Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    I've felt that way many times RG, and am feeling it strongly now. I remember earlier in your journal when you talked a lot about your new place in town, that has lots going on right in the neighborhood. You were really joyful about all that and it seemed to be the big change you had been hoping for. It's frustrating that it didn't work out that way. To be blunt, this kind of wish is similar to the other fanciful, easy-out solutions that we cry for. Kind of like the addicts prayer, God just take it away! It rarely happens that way. Rather, we journey forward through some hardships on the way to a much more abundant life as a result of the work, the trials and challenges.

    Have you heard of or read a book called "Samson and the Pirate Monks"? It's a great biography of sexual addition and recovery. I think you'd really like it.
     
  2. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @realness, thank you.

    I grabbed the Kindle version of "Samson and the Pirate Monks" last night and finished it this afternoon.

    So much of Nate's story resonated with me.

    Two things did the most:

    As a group, Isolation v. Companionship; Rover v. Homebuilder; Reflex v. Reflection; Big Plays v. Little Plays.

    I won't recap them all here but I totally match up with the Samson choice in each of those the worst of which is isolation. I'm an extrovert who often choses to be alone.

    I do have a group of 5 friends that I see almost weekly. They are the guys I hike with. And my time with my sons ebbs and flows but we are all openly talking - and acting -- about spending more time together. But, outside of work, I don't have any other regular connections that are guys.

    The isolation bothered me before I read the book but now I see the impact it is having.

    Personas

    Like Nate, I live with a lot of persona's .. the golden child my mom thought I was, the smart guy, the tough guy (that's the rugger part), Dad (my best persona but still fell short) and my alone self.

    The when I'm alone persona is who I am most of the time and I don't really like him. He is the guy that faps, day drinks, objectifies women, looks at porn, bounces around dating apps, chooses not to work out (even though "tough guy" is supposedly the strongest, toughest guy in the room) and on and on.

    Moving Forward

    The book was a good though provoking read. Frankly, some of it I've heard in a different way around here, but hearing it differently was helpful.

    I'm not sure what to do with it all at the moment.

    I am going to make an effort to be less isolated. My typical reaction is something kneejerk. I do have ideas. I'm going to think them through and work through them this week. I've already sent a note to my best friend asking for his help in thinking it through. And in 2019, I did a homeless walk with my church. They've, post-COVID, restarted, but I've, even though I now live in the neighborhood, have put off getting involved again. I see a lot of these people when I walk my dog and "know" them. It's not a Samson group but it is getting out of the house. And it is something that had meaning to me at one point.

    And @realness, you were dead on target. That if my environment were different I'd be different is such an addict's excuse. Lots of ways to say it but it is up to change the environment. Like you, I can't do it by myself and need Jesus involved. The book lit a spark. Thank you.

    RD
     
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  3. path-forward

    path-forward Member

    RD. I’m very impressed with your candid and insightful assessment of your personality and situation. A lot of work and desire to change to articulate all of of that. You are being very honest with yourself and also creating goals.

    I am doing better myself with my fight -.but it took a long time and a lot of effort to gig deep and honestly look at myself in the mirror.

    you are making great progress in motivating yourself!

    Keep striving to better your situation and fight the evils of P. One day at time!
     
  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @path-forward, thanks for the encouragement.

    I've been at this a long time. When I first started I was married, binged on porn constantly throughout the day, and had huge messes in almost every category of life.

    Looking back I've made a lot of progress in putting a life together.

    A reset now isn't from a binge but a slip. Financials, career, living situation, platonic relationships with women, authentic friendships with me and on and on are better.

    But I still have a hole I try to fill.

    I think at one point in my life I didn't feel the hole but for the most part it is all I've known to feel like this.

    I want to find a stop to it.

    RD
     
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  5. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    The Samson and the Rogue Pirates put this into my head ....

    This morning I am grateful for:

    Sully, my dog and the companionship he gives me
    My sons
    My job
    This journal and the men who read it
    My "new" place where I've lived almost a year as it is starting to come together quite nicely
    My team at work
    Getting through a full workout squatting yesterday and NOT waking up sore today
    My friend Tim
    This cup of coffee!

    RD
     
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  6. path-forward

    path-forward Member

    @RD. You have a lot to be proud of in your fight to take back control of your life and focus on healthy and productive pursuits!!

    I also felt like I’ve had a hole to fill during my life. Partly the result of PTSD trauma I experienced as a teen - but also partly due to the porn high and associated “secret life thrill” I have always gotten from my porn addiction. It allowed me to go to a place where I felt no pain.
    I do not expect the triggers to seek out the self-medication of porn to go away. But we both need to keep reinforcing the mental tools to change one’s focus to another more healthy and spiritually uplifting activity.

