Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    What a fucking kick ass day!

    I did sleep until noon ....

    Last night I built most of a new piece of furniture I ordered (a cheap lateral file cabinet that is certain to become a family heirloom .. HA!).

    After I finished I went to a favorite nursery and got this awesome plant to put on top of it ....

    And then I went to Costco and started my first real food prepping process ...

    I've lifted. I've walked the dog in awesome sunshine. And I've gotten some work done.

    This is not rocket ship ... I'm just doing not so much as setting a crazy plan to follow through on ... but it does fit the "who I am" .. or "who I wish I was" .. image I imagine.

    So anyway feel good. No touching today. No porn.

    Great day!

    RD
     
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  2. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Interesting events.

    The fallout from my going off the rails entirely after Wendy, which included a dive into dating apps, is that I am going out with a woman on the regular. She is not the next Mrs. Rugger but we have a lot of laughs and she is patient with my work schedule. Just about perfect for where I am right now. I'm not ready for something super heavy. So this is good. Yes, we are sexually active and she is patient there as well. We've not yet had penetrative sex though we've enjoyed ourselves.

    She made a comment last night that hit hard in a good way. I'll skip the details leading up to it but she said "you must masturbate a lot ... you know you don't have to do that that's what I'm for" ....

    Anyway, we had an interesting conversation after that.

    She was dead on target. Even when I'm not looking at porn I seemingly can't keep my hands off myself.

    Well except today.

    This is the first day where I've had zero touching (see the post up above where I said "no touching today" -- I don't believe it myself!).

    I did not spend the night last night.

    When I got home I thought long and hard on what she said.

    I didn't swim in shame on the comment. I feel like she tied the observation to what I'm missing and unlike my ex didn't accuse me. Didn't even show any offense about the porn when we talked. She didn't see it as me picking "it" over her.

    Only the future will tell if the comment has a long term impact.

    Rugger
     
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  3. TrueSelf

    TrueSelf Active Member

    This reminds me of something my wife said to me when we were still dating and prior to living together. She came over unexpectedly and for some reason, at some point I made the comment, (something like) "what if I had been watching porn?" and she said, "I would have finished you off." Now I'm not sure this was a real offer, but she for sure was not freaked out by my porn use (this incident took place before I knew how bad porn was for me).

    Typically in these forums the impression is created that all women hate porn, are threatened by it and consider it cheating. Now obviously porn is not a good thing (for me) but it is just not true that all women completely lose their shit over it.
     
  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I've dated women that have encouraged it though I've never brought it into a relationship. The shame of what it has done to me is too much to bring into a relationship. And, for me, if she and I need porn and not just each other its likely not much of a connection. I get that might be different for others.

    But that's another topic.

    I woke up this morning and started to think about tugging on myself a bit, remembered this and stopped. I did think about sex and felt some stirring. Usually I'm either dead to the world asleep with early morning wood or I have to have some sort of manual stimulation to get any movement. Two days in and a small sign.

    This is different than declaring I'm going to not do this or that .. no PMO! ...

    The motivation with that has been .. stop playing with yourself and maybe you'll be able to find a girl ... and then as stress hit my life it was more immediate so I rationalized "just one more" which was the rallying cry for most of the ends of my many mini streaks.

    This feels different. It is different. It is different in motivation and opportunity. I found a girl .... and now the motivation is to enjoy sex with her ... that opportunity given the relationship -- she's single, lives alone, about a half mile from me -- can be daily. So sure I can be working from home and rub one out in between calls ... or see if she wants to connect that evening .... much easier to hold off until the real thing that night (or even in a day or two) as opposed to I'm going to hold off until I hit some goal but then I still won't be able to have any fun because I have no opportunity ....

    My wife would chide me or scold me which had a shaming effect (i.e. you haven't been a pervert this week, have you?) ... Alicia, was non judgemental and supportive and time with her was my best period being healthy with the addiction but even she could push the shame button, though not attacking like my ex (e.g. have you been good this week?) ... Kelsey, isn't going to ask, doesn't care particularly one way or the other, but will obviously notice if performance improves ..... that feels emotionally safe.

    I wish I could just stop on my own. I've shown that works in the short term. Hell, this is short term. Who knows what I'll feel like -- and act like -- in a month or a week ... or tomorrow!

    RD
     
  5. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Between tomorrow and a month from now, you'll go through the ups and downs we've been going through since we came here (and even before that). I'm no authority on the subject, but I think the biggest part of the key to opening the door to freedom is making a commitment and sticking to it. It's as easy and difficult as that. You can do this, Rugger.
     
  6. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Was working toward a weak moment, so I came here.

