Call of Duty. THREE beers. Uh oh. War movie. A couple more beers. Then I stayed up until 3 reading trivial things on the web. No porn but wasted time is wasted time, particularly when it is because of something emotional.

    I couldn't shut my brain off so I bathed it in beer and mindlessness.

    Better move would have been to cut it off at 2 beers, switched to water, taken my ZMA/melatonin that helps me sleep, hit a 20 minute headspace session and then a cold shower and ZZZZ.

    No porn. No PMO. No M. But that's not really a victory if I make other bad choices as replacements.

    I woke up decently early. And I'm not exhausted but I am 4 hours behind the plan I had for my day. You can't make that up. And as long as my default is to choose unhealthy much of the time I am not healthy and at risk of heading back into the porn abyss.

    RD
     
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Sunday morning coffee!

    Productive day yesterday mostly according to plan.

    I focused on my workout goals and started getting my financial chaos in order. This coming week the plan is to keep those two items front and center. There's a lot more to self care than those two things but if I get physically and financially fit I believe much of the rest of my life will follow.

    Sitting down and actually putting a budget together, even 6 months ago, would have sent me straight to the porn vids. There was some not so welcome news as I started to work through my budget and spending habits. I did it without triggering any craziness.

    Busy day today. The sun is out, the sky is blue, life is good and getting better!

    RD
     
    Mozenjo and Professor Chaos like this.
  7. Professor Chaos

    Professor Chaos Well-Known Member

    Oh man,

    I used to use P to escape so many difficult tasks. Budgeting is a really hard task. Good on you for getting stuck in.

    This is what is really means to be a man, getting your life in order. Not oggling pixels and false rewards.

    PC.

     
  8. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Monday morning coffee! Presentation today at 130 that I'm ready for except for the slides! Quick sprint of a day until that gets done.

    No M this morning. Most mornings I wake up tempted for a tug and at least check to "make sure it is still" because you know I just might lose it overnight. I checked (still right where I left it when I went to bed) but I didn't fall for the tug it trap. That's one of my last few issues.

    RD
     
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Reset. Had a 4th employee turn notice in yesterday. I'm in IT and the job market is ridiculous. One of the 4 that left (2 were performance issues that had to go) scored a $35k increase. Many of my friends in the IT space are having the same bumpy ride.

    Anyway, yesterday was stressful. And I ended the night -- for the wrong reasons -- with a good fap.

    I have not quite figured out when it is ok to MO but last night was not one of those times. I was stressed not aroused. I didn't even think about it, just did it because of the stress.

    "Things" did function without pics or porn so that's a good physical sign.

    Not shamed or worried about a chase. Just in learning mode.

    RD
     
  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Reset again. This week has been difficult. I let M into the picture too much. No Porn but more M than is healthy. I reset on Tuesday but I've continued to struggle.

    Work gave us Friday off so it has been a nice long weekend. It has been a balance of healthy living and not. I got a lot done settling into the new apartment. I took a friend to brunch on Sunday morning. I bar hopped with my sons Saturday night -- they reached out and asked me to join them. I moved the rest of my stuff from my old place and I've made a huge dent in getting it settled in.

    But then I took a number of M breaks. Most of the work stress slipped away over the weekend. Today -- the best day for not M -- I woke up dreaming that I had missed a webinar b/c I was masturbating. So there you have a great mix of my stress and my mind trying to clean itself of the bad habit.

    Today, I'm working on my healthy self. Really the first day I've devoted to that. When I go to bed tonight my kitchen and living room will be free of clutter meaning I'll have put a ton of the stuff I moved away or in the trash. I'll have everything ready for the week. I'll have worked out and stepped 10000 steps. I'll have my food ready for the week. And I won't have M'd again.

    Work stress has hit hard. So has my being alone. The boys asking me out was huge. I have people. I just don't always have access to my people. They have their own lives and I'm blessed that they think of me when they are out and about. And I'm the only parent that gets asked. That's just how much fun I am!

    Being alone hit really hard this week. It was hard being alone with all this stress. I didn't reach out to Wendy as I could have .. there's nothing there so why pretend to get a little stress relief? I had another encounter with the woman I slept with a few weeks ago. That was last weekend. We hung out for awhile ... had sex with plans to hang out more after .. but she proceeded to kill the better part of half a bottle of Jameson's so I left earlier than planned. And don't plan on going back. I want to hang with healthy people and that wasn't healthy.