    Keep going forward and working on ways to counter the thinking of prior bad behaviors.

    While I have not been on YBR very long - I also have been working on this struggle a long time. And both my marriages have suffered due to my addiction. But I now know this “war” against my PMO addiction will take everything I have to keep it under control.

    RD - hope you have a great week! Keep up the fight!
     
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  7. realness

    realness Well-Known Member

    RD, I'm so happy to hear you found the Samson book meaningful. I had forgotten about the personas. I hope that your "alone" persona can become known by safe people around you. He can be challenged and loved and changed. My "alone" persona used to be a lot like you described and can still be like that. But now he does strange things like using a Marco Polo app to be in touch with safe people. Today he described the genres of porn he's drawn to, to a safe person to shed light on them and take away some of their power.
     
  8. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Attacking the isolation issue head on. I work hybrid so remote about 2/3 of the time. After work unless I do more work I don't do much. The periods of time where I don't do much is where I fill in with beer or fapping. The weekends are the worst because while I hike every Saturday morning that might be the only thing I do with others. A full weekend like this weekend - Friday night date, Saturday hike, workout Saturday afternoon with friend, Irish festival Saturday evening, Sunday church ... is a rare thing .. usually it is the hike and nothing.

    While week days are better because of work functions I've already done two things:

    In 2019, I did a couple of homeless walks with my church as part of a mission in my neighborhood. I live a couple blocks away from a major entertainment district where I live. Nice neighborhood but lots of homeless. The church walks the street twice a weeks, does a welfare check, hands out bottles of water, etc. When I did it, it was very meaningful -- I can envision an alternate life for me where I made even more bad decisions and ended up like that. When I walk my dog at night if we go up on the strip I still bump into homeless people from that time that remember me. I am starting that back up on Monday on a once a week 2-hour committtment.

    Crossfit has been a thing for me. Two bouts of COVID plus the sedentary nature of pandemic life took my drive to workout that hard away. Its a very social way of working out. Went back last night and am recommitting to it.

    This weekend I'm going to spend some time making a list of "things to do" to give my alone persona choices. If I leave the choices to the top of my head in the moment the end result is bad!

    Second day of CrossFit was last night. Sore as fuck. But went to bed at 10 and mostly slept the night through. As opposed to not sleepy, drink beer to sleep, yet stay up too late drinking more beer, feeling crappy in the morning and fapping to feel better.

    RD
     
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  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Attacking the isolation issue head on. I work hybrid so remote about 2/3 of the time. After work unless I do more work I don't do much. The periods of time where I don't do much is where I fill in with beer or fapping. The weekends are the worst because while I hike every Saturday morning that might be the only thing I do with others. A full weekend like this weekend - Friday night date, Saturday hike, workout Saturday afternoon with friend, Irish festival Saturday evening, Sunday church ... is a rare thing .. usually it is the hike and nothing.

    While week days are better because of work functions I've already done two things:

    In 2019, I did a couple of homeless walks with my church as part of a mission in my neighborhood. I live a couple blocks away from a major entertainment district where I live. Nice neighborhood but lots of homeless. The church walks the street twice a weeks, does a welfare check, hands out bottles of water, etc. When I did it, it was very meaningful -- I can envision an alternate life for me where I made even more bad decisions and ended up like that. When I walk my dog at night if we go up on the strip I still bump into homeless people from that time that remember me. I am starting that back up on Monday on a once a week 2-hour committtment.

    Crossfit has been a thing for me. Two bouts of COVID plus the sedentary nature of pandemic life took my drive to workout that hard away. Its a very social way of working out. Went back last night and am recommitting to it.

    This weekend I'm going to spend some time making a list of "things to do" to give my alone persona choices. If I leave the choices to the top of my head in the moment the end result is bad!

    Second day of CrossFit was last night. Sore as fuck. But went to bed at 10 and mostly slept the night through. As opposed to not sleepy, drink beer to sleep, yet stay up too late drinking more beer, feeling crappy in the morning and fapping to feel better.

    RD
     
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  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Today I am grateful for the date I had last night.

    Short story. Woman sees me in a promo picture for something work related. She's with a friend of mine who says "Oh, I know him. Great guy. Single." Woman, named Patrice, says "introduce us". We've been texted for a week. Went to dinner last night. We had a fabulous time. It is my first date since my divorce (about 6 years) that didn't come from a dating app.

    Conversation flowed. Texting this week was a little flirtatious but it never veered off into purely sexual territory like dating app introduced conversations seem to.