    @Mozenjo, thank you for the words ... they were well timed and exactly what I was hoping for when I logged on ...

    Deciding to log on and journal a bit was enough to remove the weak moment.

    It has been a good day. Slept in. Cleaned the downstairs of my townhouse. Enjoyed lunch with my oldest.

    Last night was invited to one of my son's fraternity brother's birthday party. It is not without some significant pride that I boast about being the only real adult ever routinely being invited to these gatherings of 20-somethings. Both of my step sons were there. We see each other frequently but for whatever reason both of them decided to pull me aside and tell me what a huge impact I'd had on their lives.

    Things are changing for the better at work. And things are good!

    I've got someone in my life to do things with who puts a smile on my face. She's not the love of my life but she's fun when we are together and that's exactly what I need right now.

    I am more than a limp dick and a porn addiction. I always have been. This addiction emasculates because it breaks part of your manhood. But not all of it. And not all of me .. or you.

    To remember that ... to repeat it ... is armor against giving in in the moment.

    And to repeat not giving in ... because the body and mind we have is so resilient ... means steps toward healing ...

    I am grateful for where I am today.

    Rugger
     
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  7. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Had a near miss this morning before I really woke up. Was a habit thing that stopped as soon as it started so I'm not counting it as a slip. A definite reminder about how deep the ruts are ...

    Other than that moment I have not touched myself, looked at porn or erotica since Friday.

    I cleaned my phone last night. I'd picked up some things here and there I shouldn't have over the weak moments these past few months. But those things are gone. And it was a technical exercise that didn't stir any feelings or temptations.

    Patience has never been my thing, but I'm going to have to be patient with this. Only time heals.

    Yes, I am a porn addict. But I'm not all that drawn to porn anymore. Even at my worst this year it was mostly erotica -- some porn for sure -- and masturbation.

    I feel like I am more addicted to the masturbation than the porn at this point.

    I can easily go a long period without porn; I can not go for very long --- or at least I haven't -- without masturbation.

    I came to that same conclusion a long while ago but didn't stick with the work.

    Positive as to where this may go!

    Rugger
     
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  8. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I reset the counter today.

    Should have been reset over a week ago.

    I broke things off with the woman I was seeing. It quickly broke down into nothing but a sexual relationship -- what she wanted and I let it go there with no resistance. Felt more lonely having someone to be physical with --- when that was only thing -- than I do by myself. But breaking it off broke my resolve.

    I have been M'ing quite a bit since and back on the dating sites.

    This morning I looked at porn for the first time ... had an "oh, shit" moment ... cleaned my phone of all the dating app nonsense ...

    I don't have a PMO problem or an M problem ... I have a loneliness problem.

    I do not have the stress in my life I used to have. My finances are solid -- still not retirement solid -- and improving. My work is going well. I have good positive relationships with my sons. I don't wake up with extreme anxiety anymore. I still have work to do. Life isn't stress free but life is not the crushing stress caused by sloppy living with the depression and anxiety that made PMO seem like the right self medication.

    I am lonely. And I am not dealing with it well. It was a beautiful 3-day weekend (had Friday off) here this weekend. I spent time with both of my sons as well as with my best friend. But the rest of the time it was just me and the dog. It seemed like every person I saw was holding hands with another person!

    I'm ready for a +one in my life at the very least and don't even know one single woman I can call and invite to do something. I was invited to an annual gala for work last week. I was going to be at a table of 4 couples. My hiking buddies did a dates or dogs addition to Saturday's hike. It would have been 4 couples and the dog and I. Those situations just crush me.

    And that those situations are so difficult for me to handle I realize I'm likely not ready to be in a relationship. If I was I'd be the weak link and be too needy.

    Rugger
     
  9. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    I'm sure the loneliness contributes to the PMO problem, but even if it was the sole reason you relapse, PMO is still a problem. The chicken and the egg are both in need of assistance.
    It's not fun being the odd man out. I've been there plenty of times. But I met my GF through friends who thought it was about time I met the right person. I was not over my addiction by any means, but we connected, and time will tell if it will last. The work must be done, whether you're in a relationship or not. You will beat this thing, Rugger. I know it. But I do think it's a good idea to take some more time to work on this. Get a decent distance from it (at least 30 days of solid monk mode) before even thinking about it. And in those 30 days, if someone enters your life, take it slow and stay in monk mode. You've got this!
     
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  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo, thanks for your words. I have not been no for a while and it felt good finding your message.

    I agree with everything you say. And yet struggle to live it.