    All of my married friends did cool things with their wives over the weekend. While I did hang out with da boys two of my sons had girlfriends with them. I do feel awfully single when Holiday's hit.

    I'm not healthy. Yes, I'm not watching porn. But I still M too much as self medication. And I'm drinking too much beer and eating late night (NOTE: News for you DoorDash, you are getting cut off!).

    In fact, besides the M, I've shifted my self medication to my bad eating habits. I've gained 10 pounds over the course of this "no porn" run. I downloaded Noom which is a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to dieting and started that this weekend. It's really in the same zone this place is ... working on the deep issues creates results.

    In their introductory lessons they talk about self efficacy which is really the fancy term for "if you think you can, you can; if you think you can't, you won't". I have started and stopped working on getting this weight off because I truly didn't believe I had it in me to do it.

    I decided I was going to not watch porn and that I could stop. And I have. I have not made the same decision about M or O.

    Three decisions:

    1. I can stop distracting my emotions with M. And I will.
    2. I can choose to eat healthy. I've done it before. I feel better when I do it. And I am going to do it again.
    3. I can choose to use fitness activities to distract my emotions. I've done it before. And doing it can get me to being the fit person I want to be. I'm going to do it.


    I am at 8500 feet in Montana in 3 weeks. Clean diet, moving twice per day, no beer .. until I get back.

    And no M because I'm stressed .. or hungry ..

    Therapy tomorrow. Processing in part to get ready for it.

    RD
     
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I've not focused on my strive for healthiness at all this past week and it shows in my behaviors.

    I used to talk about relaxing with intent. I have to be healthy with intent. I'm so busy with work that I've sat most of my healthy behaviors aside.

    I do not feel very good about myself right now.

    Back today after I spend some time with myself to work through this.
     
  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    The biggest challenge is to stay vigilant against the addiction when life doesn't go according to plan. Your recent life changes and awesome attitude have paid major dividends, Rugger. But of course there will be down times no matter our circumstances. Let's dust ourselves off and carry on. You've got this, bud!
     
  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Yes, I am dusting. When I last wrote I had come off of a weekend where M was in response to stress (a not allowed) and that had included a peek at some porn (clearly a no). Just in the moment. And not for very long. Enough to let me realize it is easy to slid back to the abyss. The good thing though -- in hindsight -- was that it had zero effect. I did it because the M was pretty non productive with a limp penis. I peeked at porn because assumed it would help. It did not. That was enough to keep me from going back but then it also freaked me out because I've been gaining function back with considerable morning woods, etc.

    Freak out is over. I woke up with morning wood this morning which I left alone. I've been free and clear of M for a couple of days now (@Mozenjo, how many times have we been on the same counter number over all these years?! Let's keep that going!).

    I have a homework assignment from therapy that I want to do here in the open. But the work day stands in the way.

    RD
     
  14. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that solid 2 days feels good, but they were tough. So Day 3 awaits. A work day. Tonight is when the real work happens. Time to crack the book again and stay off the computer!
    Have a good one, man.
     
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Back from my trip. Real world hits me smack in the face tomorrow.

    Ten days of vacation. A day in Bozeman, MT followed by 6 days on the trail backpacking in Yellowstone, followed by 2 days on a ranch outside of Bozeman, a day on a fly fishing float down the Yellowstone River and then on the trip back a 6 hour layover in Vegas gave us time to have our last hike up and down the strip. Almost the entire time I was disconnected. Laptop stayed home. It was a much much needed trip.

    I have a week of work this week followed by another week off. Our office is closing for a week to give our entire staff a chance to recharge.

    So all wildlife and adventure aside ... the MT trip gave me a chance to process through some things .. this work week gives me a chance to tie some loose ends off .. and then I have the following week to disconnect again and put some things into action.

    We did about 45 miles over the 6 days with most of it above 6000 feet. A man learns a lot about himself on a climb above 5200 feet. We had 3 1000+ foot climbs well above that (topped out at 8500) so I had several learning experiences.

