Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    if i hang around a barbershop long enough, i am going to get a haircut. keep trudging my brother. don't quit before the miracle
  2. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Mid day Saturday.

    Good news -- Zero drinking issues.

    Insulation against it ... fireworks party last night. early morning hike with 2 of my sons - usually hike Saturday with my friends - which we've decided to turn into an every Sunday routine starting next week. massive to do list to get my town house "visitor friendly" which is keeping me focused.

    Good news -- sticking to diet.

    Peeled 7 pounds of water weight off ... 264 this morning. Threw all the "bad food" out and am not hungry for the bad stuff so I feel I'm in a groove there.

    Bad news -- M issues yesterday & today.

    Some touching today but yesterday kicked a reset at 10 days. No porn or subs. Text from a woman I've gone out with that included some pics and an offer to "get together". Bad choice to get with her so I turned her down and then fell into fapping about an hour later.

    Even with the slip I already feel some of my mojo coming back. I

    I'm confident that this week won't be fap, sleep and drink which is what it would have been even a month ago.

    I'm confident that when I log into work on the 11th:

    my place will be visitor friendly -- sons, friends, date, whoever ...
    my workout routine will be reset and I'll be back to Crossfit
    my diet routine will be set
    my work email will be caught up (zero inbox)
    I'll have doctor appointments set for the next 6 weeks to deal with some minor things I've been putting off
    I'll have a budget and financial plan
    I'll have a list of things I can do to keep myself out of the boredom zone whenever I start to go there

    I had a slip but I'm confident I'm on a climb up and out right now and that if I keep doing what I'm doing for the 9 more days I have to myself I'm going to be in a strong place to make it out!

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2022
  3. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    As I logged on the Lumineers Stubborn Love popped up on my Spotify ... the lyrics "It is better to feel pain than nothing at all, The opposite of Love is indifference".

    Just ironic. I have been indifferent to myself for so long. I didn't feel like I deserved nice things or a nice life. I didn't need a camp chair or a band aid on a cut. Anything like that felt like I was being spoiled and didn't deserve it. I was TOUGH but then you all know I really wasn't.

    I feel like I am growing to love myself.

    That not thinking I deserved it created indifference.

    The work I've done over the last few months -- even when things were terrible -- have led me to this point where I am beginning to love myself and see self care as necessary and DESERVED!

    I'm mostly on plan. Last night I stayed up way too late. I have to schedule my bedtimes and hold myself to them.

    The HALT acronym applies for me .. I was tired and fapped.

    But I've stayed out of the beer and continue to cut weight. I've told several people that I am cutting beer out and that if I don't lose weight I'm lying about the beer. THAT has been a great guardrail.

    I don't know how to set a similar guardrail up for PMO and fapping.

    I'm busy enough the rest of the week that I won't have idle time to get myself into trouble.

    The purpose of this free week is to end it with a new routine that is healthier and with a long list of personal and home improvements that I feel better about myself.

    Doing it this way is really an act of love.

    I want to learn that no fapping is an act of self love, too.

    Libertad and Gil79 like this.
  4. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Interesting. The other day I was thinking about PMO this way too, like from a place of self compassion. Why would I hurt myself with PMO?
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    In some ways my weight, my finances, my cluttered not-quite-together townhome, my drinking, and, of course, my fapping are all about self punishment. They are also tremendous obstacles to any real relationship ever forming for me. So while self punishing they also keep me emotionally safe.

    Thoughts in no particular order ...

    At 57, I worry I'll never be in a relationship again.
    I've had some great ones that ended in great heartache. I don't want that kind of pain in my life again.
    I don't really put myself out there because I'm scared but then also because I think - don't visit as the couch is dumpy, there are dishes in the sink and my dick won't get hard -- thoughts that are self defeating.
    At 57, I worry I'll never have penetrative sex again.
    I certainly do some of these things as self medication but they are really more about the self punishment and the protection these days. And they are habitual. I don't make decisions to fap out of stress release much anymore. I just do it. Same with drinking beer -- it is something I do at night. I'm doing a good job at breaking some habits with this week off.
    I'm swinging on an every other day pace for no PMO/fap.
    I am not lonely like I was just a few months ago. I'm doing more things with more people. Going into the office more often. But I miss touching. A hug from a friend or my sons, the dog leaning against me on the couch or in bed is certainly touch. And that helps a bit. But it is not the intimate touch of a woman.
    I miss sex but whenever I have an opportunity it feels less than good after the fact b/c of the PIED.

    To stop PMO / fapping, I am going to have to:

    Stop punishing myself
    Be brave about never having sex again and focus on something else
    Be brave about letting the future unfold and potentially putting a woman in my life
    Be brave if that happens to open myself up for what might be heartache again

    Working through things.

