Where you stumble, there lies your treasure

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Gil79, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    2 days clean, hooray! Feeling a lot better. Went for a long walk and the playground with the kids and afterwards I did a really good work-out. Really happy with the work-out scheme I have now. I feel so much stronger and in balance. Also my back-aches and knots in my muscles are almost gone. I can also see that I am more muscular already and 5 kg above my regular weight.

    Been writing some more yesterday. Going through my past and writing down the stuff that comes up in my mind. It is painful and embarrassing and that means that it is good and necessary. I am bringing up memories that I forgot about for a long time. I also had that last year during my 4 month streak. Back then I thought it was the absence of PMO that brought up the memories, but probably that also had to do with my explorations of the past. I am going to continue with this. I really want to bring all my emotions to the surface, make them see the light and give them a place. I need to find and know myself now.
     
  2. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    3 days clean, hooray! I have started (again) the recoverynation workshop. It is well explained there why a long streak without real recovery mostly leads to falling back into old habits. My goal is to do two lessons a week.

    Had some urges yesterday and this morning. Difficult to deal with. Not because the urges were strong, but because my boundary to NOT act out is currently so low. A kind of 'why not' attitude. I am going to use the RN workshop to further strengthen and develop my internal motivation and to develop a recovery plan.
     
    NewStart19 and Thelongwayhome27 like this.
  3. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Good call at having another go with the RN workshop. You've inspired me to try it again too. Some of the exercises can be tough going, but there are so many valuable insights written on those pages. The lesson on values is pure gold.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  4. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    4 days clean, hooray! Celebrated with 50 burpees. Awesome exercise.

    Right at pesson 1 I already stumbled upon a hurdle. At first the question to be 100% committed. The second question for complete honesty..... it is going to be tough. Last time I got quite far with the workshop but quit when I was recommended to open up about my addiction towards my partner. That feels like a no-go to me. Does this mean I am not 100% honest and committed? I don't know .. . .
     
  5. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    No, this means you are smart and caring. No partner wants to have themselves compared to porn stars. It diminishes them and they forever after will have that in their mind. Every time you have sex they will wonder what you're thinking. Loving a bottle is one thing, but loving watching people have sex is quite another. Also, why should our partner have to bear the load of our guilt, our shame? They shouldn't! We have to step up and claim our manhood. We live in a culture we people think we have to reveal everything about ourselves, every thought that passes through our mind. I've thought about punching my wife in the face before, but that doesn't mean I should tell the world about it. I'll bet she's though of ramming a knife through my chest. lol The journey, the healing, is personal. We don't understand who we are, so why should a partner, who also struggles with knowing themselves, have to try and understand us?
     
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  6. forlorn

    forlorn Well-Known Member

    Personally, I opted to confess to my partner that I have a problem with porn. I spared her the finer details of course. I felt I had to offer some kind of explanation as to why there's no sexual intimacy in our marriage. She was pretty understanding. But your situation is different. And as Saville points out, it's a personal journey, so only you know what's right for you. Just because you don't follow the workshop to the letter, it doesn't mean your efforts are insincere. Don't let this hold you back from completing the other lessons.
     
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  7. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    5 days clean, hooray! Had some urges to fantasize. Especially after a couple of days it is easy to get a good kick out of sexual fantasies. was able to resist well.

    Thanks for your points of view @Saville and @forlorn. That is very helpful and motivating to continue (and not use this as an excuse to not continue). I share your opinion on this, but sometimes I also have my doubts and I feel that as lomg as I keep this a secret to my wife I am withholding true intimacy between us. And it is this intimacy I really want to work on. And, as you described vividly Saville, I guess I don't want to know everything about my wife neither :D.
     
  8. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    As each new day dawns we hold onto the history of who we were. It's this memory that keeps us stuck, because we believe that we are the same person we were yesterday. In every moment there is an opportunity to examine our consciousness and step out of the well-worn ruts of our inherited beliefs. From what I'm reading you are doing that. Intimacy evolves between people the more intimately acquainted we get with ourselves. The person we were yesterday (porn addict/alcoholic/etc) does not have to carry forward. In fact, it is reductive to think of one aspect of ourselves - addiction to P - because this give that one failing more power. What about the rest of who we are? You, Gil, are a caring father, a dutiful husband, a provider, and a great world citizen.
     
  9. Cali

    Cali Active Member

    That was beautiful Saville!
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  10. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    6 days clean, hooray! Been fighting more fantasies last night. There's such a strong pull to do it, but I managed to keep that door closed. This morning I was doing breathing exercises and all of a sudden I got an intense craving for another fantasy. Instead of fighting the urge I decided to allow the urge but without acting upon it (this too shall pass). After a few seconds the urge went away. Interesting experience.

    @Saville, thank you so much. As @Cali said, really beautiful. And so helpful!
     
