Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @-Luke-, just last week I saw a video of a stonecutter split a rock after, it had to be over a 100 blows, and it certainly wasn't the last blow that caused the split, but the cumulative effects of the first and last and every blow in between! That's a great quote. I appreciate your encouragement!

    @Mozenjo, let's stay here and more indeed!

    I am certainly not where I want to be. I'll hit a week tonight if I can manage not to give in over the next few hours. No reason to expect I'll put myself in that position though I did have a moment this morning where I had to break the chain or it was going to end up with my eyes on my phone all morning. Averted. But it's always there.

    Life has been a little different this week. Two days of strategic planning in Nashville in a conference room without masks and smart people planning and plotting. Not to mention all the people in the airport. A happy hour interview with a new candidate and an employee Friday night where I had a couple of beers and stopped. A community festival with friends later that night. Saturday lunch with my boss. Football game with my boys.

    It's been different -- in a good way -- because I've not been isolated.

    And last night I had some planned alone time. Bought a book on Amazon from one of my favorite writers, jumped into the new call of duty season for an hour and then watched some Netflix.

    Planned alone time turned into healthy alone time.

    So two lessons. I must plan to avoid isolation and maintain that human connectivity that got me through this week. And I must plan my down time so boredom and anxiety don't conspire to claw me back into the abyss.

    More to do than just those two things but another week of just focusing on them is the plan.

    Mozenjo likes this.
  2. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Seven days into a new streak. The last two not so perfect but I got through them. Busy week with a full schedule and little downtime so temptation time is low. But I don't have much room to take care of myself -- workout, etc.

    My biggest issue over the weekend was dealing with a tug toward dating apps. The phone stayed clean but the pull was there. After a week I'm not ready to be in a relationship by any stretch. But the desire was pulling me there even as I knew it was really just a desire to PMO.

    My son once remarked that I often frame self improvement in terms of getting myself ready for a relationship. He was correct as I do use that language. Here I find just a little progress being judged internally with that same perspective.

    Thinking I know that I have to be healthy on my own before a relationship can be considered. In my less healthy days I'd go find a woman to fuck around with but that isn't a healthy relationship if that's all there is to it. And that's what I'm being tugged to do. I want to go 90 days on a streak, build some healthy routines that stick that I'm committed to before I even start thinking about relationship (e.g. when I started dating Wendy last year a lot of healthy habits were sacrificed without thought to be in a relationship that, it turned out, didn't work out in the end).

    If this effort is like past efforts though that is this week's challenge -- to stay on streak and start working on the healthy habits while fighting off the urge to date. That urge to date if I give in to it will result in 3 or 4 dating apps, a couple hundred dollars and a total suck into checking the phone every minute for "her".

    I know the outcome. I need to avoid the addict in me convincing me that there is any other likely outcome.

  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo, totally with you there! I am not good at just relaxing with purpose. And the easiest thing to fill that time for me is a bad, bad choice!

  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Thought this was worth sharing.

    In my normal news reading this morning, read an article on work against the porn industry: https://frenchpress.thedispatch.com/p/its-time-for-a-better-and-smarter

    The article closes with:

    One last thing …

    When you speak to men who’ve struggled with porn, especially when it has ruptured their relationships with their wives, you often hear an avalanche of shame and self-hatred. They are not the person they want to be. This song, and the poetic moment in the middle, is a tonic for the soul.

    Here is the song:

    I felt cleansed after listening.

    Mozenjo likes this.
  6. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    That was great! A very nice way to start the day.
    Let's make week 2 successful. The pull back into the vortex will take effort to combat. We will do this. Let's focus on today.
  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo, I am right there with you!

    Short difficult moment this morning when I woke up.

    I'm amazed at the number of times I think about sex. Images I've seen. Women I've been with. Fantasies I've read. It's like a streaming service in my head sometimes. Though I'm not back to meditating at the moment the meditation I've done in the past taught me to make note of thoughts but to let them go instead of getting caught up on them. So they stream when I'm laying awake in bed or in the car or other places where my brain is free to wander. I'm getting good at just letting them go.