    I was at a conference in Vegas two weeks ago. Had mucho thinking time on the flights to and from. When I got home I cracked open an addiction writing exercise that I had done in 2019. Part of the exercise was doing a pro and con of the addictions. As in PMO feels good as a PRO and PMO feels empty afterwards erasing the good feelings as a CON. It was stunning as I am pretty much right where I was in 2019. In between that work and now I had a short relationship, COVID twice, pandemic and great resignation related issues at work and little real time to work on myself.

    Funny I had to fly to Vegas to find myself!

    I want to learn to love myself. PMO and the drinking -- and some other bad habits -- are really self destructive, self punishing. I don't feel like I deserve good things. And then I do a super job of making sure I don't have them. My weight falls into that category. Other things, too.

    So I'm lonely -- and even though I'm an extrovert and appear open to connection and deeply hungry for it ---I have a moat and walls - and a few traps set, too! -- to keep people away.

    I don't want to get hurt again so I create a situation where I'm ok with the dull ache of loneliness. I feel fat and unattractive, worry constantly every time I meet a woman about my PIED, etc. ... but my behavior has created those consequences and being honest with myself -- deep down that's why I eat like crap, don't workout, go back and forth with P-subs (dating apps, erotica), occasionally look at porn, MO a lot, work so much ....

    I'm in a much more positive frame of mind than what that reads like.

    I'm now working back through that 2019 exercise -- I don't even know where I dug it up but it is thought provoking -- and reconnecting with that work.

    I started with a focus on my weight. When I got back from Vegas I was a pizza and beer binge weekend away from 280. Cutting the beer down, going to a whole food menu, and strictly intermittent fasting (no food after 7 pm), I was 265 on the scale today and already wearing clothes I haven't put on in a long time.

    Of all the things weight is the most tangible and measurable. If I break my rules -- beer and or food after 7 pm -- the scale shows me in the morning. I've lost something every day and kept to my rules. Weight adds to the PIED problem as does the alcohol.

    Next step is to sweep the P-Subs out of my life which is this weekend's project. Dating apps are my poison. Every time I slip I'm active on one or many of them. Connections feel good even when they don't stay. It's ok because there's another one just a swipe away! It is actually the emptiest of empty worlds. I reset the counter last night b/c in no way shape or form can I rationalize being clean lately. So once the P-Subs are gone monk mode starts.

    Part of the 2019 addiction work was a profile of who I want to be -- lean, mean, non masturbating machine! (OK, it's a bit more involved than that but you get the point).

    As I progress - lose more weight, start adding real days on the counter, stay off P-subs, keep my home presentable - I feel good in the moment. And then that makes me feel bad because I don't feel I deserve it and then that deep seeded belief kicks in the slope gets real slippery.

    THAT is the emotion I need to push through to get to the other side of this. Always has been. I'm just more clear about it than I think I've ever been before.

    Here we go!

    RD
     
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  11. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    RG my brother,
    we are our own worst enemy. i, like you, don't feel i deserve the positives in my life. some one gives me a compliment and either i will quickly change the subject or downplay it. coming from a dirt poor background, i have accomplished a great deal, in the eyes of the world. i hold 5 degrees including a doctorate. not rich but don't want for anything. i am not saying this to impress you but to impress upon you that self-worth is an inside job. i feel undeserving because of the things i have done. the drinking that hurt not only me but my wife and family. the jobs lost. being constanly fired from new jobs. the embarrassments. the legal troubles. etc. etc. i did that the first 25yrs of my marriage. even though i have not touched a drop of alcohol in 19 yrs, i still feel remorse, regret, sadness of my behavior. to be honest it is not those actions previously mentioned that hurt so much, it's the "small things". the forgetting to pick up my son at childcare or after soccer practice. they had to call mom because dad was nowhere to be found. the missed anniversary dinners, mother's days, birthdays promised. i have worked through most of those but if i live to be 100 years i can never take back all the hurt i caused. and now this filthy porn addiction, much worse than the drinking. this one i can hide. but I can't hide it from me.
    anyway this has been another one of my long ramblings but just to let you know hang in there. a lifetime of fucking up will not be fixed by next tuesday. have patience and most of all love yourself. if you don't have love for yourself you can't love anyone else. you can't give away something you don't have. be kind to yourself. but stay the course. don't quit before the miracle.
     
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  12. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Lol. I'm sure Vegas had nothing to do with it. Going on a trip changes our routine, and being alone on a plane has also been a good time for me to evaluate where I am in my life.
    Whatever that voice inside keeps telling you, I know that it is incorrectly guiding you into your "protective" shell. But, as you say, it's not protecting you, it's making you miserable. You seem happiest when you're doing the right things: exercise, spending time with your boys, excelling at work, etc... And why shouldn't you feel good about all that? You deserve every bit of it. You also very much deserve, and will find, the right woman.
    P-subs are really P. Our brains don't know the difference. I'm with you on this. They must be eliminated!
    Indeed!
     
