Well look who is here .... UGH.

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

  1. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    And so it goes ..

    I get knocked down, but I get up again
    You are never gonna keep me down
    I get knocked down, but I get up again
    You are never gonna keep me down
    I get knocked down, but I get up again
    You are never gonna keep me down
    I get knocked down, but I get up again
    You are never gonna keep me down
    -- from tubthumping by Chumbawamba

    Down again. Or rather getting back up again.

    Had a very health 3 week run dating someone who I thought would be fun to date but realized she wasn't "the one".

    We swapped divorce stories - spread the baggage out on the table -- and she didn't so much like mine.

    I wasn't so found of hers either. But in a situation like that both people have to have it in them to both be vulnerable and truthful as well as to give the other grace.

    The recipe doesn't work with 2 parts truth and one part grace.

    Threw me off last week. Bigtime.

    So here I am again. Back up again.

    Several realities have come into focus this week:

    We attract people similar to who we are. If I'm fit and healthy and happy, I'll attract fit and healthy and happy. If I'm not, I'm not.
    I don't have the energy to get fit, healthy and happy "for her" especially when she is an unknown future, a thought, desire, fantasy in my head. Yes, the energy is there in the beginning but it quickly dies out as work on my future state "for her" gets overwhelmed with self medicating the things that make me feel now.
    So I have to find it in me to get fit, healthy and happy for me.
    I have to see THAT effort as the real self medication. I KNOW that is the case but I don't FEEL it.

    Long weekend has been lonely and somewhat uneventful and boring.

    I've been very introspective -- great church service helped.

    Spending the day on myself today.

    RD
     
  2. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    @ruggerdoug. Great post! A lot to absorb.

    but you sound like you’re doing a lot of work on yourself - bouncing back up again with gusto!

    keep it going one day at a time!
     
    Mozenjo likes this.
  3. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Rugger, you are strong because you do keep getting up. But we do need to stop knocking ourselves down. Life is hard enough without being our own worst enemies.
    I'm glad you're getting out there and dating. As you've said many times, a partner/lover won't solve your problems, but at least when you find the right one, you'll be able to be comfortable being yourself around her. It will happen.
     
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  4. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo and @path-forward forward, thank you both for the encouragement.

    I found some off line journal that I had written in 2019.

    I said a lot of the same things then that I'm saying now. I derided the fact that I was drinking more and that my emphasis on finding someone wasn't working.

    Kind of shocked me to tell the truth. After reading that it feels like I've just been treading water for all that time.

    That was late 2019. Then it was pandemic. Then I got COVID. And got COVID again. The end result is that I become more inactive, more disconnected from others, less fit with more alcohol my life and work work work.

    So now I know that I'm not in a moment but living through a trend.

    What I've been trying to do over the last couple of months is beginning to change the trend but I didn't realize it. Thought it was a just popped up thing.

    My no PMO and no drinking alone goals are now lined up.

    But it's not about focusing on not doing things but on doing healthy things. And that is the challenge. Always has been.

    The core of this is I don't -- by my behaviors -- really give 2 shits about taking care of myself.
     
  5. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    @ruggerdoug. Sounds like you have a lot to process and you are working hard on understanding how to build a strong foundation. Don’t be discouraged by some overlap of issues from 2019. Covid made things a totally different dynamic for many of us. I have immune compromised people in my orbit. It’s been a life game changer to say the least!

    You do care a lot about your health - but it’s tough sometimes to find the right equilibrium and mental foundation to take care of yourself and deal with emotionally challenging situations as well.

    BUT you are fully engaged now and that is all that matters. Do not look backward. It doesn’t make anyone feel better. We all have things we wish we could change. But you should not live your life looking in the rear view mirror.

    be in the present and focus on today. One step at a time!

    be kind to yourself. You are working hard to feel better about yourself and your life.

    keep on fighting!
     