    Gil79 likes this.
  6. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

    i'm 67 and have PIED. i am married. once in a great while i am able to perform. i am grateful for that. never say never my brother. this addiction we have isolates us due to the shame, guilt, remorse, and secretive life we live. this addiction wants to get us alone and then it kills us. get out. sunshine and exercise are great mood elevators. go to the supermarket, library, wherever there are people. take a risk. talk to strangers. i have met a lot of great people at AA meetings. you never know. at 57 you are not old. there is the "right one" out there for you. if i work on me. that is no PMO, no fantasies, no drinking, no lying, everything else will fall in place. not easy, but worth it. i need to have a daily plan. in the beginning every minute of the day has to be planned, no spare hours. this is where my old self starts talking to me telling me it's okay to peek, what harm in soft porn on youtube, stare at hot mamas at walmart, etc. it's very difficult in the beginning. like a space rocket taking off-takes the most energy to get off the ground and into space. i truly believe in the law of attraction, but i have to a great deal of work. on me. i need to know who i want to be in 5 yrs, 1yr, 6mos, 1mos. when i have that ideal person in my mind, i work backward and ask myself-what do i have to do and NOT DO today, to become that person. slowly i will morph into the person i was meant to be before the porn filth hijacked my life and mind. when you become that person the corresponding perfect woman will show up. hang in there my brother. i have to risk pain to find joy and peace. enough of my old man ramblings. don't quit before the miracle.
  7. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    We're using PMO and other substances to not feel what we feel. but we have to face what's there, that is part of life and it is the only way to heal. You seen brave enough RD

    Khalil Gibran on pain:

    And a woman spoke, saying, Tell us of Pain.
    And he said:
    Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
    Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
    And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
    And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
    And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

    Much of your pain is self-chosen.
    It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
    Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:
    For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
    And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.
  8. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    What a week!

    Of course, this week is happening like it is because I decided prior to the canoe trip to focus this holiday week off on creating a visitor friendly space and because the canoe trip was so introspective. The visitor will find -- in a few weeks -- a fully furnished bachelor pad with a bachelor that is, though not healed, extremely introspective still. And the introspective me decided to delve into some emotional and addiction oriented this week. You all know that when you start to fight the addiction the addiction fights you? It's been quite a week.

    First, @badger, totally get what you are saying. I tell my kids to shut up and listen because old man ramblings are full of value. I don't really think it is old man ramblings but wise man sharing. Thank you! I think you are right. Don't feel it. But think it. Working to get the two to converge. I've been at this for over seven years. In that time I've posted 6 month streaks. I've put the lying to rest. The day long binging is gone. So much of my life is better. But I've not conquered this last piece and it is because I am more present, more connected, more authentic me that I am so anxious to end it and why I'm subconsciously fighting the end. t

    Second, this week has been God sent. After the relaxation and disconnection from the trip, this week off set me up to focus on me physically -- diet, weight, fitness, home -- as well as spiritually and emotionally. From the physical side with 4 more days to go, I'm doing pretty good:

    Well on the way: my place will be visitor friendly -- sons, friends, date, whoever ...
    Lagging: my workout routine will be reset and I'll be back to Crossfit
    Done: my diet routine will be set
    Done: my work email will be caught up (zero inbox)
    Mostly Done: I'll have doctor appointments set for the next 6 weeks to deal with some minor things I've been putting off
    In Progress: I'll have a budget and financial plan
    Started: I'll have a list of things I can do to keep myself out of the boredom zone whenever I start to go there

    Third, I'm wrestling with a swirl of things that is overcomplicating.

    I am not in a relationship and feel like that might be my reality for the rest of my life.
    I miss touch if not outright sex.
    I am scared of actually finding a woman to merge into my life. If I do, I'm kind of going to be like the dog that finally catches the car!
    My thinking brain has high standards for who that woman should be .... but some of my awful past makes me feel unworthy to the fantasized her.
    My feelings lead me to make some piss poor choices about who to date .. women that cover the touch part quite well but who I'd be embarrassed to introduce to friends. Yuck.
    My feelings that I don't deserve the fantasized her are deep rooted in some child hood things which magnify them.
    My addiction presents an option for "touch" when there isn't a woman in my life.
    And so on ..

    In summary, @badger, I know and agree with you. Trying to get there! I've knocked down some big obstacles this week to my happiness! And, I'm beginning to see the crazy emotional knot I've tied myself in that is making it much more difficult than it has to be for me to get healthy.
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Gil79, quite the Prophet you are! ... Thank you for that. Yes, it is self created.

