Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Reset. I'm at war with myself. From experience that is a positive. I forget the citation but addicts tend to over react to giving up their addictions. In my experience the more I am deeply committed to giving it up the more violent the swings become until I get to solid ground. Or at least that is what I am telling myself because this is pretty exhausting!

    I went back to church Sunday. I've avoided it for most of the year.

    The sermon was about how fear separates us from God. My stress this year is from fear. I am afraid of being alone the rest of my life. I am afraid that no one will love me because my dick won't get hard, because I made bad choices about how to deal with stress and that broke me. I am afraid of success. I am afraid I am stuck where I am doing "ok" but never really excelling. I am afraid of retiring in less than 10 years when I am anything but ready for it. I am afraid I am old and soon not able to do the things I enjoy. I am afraid all the work won't get done.

    I am afraid.

    And that just loads the stress up. So beer. Whiskey. Porn. Masturbation. Overeating. Procrastination.

    I write this and realize that everything after "So .. " just creates more of the things I'm fearful of.

    Didn't say any of this was rational.

    And so yes I avoid God because I don't feel worthy of Him.

    So I went back to church. I'm more fearful of not having a relationship with Him than of the other things.

    Taking the last two weeks of the year off.

    Looking forward to the break.

    I want to be on solid ground then so I can live 2 healthy weeks before a much better 2022 starts.

    positivef and Rudolf Geyse like this.
  2. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Thanks for being brutally honest with yourself and with us on the forum RD! That is bold! Facing our fears head on is a significant part of beginning to deal with them rather than try to escape them via addictions. This post to me looks like growth taking place.

    This is a hugely encouraging statement for me. If not for Christ I'd be at day 1 still.

    Dude - NONE of us is worthy. The goal according to the Bible isn't for our efforts to achieve righteousness for ourselves. Sadly this is the message preached in so many churches: "You need to get your life right." The Bible tells us "you are unable to get your life right." (Look at Eph. 2:1 - we were spiritually "dead" ie. unable to change, or Jer. 13:23 which says we can't change our ways.) That's the bad news. The good news is we don't need to trust in our works to save us. Carry on in Eph. 2:5, He does the work, He makes us alive in Christ (because of what Christ has done). What then is our part? 2:8 says it's by grace (undeserved by us, God's favour toward us in Christ which we don't deserve) through faith (this is how we need to respond - faith, which is belief and trust in the work of Christ on our behalf).

    When I was trying to impress God through right living I found I couldn't do it, so I was always ashamed, always disappointed, always falling short. Eventually I realised the Bible preaches something totally different. It's not about trusting in my works to save me, it's about trusting in Jesus to save me and continue to change my heart and ways. So now my situation looks totally different: I believe God empowers me to WANT to change, to want to do better, like never before. I've lost my taste for those addictions. That's not to say I'm perfect and I don't still go back there, but, when I blow it He doesn't kick me out - that's what forgiveness is for, that's what the cross is for. I'm still accepted, I'm still unconditionally loved, as proven once and for all time by the cross. So I can pick up and do better. Overall my trajectory is well and truly moving away from the addictions - which to me is evidence of God working in my life.

    Anyway sorry to start preaching, I'm just hugely passionate about this stuff cos it's made all the difference in my life. This isn't just religious theory, it's the root of everything good in my life and every positive step I've made.
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Rudolf Geyse, don't apologize for preaching. I want the sermon. I "know" that but I don't "feel" it. I did at one point but so much toxin and shame have been let in I'm having trouble with it now. Listening to a few sermons is a good thing at the moment as long as they aren't of the fire and brimstone variety! Thank you!

    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  4. MasterKrug

    MasterKrug New Member

    Hmm, I come from a much different perspective.

    That there is literally NOTHING you can do to separate yourself from god's love. You are always redeemable. The trick is to give yourself permission to do so. You don't need God's. He's always ready and willing to help, you just have to let that love in.

    Lately I've been praying, and it's been incredible that everything I ask for I am receiving. I don't buy that he ever holds back on anyone. It's us that deny his help.
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  5. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Thinking good thoughts for you, Rugger. You're a great guy, and as I've said many times, worthy of all the happiness this world has to offer. I know the depression throws you for a loop when it hits. I wish there was an easy solution for that. Try to get through the holidays clean, spend some time with your boys if possible, and know that the right woman is out there. I could go on about what we both need to do, but we know what we need to do. Let's do it, my friend. We've been on this merry-go-round long enough.
    positivef likes this.
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Meaningful couple of days.

    I'm started intermittently praying again. It's taken my energy in a different direction.

    This year has been one of the more difficult years of my life. It stacks up in comparison to 2016 when I was at rock bottom. My struggles lately have been about stopping PMO and drinking. And then have been struggles because I've not been making much progress. And they've been motivated largely by the "who could love me" and the "if I meet a girl I want to be able to have sex" objectives which are not particularly motivating.