  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @badger that's beautiful! Thank you!

    I am aware this is all an inside job.

    The trigger for my addiction has always been tied to self worth and stress. Post divorce in a better job and in a better life situation all the way around stress is less of a driver than it was. It is now more about the self worth issues.

    On paper it's all good. Top of my career likely to be made a partner at the firm I'm working with later this year all because I'm a top performer who outperforms most of the partners. Regardless of how that works out in a month I'm having the portfolio I'm responsible for expanded. My sons are all out and doing well in their own right. I love the neighborhood I'm in and the house I live in. I have a small circle of good friends and count among my friends my sons. I am active outdoors almost every week. I'm still overcoming the effects of COVID but I am otherwise pretty healthy. All good things.

    And I feel like I don't deserve them at all.

    And then I had on my own version of forgetting my kids at daycare. The fog I was in when my sons were younger means I don't remember events. I would wing practices as a coach or Sunday school class as a teacher because I'd put all of my energy into porn. My business could have been tremendously successful if I'd given all of myself to it instead of sharing my time with porn. I treated women as objects -- both online and in real life -- and I believe the shame of that contributes to the mental part of my ED - it's not just PIED. I can create quite a pile of shitty things like that. Like you that remorse is still with me and I don't know how to flush it from my system. It is not active shame but rather this deep rooted foundational shame that never really goes away.

    Besides my best friend who is male and who I work with my 4 most significant work relationships / friendships are healthy, non sexual, intimate emotionally and intellectually and with women. Just THAT shows progress. As does the change in my life situation.

    I am in a better situation today than I've been my entire life.

    It is not where I want to be yet I feel like I do not deserve it.

    So as things get better I resist more and more.

    And it is all because I do not know how to value and love myself.

    RD
     
  14. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    love you my brother, hang in there.
     
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    All the dating apps are off of my phone and/or subscriptions online for them are cancelled.

    So my hard mode has officially begun.

    I didn't sleep last night. My negative inner voice and I had quite the conversation. Talked with my Dad last night which is a rarity. And then talked with my oldest.

    My parents divorce and the shallow relationship I have with my Dad contribute to this feeling that I don't deserve nice things. So does growing up poor. My mom walled my Dad out of a lot of our life. I wanted a Dad who would break the walls down but Dad was pretty docile. So we didn't and don't have much of a relationship.

    My oldest son and I talked about it. We are close and have an authentic relationship. We have that because I am the Dad I wanted to have.

    Anyway, off to work ... looking forward to this working out ...

    RD
     
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  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    It’s just after three in the morning. I am wide awake. My brain is busy with things related to work. Male temptation to act out but not strong enough that I’m going to.
     
  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Two solid days. I am at peace. Dating apps are definitely the ticket to the hellish ride I take. I've not checked my phone or thought much about looking at it since I cleaned them out of my life. Here's to my remembering that the next time I start thinking about it (really feeling about it because jumping back into them is never a thoughtful move but rather an emotional move).

    Work event tonight. Got there ahead of everyone else. Out of the blue am woman came up and starting talking. Two days of calmness and I am approachable. Nothing happened. It was a small event. But it was telling that crazed and dominated by P or P-subs like the apps I am one man and free, just a few days, I am another. Me.

    Lots more work to do but today I feel good.
     
  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Woke up this morning and DID not M/MO.

    The lack of dating apps in my life is monumental!

    I'm not even tempted to look at erotica.

    I'm having crazy dreams which I remember I've had this in the past when I get totally clean.

    The brain is taking the trash out so to speak.

    RD
     
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  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Four days is real.

    Life has been stressful. But I've been ok.

    Not much temptation.

    I feel good!

    RD
     
  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I'm about to flip to a solid week hands off of me! No dating apps, erotica or porn. So good for me.

    Had some struggles with beer over the week. But I've fought off at least 2 very obvious stress triggered urges to fap.

    So all in all I'm wrapping this week up as a win.

    No work social activities this week so I think I'll be better keeping out of a beer can.

    Goal for the next 7 days is to keep both PMO and beer drinking under control.

    Interesting sermon today at church.

    It was about honor.

    And it started with a discussion on contempt.

    Long sermon short ... we should honor everyone even those we disagree with, don't like, etc. ... and I realized that I have contempt for myself.

    Something to think about ... honoring yourself is part of self love ...

    In a rush but wanted to check in and share ..

    RD
     
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