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  6. Rudolf Geyse

    Rudolf Geyse Well-Known Member

    @ruggerdoug I'm not sure what to say, but, strength my brother. Introspecting like you are, can be positive and powerful if you can get face-to-face with some of those core issues. Disillusionment at being in the same place after a couple of years is actually a good thing - once the illusion of progress is removed, we can face up to that and strategise for real progress. Celebrate the small victories, each small step in the right direction is a win. Also I will add, celebrate the victory of Christ, our victory is rooted in His victory. All the best and I hope you can figure it out.
     
    path-forward likes this.
  7. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    That is a good wake up call. A kick in the butt.
    I had something similar when I decided one day to use the amount of relapses of over half a year and calculate from that the total amount of life time I spend on PMO since I started with this shit. It woke me up.
     
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  8. Tomato76

    Tomato76 Active Member

    Doug, fair play to you for having open and honest talks with potential suitors, not keeping things in the dark just in order to ensure things progress they way you think they should (something I have done, over and over, in the past)... and for being so honest on here...

    I can relate to your predicament, many time I really feel like I am treading water, but I am sure there is progress, perhaps its just not so linear... keep on going.
     
    Rudolf Geyse likes this.
  9. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo and @path-forward forward, thank you both for the encouragement.

    I found some off line journal that I had written in 2019.

    I said a lot of the same things then that I'm saying now. I derided the fact that I was drinking more and that my emphasis on finding someone wasn't working.

    Kind of shocked me to tell the truth. After reading that it feels like I've just been treading water for all that time.

    That was late 2019. Then it was pandemic. Then I got COVID. And got COVID again. The end result is that I become more inactive, more disconnected from others, less fit with more alcohol my life and work work work.

    So now I know that I'm not in a moment but living through a trend.

    What I've been trying to do over the last couple of months is beginning to change the trend but I didn't realize it. Thought it was a just popped up thing.

    My no PMO and no drinking alone goals are now lined up.

    But it's not about focusing on not doing things but on doing healthy things. And that is the challenge. Always has been.

    The core of this is I don't -- by my behaviors -- really give 2 shits about taking care of myself.

    When I was in therapy I discovered that I had learned I don't deserve it as a child. And I treat myself like I don't deserve it. I need to get myself back to therapy and work through that. I walked away from therapy last year because I was tired of the same old, same old, even as we were getting closer to the answer. It was a bad decision.
     
  10. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    Good morning. Good night of sleep. Prayed before I fell asleep and that calmed me. Yesterday was a no beer day so I woke up clear headed. Slept without the alarm on because I don't have anything until late morning so I naturally woke up. At one point I woke up to early morning wood which is always a sign -- at least for me -- that healing is happening.

    I worked out yesterday, too. Late, but I got the minimum workout in. Took 30 minutes. I should always have 30 minutes to do something I enjoy. Many times I feel like the workout is a chore even though even a short period of time lifting heavy things grounds me. That, too, contributed to my good night's sleep. It also contributed to my waking up without my brain racing in anxiety. Which leads to my fapping to start the day.

    No anxiety noise in the brain. No fapping.

    Took care of myself by working out, eating well, not drinking beer before bed , and so on ... and I didn't even feel the temptation to fap.

    RD
     
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  11. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    It's been a couple of weeks since I've journaled. I've largely been continuing to tread water over that time period. @Tomato76 I feel like there is progress in the treading though I wish it would linear. I've done quite a bit of thinking and feeling over the last couple of weeks that have helped move my mind into a good spot.

    Some things I already knew and owned. I self medicate with porn, erotica, M, and drink.

    Some things I knew but didn't want to own. Because the toxins of self medication have been more damaging in my past than they are now, I've tended to rationalize that I have a pile of negative outcomes directly caused by my self medicating habits. And if they line up just right they'll make the year I divorced equal to the doom that might fall. I don't work as much as people think I do but have been riding on a record personal sales year. I enjoy being physically active and most people think I work out intensely and often -- at 57 it is getting harder to hide the fact b/c when ever I do anything physically -- outdoors with friends -- it is obvious I'm not in shape. I used to hide the lung suck with my strength but that's noticeably declining as I age and don't attend to it. I don't care so much how uncluttered my house is -- told myself for every it is a natural defense to prevent anyone getting in my space (partial truth) -- but I do care and it feeds my shame as it is a sign of how checked out I am from the self medication.