    Truthfully I didn't have any new revelations about what I need to be working on. My revelation was in the urgency that I should be dealing with things. Our first big climb (smaller than the big 3, kicked my ass on the first day). Fat 56 year old men are not built to bounce up and down a mountain at altitude (maybe bounce down?). I almost didn't make it. The next few days I was pretty sensitive about it. Our last 2 days had the big climbs. I did all 3 much more gracefully than the first shorter one.

    Two lessons:

    Each climb got easier. The last 1000+ foot climb was over a .8 mile stretch of the trail. I muscled that fucker only stopping twice on the way up. That was far more graceful than the previous climbs. Lesson: If you keep at it you'll get noticeably better in short order.
    Even that graceful last climb was a total bitch. And I'm not going to be doing much more of that kind of thing if I don't my shit together.

    And "that kind of thing" is metaphorical for many things in my life including my mental and sexual health.

    I came back with a renewed commitment to get my life in balance and quickly.

    The imbalance triggers my acting out.

    It is that simple.

    RD
     
  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee!

    I came back from the trip 9 pounds down. I've lost another 4 since with the diet change I've made. From a health perspective the focus is on diet, movement (steps and working out each day) and sleep.

    Facts:

    • Some of the processing I did on the trail confirmed that I do keep the weight up to keep potential dating partners out.
    • ED (not PIED) is impacted by obesity. At 275 and a 39 BMI I am obese.
    • I will not be the active rough and tumble guy I am if I don't get the weight off so I can perform life.

    I knew these things before I left for the trip but not to a point that I accepted them.

    Goal is 220 and I believe it will help my ED, put me in a position to have a relationship and most importantly be able to be more active.

    That will take the emphasis off of M as my relationship and should reduce the stress of sitting at home so much.

    Not directly a PMO thing but it is a major contributor.

    RD
     
  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Reset yesterday. Full on PMO at one point. Proof that you are not truly -- or at least proof that I am not truly -- safe from this addiction. It is either controlled or active, never truly gone.

    I'm on solid ground today.

    In hindsight .. came back from the trip super relaxed with a pile of HR issues to still work through with a week off in front of me. Our company is giving us a full week for Independence Day. Pretty cool, right? So so, actually. It is like a long weekend and I don't do so well on the weekends. So in the back of my head I've been worried about the week alone being a disaster. Had a date for tonight who backed out. And so on. Active work stress with a good amount of passive stress worrying about things in the background. Then I changed my eating habits and cut drinking down to 1 x per week. Looking at it the stress was building and the beer & bad door dash food I was self medicating with before the trip were firmly out of bounds so I quickly stepped back to PMO.

    The crash started Thursday and ended Friday. Friday evening I caught myself and did the reset.

    I've been good since. And looking at things in hindsight realize that I should have planned with the diet change and the stress in the system better.

    I do feel a little silly. I've lost 6 more pounds so I'm down 16 pounds from my pre trip weight. Friday I had 4 of my positions filled and the at risk employee secured. We have reforecast our budget for the year and still have it in us to beat last year. I have some of next week planned out. So all in all things ended up pretty good. The only thing that ended up bad was not what I was stressing about but the way I handled the stress itself.

    Hiked 5 miles this morning. Took a healthy power nap. Doing this as a break from my planning my week out. I am going to have specific plans for each day to keep the guardrails from PMO up. Chill night in tonight.

    I need to find more friends and activities that involve other people. Parade tomorrow with my boys. Will do something with one of my backpacking buddies who I also work with. Hike next week. Church on both Sundays. Other than that I have 7 days of being alone.

    And I don't do alone well.

    RD
     
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I was up until 4 last night. Watched the movie Fury on YouTube. Started it way too late. Gave in to the morning wood this morning.

    I am worried that my week off is going to be a lot of out of healthy boundaries kind of things.

    Heading to a parade today; cookout after. Got my week planned out yesterday. That's not going to be good enough.

    I have to set boundaries as if this is a normal work week and live in them or I'm going to have a week long binge like existence.

    Trying to get back into the mental space I was in just a few weeks ago when I was rock solid.

    It is the stress that has spun me out of bounds.