    In fact, said differently, I've cleared up most of the mess in my life except for the parts I daily choose to keep.

    Thank you. It gives me much to think about.

    Gil79 likes this.
  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    So the "fun" of having this week is that I can just go off in any direction I'm lead. Danger in that, too, but it has been more benefit than cost.

    I took @Gil79's comment and spent some time exploring. I read some articles on self generated emotional pain. That reading wasn't all that profound but it quickly lead me to some articles on my old sabotage. That is profound.

    Some thoughts:

    Father / Dad: It takes little to become a father but it takes a lot of work to be a great Dad. Even in my darkest days of PMO I had enough character to snap out of the porn fog and be active and connected to my boys. THAT was my lifeline to not going darker than I went, THAT was my lifeline back toward sanity and THAT is the foundation for the strong, authentic relationships, I kept through the divorce, my confessing to them my porn habit and our continued relationship. It is the ONE thing I've gotten consistently right.
    Work: I've always been someone that lives to work. Yes, there's a dash of workaholism in that, but most of my work focus is healthy. I was doing ok before the divorce and the business sale. Now, after almost 6 years with the firm that acquired my firm, I'm positioned to make partner (at my age a big fucking deal), known nationally for some of my work, a sought after speaker and a recognized, popular leader within the firm. There's a bit of imposter syndrome buried in all that but the biggest side effect of that is I have to catch myself from overcommitting because I still don't quite believe I've done enough. My boss called me out on that two years ago (pot calling kettle black) and has helped there. Sometimes I procrastinate - classic self sabotage - but that is minor now that it has been in the past. Still growing here but think it is in the right place moving into a better spot.

    Winning (well at least this week so far!):

    Before 6th grade, I was the picked on smart fat kid. A couple of "friends" at work make fun of that some. I've developed thick skin on that one but truly it hurts and that hurt is a familiar hurt. Even though I'm active I don't look it. I've met women online, met for first dates and then heard "I don't think we are a match b/c of your fitness". In my immediate circle of friends when we took our first backpacking trip I was still playing Rugby and was easily the strongest, fittest in the bunch. I would get compliments from women. I dated a 29 year old at the time fitness competitor. I played competitive men's Rugby for 20+ years and used to Crossfit regularly. I've let that go. This past trip I was the fat kid on the trip I was heavy enough particularly up top that whichever canoe I was in was a bit top heavy and unstable. I'm down 15 pounds and have recommitted to getting fit if for no other reason almost swamping in two foot white caps is close enough to rock bottom to wake me the fuck up. But beer, late night door dash, crap food etc. are just a purchase away from heading back to fat kid status (not that I've totally gotten rid of fat kid). How I look and physically act is a huge self esteem source for me. I chose to be fat kid again because the pain is familiar and the self sabotage perfect for creating relationship obstacles. I've kept my face out of the beer, followed my diet and already lost 15 pounds. Not worked out as much as I planned but the diet came first so I'm happy with the progress. This feels good!
    Place: I've never kept my place "visitor friendly". That's been a great obstacle for friendships and relationships. Gives me a safe bunker few will invade. It's not unhealthy, but cluttered crazy professor style with stacks and piles. I've purged piles and stacks, purchased furniture, made a long list of improvements, put together an ordered list of things to buy that will get my place into a place I feel I can proudly have people over. I've set a timer on it because I'm planning a college game day party at some point this Fall (date not yet set) to break the seal on having people over. This feels good!


    I keep myself unavailable sexually by continuing to feed my PMO habits enough to keep the PIED with me. Not much more to say than that. I don't do it to self medicate stress so much anymore. I don't binge. I right now am in a twice a day fap zone and don't take a long time to do it. Once its done I'm empty as hell. And ok with it. I think about it anytime I say hello to a woman in pubic .... oh, I can't get it up so this won't go anywhere .. and now realize that that pain is kept as familiar and an obstacle.
    Financial. I'm bringing in more and handling it better. I'm not truly managing or stewarding what I have so that at 57 I consider myself a poor catch financially. I'm comfortable being "poor" and even though the security I have now feels good it feels uncomfortable. Few of my "to dos" on this list have been addressed this week, yet.
    Self: Prior to this week the physical and place aspects of me, were every bit in the dumper my sexual health is right now. And my financial shortcomings are going to be easier to overcome than the sexual but they are still in the dumper. I have a consistent issue of riding a roller coaster on this stuff. Huge plans, little progress, failure as a consistent pattern. I feel the progress I have made is substantial but certainly not enough. I have to stay consistent with those things that are winning this week as well as get over the self pain of fapping.