    New thoughts came from outside my normal box. As we've all shaken COVID off the world is socializing again! Networking events are spinning back up for work and I've heard some great speakers. One that had huge impact told a story about a struggle she was having where she felt stuck. She was whining about it to her dad who told her "you are where you want to be". She argued until she realized she can change her mind about where she was even if she couldn't solve the struggle. I have been just fine with where I am but it is not "where I want to be" though I own that the only way I be where I want to be is to change.

    A friend of mine -- one of the owners of the business I work for -- introduced me to a app/site/book called "This Naked Mind". This Naked Mind includes a 30 alcohol free "experiment" where you choose not to drink for 30 days and commit to supportive exercises each day that help you record the outcomes from the experiment. Sounds like a 30 day no FAP challenge except that rather than just not drinking you journal, answer some very pointed questions, etc. It is not meant to have people stop drinking necessarily but rather to help you change your relationship with alcohol. I've started the prep work from that today and plan on starting my 30 days next weekend. I will not purchase or otherwise bring alcohol into my home until I've finished the experiment.

    I really stepped out of my comfort zone Friday night. I was recruited to dance in a Dancing with the Stars style fund raiser. I've never ball roomed danced in my life. I've been practicing for 3 months. Absolutely nailed a tango to AC/DC's Thunderstruck in front of 500 people and raised over $10000 for the charity. Stepping out of my comfort zone like that was exhilarating! And that's where I want to be!

    Lastly, I was at my best in life when I was losing weight to be able to make weight to qualify to take my son on a 2-week backpacking trip (fat dad's are hard to helicopter off the mountainside when they get hurt). I lost 70 pounds and had an amazing time. The dancing was like that ... 3 months with a focus that ended with a big positive bang!

    I'm not outside of my comfort zone when I continue to self medicate like I do. It mutes my emotions and eats up the time I need to invest in being outside the zone.

    What's that all mean?

    I'm committing to working the "This Naked Mind" experiment. Some of why I drink is why I fap is why I watch porn is why .... so a different angle on the why will do me good.
    I'm committing to journal here as TNM work delves into things related to my porn addiction.
    I'm committed to run in a Thanksgiving Day 5k with my middle son. The only race I've ever run was a 4k race that had a craft beer station each click. I'm starting couch to 5k to get ready for that.
    I'm committed to having something else out of my comfort zone to pursue after the run.

    And that's it. No grand reset plan. I am otherwise going to go with the flow instead of building a huge lofty complicated plan.
     
  12. path-forward

    path-forward Active Member

    @ruggerdoug great post! Lots to parse through.

    but overall it looks like you’re being very honest with yourself and also pushing outside your comfort zone. Kudos with your “dancing with the stars” performance! Truly amazing!
    I would hurt myself! Lol

    Hopefully your 30 day alcohol sobriety goes well! I have informally done that with 2 to 4 week breaks of both alcohol and weed - just to make sure I was in control.

    keep things going! You are doing great!
     
  13. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @path-forward, I did walk around like a 90 year old yesterday. Dancing is far more athletically demanding than I thought. Every damn Rugby injury that's turned into arthritis was on fire!

    So I'm pacing tonight and decided to journal a bit to settle the mind.

    I have no alcohol in the house. And no real desire to fap.

    My usual routine of late has been to drink in the evenings and then fap away the shame and cobwebs in the morning.

    Inside voice with little volume is telling me to make a beer run. I will not.

    I finished the work for the alcohol experiment I'm doing and wanted to plunge forward into it but it is locked until tomorrow.

    Learned enough - well really refreshed my knowledge about how pain and discomfort trigger self medication acts -- that my awareness was raised about how I'm feeling right now.

    I had an absolute ball with the whole dancing thing.

    I'm sad it is over.

    I have a bit of a crush on the professional dancer I was paired with. We genuinely became friends over 3 months of practicing. It wasn't quite dirty dancing but it was suggestive. She's 32 -- and I've dated with big age gaps before. I managed through that whole time to stay focused on the event and not on my silly old guy fantasy that there might be a spark. She's in a relationship and is moving out of state (no, my dancing was not that bad -- it is for a new job!). We spent a couple of hours a week body to body dancing. And texted regularly about the dance and the fundraising. We had an obvious connection but I'd have to bend my mind pretty hard to suggest it was anything sexual or romantic.