    Because I'm not falling in that trap this time around at the moment (i.e. I have in the past and know enough about myself that I could in the future, I'm just not now) I feel good about it. I wonder when it happens. Is it lizard brain trying to drag me back in? The images and past events don't usually repeat. Or is it my brain throwing out the trash?

    Still feeling the relationship tug. I don't think it is real. Last night I though about texting women I know but didn't.

    Fighting that relationship tug is the work this week.

  8. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Also feeling vulnerable. I think our brains are just doing what they do. Now that we've got a week behind us, the habit wants to exert itself. I've also had dreams and images flashing in and out. It's normal, and it will continue. But if we give ourselves the gift of abstinence from porn, or just pictures of any kind, the brain will start throwing out the trash on its own. It will repair itself, but there will be pain.
    As for the relationship tug, maybe it's best that you aren't in one right now. Real sex is not a panacea, and certainly hasn't cured me of my addiction. You will find someone right for you. I know it. Focus on what you're doing right now and try not to worry about making a relationship happen.
    Carry on. You're doing great!
    -Luke- and True Change like this.
  9. True Change

    True Change Active Member

    Yes! It happens to me during dreams.

    Good to hear. Sometimes I use singledom as a scapegoat: "This would be easier if I had a partner" but it's not that easy. Some difficult journey we have to take alone.
  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo and @True Change, if I was in a relationship this would truly be worse. AND I would complain about being in a relationship!

    Last year was the most serious relationship I've had since my divorce. I found myself going in big 30ish day streaks which was good. But she wasn't one to work on her own issues let alone understand why I wanted to work on mine. While she was cool with working around the PIED, it still wasn't a healthy relationship. There are reasons it didn't last not important to this topic enough to mention. My work on myself was constrained. I realized then that I needed to have alone time to work on myself. I just didn't really get there like I am now.

    Perhaps a woman to do things with occasionally would be nice. Things not sexual things.

    And last week taught me that being social in itself covers for a lot of that.

    Mozenjo likes this.
  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Dark weekend. Slip and then a crash. Short version. Crush of work just won't end. In my job I'm not supposed to do "real" work. Sell. Strategize. Schmooze. Lead. Guide. Review work. But not big projects that I'm the key player on. My big project is the team itself. Anyway I'm lead on 7 projects and have all my other obligations. Every day something doesn't get done. Constantly betting on who gets short changed and sometimes those bets are bad and there is a pissed client, upset employee, etc.

    I'm not special. A lot of my peers are dealing with the same damn thing.

    Friday morning I took a break to MO. Just me. No digital assistance. Things worked pretty well actually. Good thing. I was at 12 days and it felt ok.

    Work happy hour. Just three drinks because I had a birthday party to attend. No drinks because I had set that boundary for the night.

    And then WTF, thoughtlessly swung by the store for more beer. Woke up feeling awful and thinking the MO made me feel better so ...

    Binge weekend.

    I am coming out of it. Still having a hell of a time focusing.

    Totally rattled because I was in a good spot.

    Totally rattled because I'm now further behind.

    Totally anxious because it is just the way it is. We have had 5 open positions since April. Hired 2 and a contractor and then sold enough work we got two new approved. So back to 5 short.

    Totally anxious because I can't focus so what I am getting done is being done at a snail's pace.

    Think it is time I talk to doc about meds.



    I'm at 4 hours hands free and porn free. Starting again.

  12. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee!

    Better start to the day.

    Running a gauntlet of temptation but I am on the other side of the binge now, safe and secure that I won't go back to it.

    No matter how many times you slip and tell yourself it is just part of the journey it feels like starting over all over again.

    And that sucks.

  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm back. It's been about a week.

    Flipped right back into the binge.

    Didn't even think bout it until now. The habit of logging in here brought me here today more than anything else.

    Work stress is about to plummet as I've hired someone to take on the job I've had to take on given the shortage.