    RD
     
  19. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    Hey Rugger What you are going through is really tough. I am a similar place to you right now. I had 100 day streak up until a few weeks ago and now I cant seem to manage more than a few days porn free. Still if we did it once we can do it again right? Hang in there. All best,
    Tom
     
  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Old Tom Bombadil, yes, it is the craziest fucking thing. One month ago I was rock solid. Went nearly 10 days in MT without touching. First night back in from the trail I M'd 3 times. And since then everything has escalated.

    I know why which makes it all the more infuriating.

    My stresses shifted.

    The backpacking at altitude kicked my ass. Dan Gables (famed college wrestling coach) used to talk about the pain of discipline v. the pain of regret. There were many moments in the mountains that were regretful because I didn't tend to fitness before the trip. I finished the trip. Since coming back I've found my fitness discipline. I've lifted and / or moved 10,000 steps every day. I'm down 16 pounds from my pre trip 275. I'm focused on getting back to 220 which is where I was the year I divorced and last looked good in pictures.

    Hanging in camp with my 4 married buddies was a bummer, too. It is a close group of guys. But I'm the only one that is single. Between hearing things they are doing with their wives and them asking me dumb "married guys who want to live vicariously through their single friend" questions I felt like the odd man out. There was a lot of talk about the annual after trip picture party with the wives. Last year I took Wendy. This year I'm flying solo.

    I'm off this week. Taking a staycation. By a quirk of life all 3 of my sons are out of town. I'm being productive finishing settling into my new place but it doesn't escape me that I'm solo. Been more of a homebody than usual. Outside of my 4 friends and my sons my other social options are limited to work contacts I could grab a beer with. All of that feels isolating, too. And so I choose to be isolated. Which is a choice I'm aware I am making. And that makes me feel more lonely, too.

    You declare it is time for a relationship and instantly find someone. At 56, I feel I am judged for where I am financially ("oh. So you don't own your own house?") no matter who I am pursuing or my apparent lack of fitness (i.e. fatness) is a show stopper when I do meet someone. Last two women I've clicked with were both runners .. one routinely ran trails and the other ran ultras for fun. I am a cinder block when I am fit. And I'm carrying enough extra weight right now cinder blocks can outrun me. One of the two literally said she didn't think I could be as active as what she wanted in a boyfriend. And she was correct.

    So truthfully I feel lonely and talk a good game about wanting a relationship but the loneliness is a choice I've made because I don't want to get hurt again. It has been 5 years since Alicia broke things off. I've dated some. Had a near miss with Wendy. But my heart is truly not open. And the thinking, I did on the trail confirmed that. I believe I let my weight go because it is a great barrier to connecting with the kind of woman I purport to want in my life. I dally around on dating apps but never really set the hook.

    Work this year has been hell. Running an 11-person team with 5 open positions in this hiring market has been painfully stressful. And all eyes in the company are on us b/c we were budgeted to generate 1/3 of the companies profit this year. We are still on track to make it. And I have all but 1 of the positions filled. The bench will be back to full in August. But there's a lot of extra work to be done before then. On top of that I am having issues with one of my managers who thinks he is over performing when he is not.

    I got a solid raise. Even with the team issues I was in the highest % band for raises. Was supposed to get a title change, more responsibility and a salary adjustment based on what we had discussed during my review in December. I'm in a risk reward role and we aren't hitting budget. Reason for that doesn't matter. I'm making 30% than I was when I had my own business but still feel like I'm still just getting by. What I was expecting would have been the game changer I was working toward. It is not gone just postponed.

    While my income has improved dramatically ... my two oldest boys rode through college on scholarship ... my youngest not so much. So that raise and extra income has been eaten up with college expenses. One of the things I'm doing on staycation is cleaning up my budget to get to a comfortable place. Things are tight and don't have to be. So this week I'm crawling through my bank account looking for things I don't need to be spending on and setting a budget.

    that's my stress catalog.

    The weight was a choice.
    Working out and minding my diet is a choice with a new stress.
    Being single is really a choice (though I do have the problem of finding someone IF I made a different choice).
    Working like I do is a choice.
    My bad spending habits are a choice.
    And decided to manage them is also a choice that shifts stress.

    So ... I am making the choice to self medicate the best way I know how.

    It is really that simple. New stress. Old medicine.

    RD
     
    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.

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