    After the dance she told me that if I was interested she was interested in performing again in the future. I'm not sure what the hell that means! I think it was just a "hey, you didn't suck" and maybe we could do this again. It certainly wasn't some subtle hint that there was more to it. There was open dancing after the event. She asked me to dance and taught me the hustle (so many weapons in this man's dancing tool belt!). And she also twice said, you know you can message me on FB or text after this if you want. Again, not remotely thinking that was a come on but just a sign that she felt our connection as well.

    After I came home alone. And I've felt this since I came home after the event.

    I've been sad all weekend.

    I wasn't sure why but I've come to the realization that I'm kind of mini mourning that that is all over.

    And THANKFUL that tonight is not a drinking night.

    I've got it in me to kill a six-pack and write some mushy embarrassing note. Actually, I've got it in me to write that even if I'm not drinking! But I'm not writing anything!

    I am thirsty for a drink because I don't like feeling sad and this sadness, over losing the routine of a positive connection, amplify's how lonely I feel.

    There were 45 people including my sons, my boss and several partners from our firm, nearly my entire team, some clients that were there to see me. That felt damn good! As did killing the performance like we did (only time I actually got the whole thing start to finish right). But bringing that euphoria home to no one contributed to my feelings.

    I did try to drink it away yesterday. And reset the counter today because true to form I tried to fap the shame of the drinking away when I woke up this morning.

    Tonight is going to be a tough night.

    I'm fully aware sleep will be hard to come by (I have trouble sleeping and sometimes justify drinking before bed as my way to get better sleep -- BULLSHIT I know but still ... ). My plan is to get out of bed in the morning as rested as I can be without having had a drink or fapping at all. So with the tough sleep ... and I am writing this to set it in stone ... I'm not going to fap to try to get sleepy.

    This is work .... but I can do it.

    RD
     
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  14. Mozenjo

    Mozenjo Well-Known Member

    Rugger, what a rush the dance thing must have been. It's understandable that after all the prep, the dance teacher thing, and the performance, there is now a kind of "what's next?" feeling. You're smart enough to know that it's best to be on guard and prevent the feelings of loss you're experiencing after such an intense high from sending you into another binge. God knows tons of famous performers have done that.
    You know that women like you, and I know that you will find the right one for you. Yeah, let the dance teacher go, and enjoy the memories of the experience for a bit longer. But don't dwell on them.
    Yes, you CAN do the work, and you WILL!
     
  15. ruggerdoug

    ruggerdoug Well-Known Member

    @Mozenjo the dance thing was quite a rush!

    Last night acknowledging the feelings of loss was me preventing. I usually don't allow myself to feel anything and cover it all up with my cocktail of self medication. And while I was feeling it, the feeling wasn't very intense just there hanging around. But uncomfortable enough that in a different mindset I would've made that beer run.

    I started working through the "Alcohol Experiment" last night from "This Naked Mind". One thing I learned is that habits change with positive emotion and not just over time. Saying I won't do this (i.e. drink, PMO, etc.) and counting days isn't going to work so well -- I've proven that with the counter here. But changing out the negative actions with positive actions reinforces the change. Makes total sense. That's why we are encouraged on this site and others to learn a new hobby, exercise, etc. I had already decided to do this experiment before the dance but the positivity from the dance was enough to get me in a spot of "I want to feel more of that!".

    I realize that small adventures that I can focus on for 6 -12 weeks are where it is at for me. Out of my comfort zone for a pay off. To stay out of the zone, I have to focus. It is not boring routine. It isn't some huge ass plan with 1M moving parts that is perfect on paper but impossible to pull off. There's a penalty or consequence for fucking up.

    Next up is a plan to run a Turkey Trot with my middle son.

    Compare that to throwing myself in to work with no real other focus. Nothing to look forward to on the horizon. No need to really put myself out there to prepare. It all feels like a grind -- because it is -- that I self medicate away.

    Feeling very positive today!

    RD
     
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