    Prayer has turned my thoughts to me rather than my bad actions. Today I have invested the entire day (including sleeping in!) to me. I spent about 2 hours reading online about self love, self esteem, self respect .... I am confident in myself but don't love myself, don't have much esteem for myself nor self respect. They are all different things though I've not thought much about it.

    I read an obnoxious article describing the different between boys and men. Essentially boys live from their emotions while men live from their vision. A strong grounded man (google "grounded man" for all kinds of valuable and terrible thoughts on the topic) can set aside self indulgence if it doesn't contribute to his vision. Short paraphrase but that was the gist. Kind of pissed me off.

    And then I realized I've lost any sort of vision of who I am trying to become.

    This year's been a total grind. Get up, do the day, stay up too late, don't get it all done, sleep short, and then, get up, repeat. Grinding hell. I'm tired. And self medicating that tiredness with all my favorite bad choices.

    I usually as the new year approaches do some level of reflection. My birthday is right after the new year so it's been a natural thing to do for me for years. It had become a part of my self care as I started managing the addiction and the depression.

    Didn't do it for 2021. I was flat on my back with COVID from Christmas Day until the middle of January. Five weeks. And then I got up and jumped into the grind.

    So I dug out my personal vision statement from two years ago and worked on that throughout the day.

    It feels very good to feel direction in my life.

    I've frankly not had any real focal point this year.

    I will when I go to bed tonight.

    It feels very good.

    And @Mozenjo nothing in my vision statement says anything about a woman or a relationship. My vision is I am me. If I am me I'm confident that I'll find someone who likes that me because this me isn't who I want to be.

    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee. Going to virtual church this morning. Just got back from a long dog walk.

    I've had a mind shift. It feels good. The behavior shift will follow, I'm confident.
    Mozenjo and Rudolf Geyse like this.
  8. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Rough night of sleep last night. I could not fall asleep and stay asleep. Finally, turned a rain storm track on from Spotify and spent most of the night half asleep half meditating. I'm tired but I did not act out. I did think about it a few times but doing that did not fit the vision I've got for myself.

    This is not new ground for me. I first wrote a vision for myself when I did the exercises at recovery nation years ago. It helped then as it is helping now.

    But somewhere along the way I stopped using it as a reference and got lost again.

    For the moment I am rereading it every morning.

    Because the next trick to solve is keeping the vision incorporated in my life all the time so I don't get lost again.

  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I am feeling good this afternoon.

    Taking a break in the work action to reflect on where things have changed since last week.

    Though I didn't break it all down much of my slippage over the last few months has involved dating apps.

    @Mozenjo just posted about taking a look at "tame pix" in his journal. Dating apps have been my source of "tame pix" in my mind. Totally safe. No. Totally toxic and dangerous. Being on (and off and then on again) dating apps fueled the cycle. Like being in a candy store in one way. And like being in a rejection room in another.

    So I had that going on. I've stopped.

    I also had this mentality that if I just stopped PMOing long enough my junk would work when I got one of these women in bed.

    My work was all about the penis, all about finding a woman for the penis.

    It wasn't really work. It was theater to convince myself I was trying.

    It was like a backpacking trip without a map. I had no idea where I was going. And so I just went.

    I do feel grounded -- not perfectly -- with direction at the moment.

  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm the danger zone right now. Safe. But in the zone.

    It is 1140. I'm up reading on the computer. Work computer. I have NEVER looked at porn on it. At my level of management I'm fully aware of what would happen if I did and so I'm pretty safe as far as the device goes.

    It is a special kind of lonely that I don't do so well managing this time of night.


    Morning coffee now. I didn't finish the post.

    I went to bed shortly thereafter and slept ok. No PMO to try to get to sleep.

    Sunday night I read my way through that time of night.

    That's going to be the new normal I work toward.

    Last night I had some work things that had to be attended to -- I'm doing my best to make Friday my last full day of work this year -- and so was up working by necessity.

    That time frame is one of two when I'm at my worst.

    I feel good I worked through it without issue.

  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    And just like that .... sat down to do a few early morning work tasks before an all day planning meeting and WHAMO out comes the temptation.

    I am stressed about things undone, keeping my new routine and getting things done so I have time for me at the end of the year.

    I have 2 more people to buy Christmas gifts for and have no idea what I'll get them. I don't want to just "check the box".

    I'm going to be at work from 9 to 7 ... and I'm not sure how my socially anxious barking companion will do on his own that long.

    So ..... temptation ... because all of that would go away with a bit of PMO, right?

    Headed in that direction but caught myself. This is my diversion. Posting and then going to the office a bit early.

    Rudolf Geyse, Mozenjo and positivef like this.
  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Every win is a big one in this fight. Good for you for catching yourself.
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    My vision statement got me out of bed this morning short of playing with my junk. I was tempted but ran that vision through my head and just got out of bed instead.

    I have 20 days until my birthday which means I can wake up 57 years old with 23 days on the streak. And right now it feels extremely doable.