    I have enough time left this week to flip the financial into the winning zone.

    The sexual piece .. PMO, fapping, erotica ... the whole mess seems much harder to address.

    But IT is self inflicted pain for the purpose of self sabotage.

    Naming the game is important because I can stop it if I know what it is.

    Gil79 likes this.
  11. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    I really love this book. I have it on my nightstand and read in it when I feel insecure about myself, or as a father or about the future. There's a lot of wisdom in that book.
  12. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Thanks for sharing RD. It takes a lot of courage this kind of intraspection. I think it is important to feel the pain, to live the pain, so that it is free to go and we can create a more healthy mental image of how we want to be (or in essence are)
  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I weighed in this morning at 256. Two weeks ago, I weighed 276. Cut the beer out, cut my eating window down to an 8 hour window and fast two days a week with bone broth and I'm just peeling the weight off. I feel tremendous! There is a pang of discomfort with feeling good. Having some time this week to be mindful has helped. Meditating I can feel the discomfort and let it go. No danger in my bringing beer and door dash back into my life for a while. I committed to friends that I was going to do 1 21 day bone broth diet cycle, have a feast, and then potentially do a second 21 days. Right now I'm leaning toward the second. Big guardrails is the friends I told were also told if I wasn't losing weight I was cheating on the no beer pledge. There's stakes in this game!

    I have one hour of work holiday left ... and then the weekend becomes a normal weekend and back to work next week. What a shock that is going to be!

    This has been a good week. I've made progress in almost all the areas I committed to. Slept more than I had planned so some of the work around the house didn't get done but I still have the weekend. Broth days have been sleeping days!

    I have made progress with the porn but it is not the progress I wanted to make. I came back from the trip on an 8-day streak and almost immediately blew it. When I started this journey seven years ago life was a shambles, my marriage ending, my business struggling, and nearly every other category all fucked up. While separated I met someone who I thought would be the love of my life but she broke it off when my ex's scorched earth divorce strategy drug the whole mess out. I was both filled with anxiety and smothered with depression. I looked at porn, fapped and slept around to medicate. I would go all day and night with my face in the screens. When with a woman, PIED which had been an occasional problem over the years became routine.

    At one point, I was popping 3-6 month no PMO streaks and successfully enjoying sex from time to time. I dated a woman for awhile in 2020 and we had a good active sex life if not filled with the penetrative sex I used to enjoy.

    I have always had a good relationship with my sons. In the intervening years since the divorce, I've gotten most of my financials worked out, have a nice place in a fun neighborhood, kicked it at work and done better than expected ... the depression is still there but at a much lower volume as is the anxiety. I'm no longer lying addict who avoids responsibility.

    I've realized over the last month I've also done a great job of keeping some faults active in my life as both obstacles and punishment.

    A cluttered, incomplete living space, drinking, fapping, etc build walls to keep people from getting close in many relationship forms.

    I don't break up well. The woman I thought was the love of my life leaving me was the most painful breakup I've ever experienced. I thought my boys and her were the only good in my life. And she walked. It still hurts if I think about it. I've gotten pretty good at not thinking about it. But I don't want that kind of pain in my life ever again. To really get out into the dating world I'll risk that. I'm not open to taking that risk. So obstacles.

    And feeling lonely because people can't get in and because I have actually worked to maintain my deficiencies is punishment.

    I was a good dad but not the best dad I could've been if porn hadn't been there. I married the wrong woman but that doesn't set aside the fact that I was a terrible husband who trashed my vows. I taught Sunday School in a porn fog. I committed to things and because porn made me "too busy" I didn't follow through. I was unreliable, disconnected, without much affect for anything in the world. Even the successes I enjoyed were tainted. I did sell the business but the sale was less than it could have been if porn hadn't dominated my life. I'm ashamed of that me. And realize deep down feel that me needs to be punished.

    I have not forgiven myself.
    I am scared of succeeding.
    I am scared of failing.

    So I punish and hobble myself to keep me safe.

  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    One day. One day and counting.

    I've stayed off myself solidly for what's going to flip into two days soon.

    Knowing the "real why" -- self punishment, created obstacle, all nestled in with the I don't deserve it head trash -- rather than continuing to think it was stress has set me set up for success.

    I am right now focusing on asking "why?" when I feel the urge. So far that focus has discovered a lot of random thoughts about being lonely, having a date reschedule, etc.

    Knowing why is helping me adjust and manage those thoughts.

    It is not stress or depression anymore.

    I think I've got this now.

  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Another day of progress!

    Yes, the urges have been there but viewing them as obstacle building punishments has given me the perspective to dismiss them.