    Sunday night I was working to transition that work over and felt a great relief pass over me. I finished or transferred 6 out of 8 client projects. Two is sustainable for me; eight plus everything else impossible. I've been doing it but with a terrible personal toll.

    I plan on being 100% out of that role by the end of this week.

    Going back to Crossfit Thursday night - just scheduled it.
    Phone is 100% clean - just cleaned it.
    Two nights without beer -- I woke up feeling good. Plan is to continue no drinking alone.

    I have nothing on my calendar tonight. I'm going to revisit my emergency plan -- plan I put together for anxiety and depression but it really applies to my porn habit. There are more things to do to get back to solid ground.

    I'm pretty far from where I want to be right now.

  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee!

    Last night for a while ... not the entire night ... I felt at peace. Stress and anxiety from work weren't constantly buzzing in my head. It felt good. I slowed down enough to identify it. It didn't last the entire night. But I did not MO the emotional clarity away. I just felt it. Identified it. I felt content. And I didn't feel the need to do anything with it or to self medicate it away.

    One day is a solid day. Working again.

    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  15. Old Tom Bombadil

    Old Tom Bombadil Active Member

    One day, especially the first day after a binge is something to be celebrated. Hang in there RD. Best,
    Old Tom
  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm at a new starting point. The extra work I had to pick up at work because we were short staffed will be done when I come in Monday. My schedule is starting to lighten up.

    This recent difficulty with staying out of the porn game has got to stop.

    I want -- and I'm doing it this weekend -- to reorganize my life so that I give self care, crossfit, meditation, sleep, etc. its proper place. With the stress came a breakdown in any of the self care. When that happened I CHOSE the self medication of porn and beer.

    I must choose something different and I don't have the stress issues I had. Time to clean it up.

    Old Tom Bombadil likes this.
  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    At this point in my life, dealing with this addiction for so long, I know the drill.

    I know how to do this.

    Likewise, I know how to lose weight, study for a certification exam, follow the steps in a recipe ....

    The steps are one thing. The desire to take them on is something else.

    I've felt no real desire to stop recently.

    I've spent some of this weekend processing.

    Lately I've been "determined" to stop so that the next time I get aroused I get an actual hard on. That's been the only motivation. That doesn't work out so well because you start the work with an acknowledgement that there will be a next time. That guarantees that next time will be soon. And, of course, it doesn't ever involve a real, actual hard on which makes me more determined and the cycle repeats.

    That's where I've been mentally with it all lately.

    I'm working through that right now.

    That determination has to come from a deeper more meaningful root. It is not enough to just be focused on physical performance.

    I am in a better spot. I am stepping into November with most of my work caught up, a tick below 260 (down 18 pounds since Montana) and a much more balanced social life.

    I am traveling the next 3 weeks. Travel time is good processing time for me.

    I have to work through this to get to a better motivational spot.

  18. jumptime

    jumptime New Member

    Ruggerdoug. I know exactly what you mean. When I was on this forum previously I remember when you joined. It’s high time we devote ourselves to ending PMO in our lives. The knowledge we have is great - I have it too - it’s the action we need now.
  19. Tomato76

    Tomato76 Active Member

    Ruggerdoug I'm really impressed with your resolve over the years, really working on improving yourself and circumstances. Your committment to journalling must have played a big part in working through your challenges with pmo.

    I noticed in some of your earlier posts you were praying and refering to your Christianity. Have you found your faith helpful at all? I am asking as it's something I have been considering in my recovery and even to help me as I face the future, having turned away from Christianity at an earlier time in my life.
  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @jumptime, thanks for the comment! Welcome back.

    @Tomato76, yes, I've been here a long time. Sometimes I accept it as resolve. Other times I just think it is futile habit. I've been healthier than I am now and that frustrates me because I have, consistently, over the years talked about the trendline -- always improving. Right now in this moment I am not improving. And if you aren't improving you are sliding backward.

    Great question about Christianity. I don't have the time this morning to give an answer with much thought. It got me thinking! I'll answer tonight.

    Tomato76 likes this.

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