    We are texting this morning and already have date 2 planned.

    That's the good.

    The bad is that "oh, shit! regret!" in the back of my head beating myself up that at some point in the future if we have the opportunity to get naked together my PIED is going to join us because I've not been living monkish.

    I'm at 2 days at the moment. Temptation this morning when I got her text when I was still in bed was to start to rub but the potential was enough to keep me from starting.

    I'm also telling myself I can't be doing it for her but doing it for me ...

    None of that inward chatter is front and center and I'm not in freak out mode but it is there to deal with.

    RD
     
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  11. path-forward

    path-forward Member

    RD. Great to hear! Congrats and keep up your focus! Love the idea of no PMO for your own betterment - not others!

    Best of luck with your dating!
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
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  12. mailboxsam

    mailboxsam Active Member

    Enjoy your second date man. Try to keep your powder dry.
     
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  13. Tomato76

    Tomato76 Active Member

    Great to hear this RD... Totally get that feeling/ apprension about being in decent shape... Take it steady and keep yourself clean.
     
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  14. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Woke up depressed this morning but without the buzz of anxiety that usually comes with it. Not even tempted to fap though I did sleep in a bit. Coming off a great weekend I don't expect the depression but it seems to come and go regardless of what happened. I can make it worse with overcommittment, drinking, fapping, processed carbs but I've not discovered the formula to keep it all the way at bay.

    I did not self medicate this morning which is good.

    Working from home today with meetings at the top of almost every hour so I'll be safe for the day.

    More to say later.

    RD
     
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Five good -- not perfect, but good -- days. Back on the no beer fast and feeling good.

    Talking every day .. not obsessively but just here and there .. with Patrice.

    Aware that I tend to fall hard and fast and jump right into the deep end. I enjoy talking and being with her, feel this could go someplace. Do not want to force it or move it too quickly. Also, realize there are some things about her I don't know and should know before I move it into deep water.

    Aware that I don't "just date" well. It is either serious or it isn't.

    We are going out Saturday night and I'm already worrying about the sex that might come with the date.

    None of this is hitting as anxiety but I am mindful of the thoughts.

    Doug
     
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  16. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    At dinner last night Patrice asked "are you going to tell me what you did?!" ... meaning why I got divorced ... it was more funny the way she said it than confrontational . I told her I'd tell the high points at dinner but would save the details -- which I will happily share -- in private.

    I told her I cheated. I told her about the porn. I told her that I had made bad choices due to my self medicating depression and my unhappiness in my marriage.

    I did not tell her about PIED or my struggle with masturbation.

    She's an introvert. When I got done with the summary -- which was hard enough to share -- I asked if she needed more detail. She said she wanted to process what she'd learned and would likely have questions for me in a few days.

    Then we went on and had a wonderful date.

    The church I go to is well known and unusual (church for the unchurched with a heavy emphasis on urban service) and she is going with me as she's not known anyone that goes.

    I'm not looking forward to the detailed conversation but the summary didn't kill me!

    It is so hard to share. It is harder yet thinking a relationship could survive not sharing.

    So I don't know the end result but I feel good for getting it out. I know if the processing ends up with bad news we've at least got chemistry and can get along with her having the knowledge. Maybe we can't get serious but we can enjoy being together. In the end I don't think it will be a total disaster even at its worst!

    RD
     
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  17. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    I am having a difficult day.

    I'm unfocused.

    Good weekend. I scrubbed my phone Saturday in anticipation of telling Patrice my story -- or at least part of it. Hard to tell that story and not be in a position to hand the phone over to prove it's not loaded with toxic pics. There wasn't a lot to clean but there was enough it took a minute.

    Good thing is there is no where to go today. No apps. No pics. No porn sites.

    Bad thing is my inner voice is calling me to jump right back in.

    I just scheduled the rest of my day's tasks every 30 minutes until bed time at 11 tonight.

    My week is busy enough until Friday I won't have another day of tasks home alone so it will get easier as the week goes.

    RD
     
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  18. path-forward

    path-forward Member


    RD. I respect your approach with your new GF. You have no obligation to fully spill your guts and nor does she about herself or her prior relationships. But being increasingly open with a new relationship, while def adding some risks, may also give you the added motivation and support you need. Just be thoughtful about what and how you share things - so it does not put you on the defensive in regard to the overall relationship.

    But its likely better you discuss PIED before being intimate than afterwards. Otherwise - you will may lose her trust and support.

    overall - great idea to plan your day. I also recommend reading or rereading Whack and easy peasy. They really help build a stronger foundation to fight your urges.

    hang in their brother! You seem to be heading in a great direction!
     

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