    This morning I think I'll make that.

    My morning routine ... thought out over the weekend last weekend and put into my Todoist app gives me about an hour's worth of things to do for me in the morning. Eat. Walk the dog. Shower. Journal here. Read 3 others journals. There's about 20 things on the list. All of them are about me caring for me. Self care. Self love. Whatever you call it, I am not good at it. And when depression sets in I go from not good to terrible. If I don't have work I might not shower for days for instance. A 5 minute warm washing shower followed by a few minutes on COLD! is refreshing. But depressed I won't do it. And then the only options I have to "feel good" are bad choices.

    I'm bad at self care. When I'm depressed it goes away totally. And them PMO and alcohol enter the picture to regulate the bad feelings.

    I'm still tweaking the routine but it, like the vision, is working.

    My nighttime routine needs some work. That is next to get into place.

    I feel I am on a good path right now.

    Rudolf Geyse and positivef like this.
  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee!

    Nothing much to say this morning.

    I am looking forward to the next two weeks.

    I've blocked that time out as PTO, scheduled some, but not all of the things I want to do.

    I will have some work bubble in. At my level that is unavoidable.

    But I'll schedule the work around me instead of scheduling me around the work.

    I'm excited about it!

    positivef likes this.
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Almost stumbled yesterday but caught myself. Just habit. Did a webinar and when I got done I laid down for a 20 minute cat nap and started touching. It was totally out of habit and stopped short of what I would consider even a slip. Still it was a strong sign that the habit part of this addiction doesn't go away quickly.

    Five relatively solid days ... and last night I slept a good portion of the night with "morning wood" ... asleep by myself as a natural process after just 5 days without porn I'm teen like erect ... 90 days (talking from the past now) with a woman I won't get that hard nor will it last as long as the ones last night.

    I woke up thinking about that.

    Yes, I'm an addict and it brings with it PIED. It appears as if the natural process works but that the rubbish in my head is creating the ED.

    It doesn't feel like that is the entire story.

    This is something to wrestle with when I get to day 90 again. Is there more to my ED? And, it seems likely that whatever that is, is in my brain rather than in faults in my plumbing.

    But first things first.

    I'll flip to 6 days sometime today and that's 84 days away from investing time into this worry.

  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Sometimes bad things include good consequences. I was starting to get a little loose toward the end of last week with my resiliency. I almost slipped a couple of times.

    And then Saturday after hiking with my friends I laid down for "short nap" that lasted 24 hours. COVID. Again. I've slept for 2 days, lost 12 pounds and am as far from being tempted as anyone could possible be.

    Had it last year so antibodies plus Pfizer didn't prevent it but it has almost run its course so much more mild.

  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm a few hours from the counter flipping over to day 10. Heavy assist on the play goes to COVID. I'm in total flatline. This is my second time with COVID. It is the most excruciatingly boring disease I've ever had. Sleep during the day because you are unexplainably exhausted followed by a night time of endless insomnia. So lots of laying down. Lots of triggers for me to FAP to sleep. Not a inkling of temptation.

    Had already started a regimen of smoothie centered eating to try to jump start the weight loss. I'm down 12 pounds.

    My face usually has signs of rosacea from stress and alcohol, if I'm honest about it. That's cleared up.

    And the COVID has been pretty mild. I feel it at the moment but I don't feel super sick.

    I'm going to get on the rowing machine this afternoon and just gently row for awhile to get some movement in.

    All my Christmas plans have blown up.

    But I feel good!

    positivef likes this.
  18. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    Strength RD, I hope you get well soon. I'm glad you got a positive result out of your positive result.
  19. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Get better, Rugger.
    Typing that makes me realize we both need to "get better" at handling this addiction. Hopefully the time away from PMO helps. Sucks being sick, but any day away from using is a good day.
  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo @Rudolf Geyse thanks for the words .... the worst of this is that it is so isolating. And that could be a disaster because historically I've PMO'd my way through boredom and loneliness.

    This past few weeks -- underlined with this damned COVID -- I've started learning to enjoy myself in healthy ways.

    When I was younger I used to read all the time. Over the last 10 years not so much. Reading was pushed aside by PMO.

    I've rediscovered how much joy I have in reading.

    I've read a lot over the last 2 weeks -- this started before COVID. By reading I mean books. Hard cover printed pages, books. My reading had become almost exclusively online. That set me up on the edge of going places I shouldn't, particularly on my phone. And it was endless. A book is a container. You read it to the end and it is done. A web page is a well a web ... you can literally follow links and have no end.

    My goal in 2022 is to read 26 books .... I already have a list of them that is going to give me a challenge if I ONLY read 26 ....

    I feel like my brain is healing a bit with the reading. Nothing dramatic. But my day dreaming is about the recent things I've learned or read and not about "PMO, PMO, PMO" ...

    positivef, TrueSelf and Rudolf Geyse like this.

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