    Back to work tomorrow!

    I'm excited about the progress I've made this week.

    I didn't get everything done or make all the progress I wanted to make but I'm on my way.

    I am grateful for everyone of you that threw a thought into the mix for me this week.

    It's been helpful to my reframing things for me.

  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    On the PMO front, some habitual touching / M made yesterday a bit sketchy.

    Back to work after 3 weeks off. Didn't sleep well. Got my "8" in working from home but took a couple of cat naps. Those naps set the stage for the touching.

    I'll give up drinking AND porn before I'll give up naps!

    Have to change the pre nap ritual to keep my hands off myself when I lay down.

    Mindset today is good.

    Full day. In the office. At clients. Lots to do to keep busy.

    Gil79 likes this.
  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee.

    A little difficulty with the wake up ritual this morning but worked through it. So used to, over the years, hitting the phone first thing in the morning for schedule and porn that even when I wake up and look at the schedule porn thoughts creep in. Shook it off but it was there this morning. Just habit nothing more.

    Five days no P. No O. Some M but not constant.

    After 3 weeks of lots of time for myself a busy back to work week is making it difficult. But I'm mindful of working out, etc. Eating meals at the dining table instead of the computer. Little things like that are helping. The list of things to do when I'm bored helped last night -- I did a couple of small projects, felt good about myself and didn't fap.

    In an ok spot tracking to good.

    Have a great day!

  18. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Bad weekend. I didn't PMO though so there is that.

    Two beer limit networking event with a key referral source for my business turned into several more beers on Wednesday night.

    Thursday back on the wagon.

    Friday, team happy hour, intended to be dry for me was beer filled.

    Spent the weekend depressed with my arthritis inflammation soaring.

    Why succumb to drink?

    Same reasons I'll pull a porn site up or drop my pants to self medicate.

    Good from this episode:

    Not drinking beer was the right choice. I've recommitted to the choice. I can easily not drink it until I do drink it and then the guard goes down.
    Clearly it triggers both inflammation and depression. Good to know what you don't know.
    My 10 day streak is good to go. I did not self medicate the pain or depression away.
    I told my friends if I wasn't losing weight I was lying about the beer drinking. I bounced up about 4 pounds and that is my main motivation for going back to dry Rugger. Glad for the guardrail.

    You know I appreciate coming her and "confessing" to you guys. I don't know who reads this though some of you comment from time to time. I appreciate that. Whenever I slip or fail in my work, I feel comfortable doing it here but at the same time feel like I let you all down.

    StarWarsFan and Gil79 like this.
  19. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Good week, then bad weekend. Twice in a row evidently.

    This weekend was worse because I dove into the porn. So reset.

    I feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. Eventually I run out of hill and back to the bottom I go to do it all over again.

    Depression was thick this weekend. I slept most of the day Saturday and Sunday. Cleaned the house last night at 2 because I couldn't sleep.

    I went two weeks no PMO but didn't do two weeks healthy.

    If it isn't Porn and M it is drink .. if it isn't drink it is dating apps .. if it isn't dating apps it is Porn and M ... sometimes it is all 3.

    But regardless if it is one or them all it is my unhealthy choices in living life.

  20. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Morning coffee.

    Thoughts in my head are trapped between feeling lonely and sorry for myself for being alone one the one side and feeling that I don't have my self together in a way that I would participate well in a healthy relationship.

    That was the trigger for much of the depression over the weekend.

    I have to do weekends differently.

    Friday, I went out for a drink after work and then came home to watch some streaming. Saturday hiked with my friends and then came back and slept most of the day in a depressive funk. Up late Saturday night / Sunday morning because I couldn't sleep and then more of Saturday's sleepy day on Sunday. I did rally Sunday night and got a few things done. Woke up panicked this morning with anxiety until I got out of bed.

    I have to change the patterns of my weekends.

    I cycle. Hit life improvement hard with a big plan and then run out of gas only to succumb to bad choices until I get disgusted and then hit life improvement hard ... and on and on ...

    Life today is better than it was when I started out fighting this but the pattern is still there. I guess I do make some progress when I'm hitting life improvement hard but the underlying self medication is still there. Alcohol has crept into the mix more than ever before which certainly adds to the ED problem. Not that I'm entertaining women every night to see the actual affect!

    This week I'm going to think about what a better weekend looks like and try to build into next weekend a healthy schedule I can follow.

    It feels like I need a huge life change to help me change the overall pattern of life. I don't have any idea what that is .. but the routine of how I live life and the unhealthiness that comes with it is just baked in to the process at the moment.

    Searching for a better weekend .. searching for a better life pattern ....


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