    Thelongwayhome27 and Saville like this.
  11. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    1 week clean, hooray! I have been feeling terrible and I think it was because of withdrawal symptoms. I felt down and irritated. This morning I felt just empty and not present. After my mother in law took the kids for a walk I started my work-out. Now I am feeling a bit better. Feeling calm and content.
     
  12. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Thanks re: my writing guys. :)

    Gil, that first week of being clean is a bitch. You're doing well to get through it.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  13. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    8 days clean! I notice that sexual thoughts are rising more easily. Very much tempted to open the door and have some dirty fantasies, hmmm. Trying to tell myself that it is normal and healthy to do so. And maybe it is for some people, but not to me cause my brain is wired to this kind of stuff (sexual fantasies, porn and masturbation) and before I know it I will be acting out in turbo-mode. I have to stay aware about this 'wiring' part and that I have to go through the whole sensizitaion, desensizitation withdrawal process again.

    Nonetheless, today I went for a walk with the kids and had a workout and yoga already. Oh yeah, I slept 10 hours!!!
     
    Thelongwayhome27 likes this.
  14. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    You forgot the ''hooray'' ! ;)

    Yeah, I relate a whole lot to the fantasies predicament.

    Best to stay away I think. Especially knowing that we engage in addictive behavior we usually (always?) regret after doing. Best to err on the side of caution and let go of these fantasies, best we can, even when they seem so innocent. Not with anger or anything, but with dedication to figuring out what life without acting out addictively means. A life that requires abstinence from said behaviors as one of it's ingredients.
     
    Gil79 likes this.
  15. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    0 days, hooray ;)

    Last night I woke up and couldn't fall asleep anymore. I felt a lot of anger and anxiety. Don't know why exactly, but I think it has to do with me digging into my past and doing a lot of yoga and breathing exercises. This makes a lot of emotions surfacing and leads to many weird dreams. For a long time last night a was able to just go back to my breathing and just feel the emotions for what they were without labeling them. It felt like a thick black heavy blanket on my chest. After a while I just had enough of it and decided to have a sexual fantasy and M to it. I didn't O, but was very close. I fell asleep again and this morning I felt like shit. Brainfog. Not sure if it was because of the M-ing, beacause it was short. I took me a lot of effort this morning not to be angry at myself. Just now when I went to private browsing to write here, I checked out if there was anything interesting on Pornhub. I closed after 1 minute or so and came here.

    Before going to bed last night I have continued to write down stuff about my childhood and this brings up so many memories I had forgotten (or pushed away). I was writing down the part in which I was in high school and had to repeat the 4th grade. Actually the repetition didn't go well and I had to leave school afterwards, going to another school where I failed again. Back then I had decided to see it is something cool. Some friends also failed and it was the time I started drinking and smoking weed. But ofcourse behind that facade I was just a hurt, miserable and lonely boy without any self-esteem. I kept up the lie of how 'cool' my life story was for many years, until recently. And I realize that I still need a lot of time and effort to find out what was really going on in myself then and in the following years. It will help me accepting in who I really am now.

    Yes, that's the trick, with full acceptance of ourselves and a lot of self-love. It is the only way for this transition.
     
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  16. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Gil, I believe we must FIRST accept ourselves and if we still feel the need to dig into our past we can. Rooting around in the sandbox of our past usually just digs up sand and sand spills through our fingers. We are never able to truly grasp what it is we want, even when we pick it up by the handfuls. Memories are tricky and fickle things. What worrying about the past does, however, is keep us from reaching out for what's in front of us in the present, which is our partner, our children, our passions. There are wonderful things waiting for you and they are not dependent on the perfect childhood or how you did in school.

    I wrote this on @Vitriolic-Badger's journal. Do you accept yourself for you who you are right now? This is, imo, the most important step to health. We all have a past and it is not worth dragging it around with us, as though it were a bag of cannon balls. Write your book, write a song, climb a mountain (when Covid is over), ride your bike from Holland to the tip of Sweden, build your children a tree fort, etc. When we have something to look forward to we can then look at the past with gentler eyes, instead of wishing our lives away. You already have a wonderful life that needs embracing.

    Sorry for the long rant. I write these post as much for myself, as for anyone else.
     
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  17. Thelongwayhome27

    Thelongwayhome27 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear of the tricky/tough night man. Honestly it doesn't sound to me like a full relapse. But I know it is up to each person to define for him what's a relapse, what is sexual sobriety and what they want to accomplish here.

    But yeah, sounds to me like you Fantasy M'ed for a while in bed (it wasn't even a full FMO) and then in the morning you briefly peeked at P (without M'ing if I understand correctly).

    So yeah, definitely not ideal and a red flag (since this can of course progress to a real binge over a few days) on your current situation, basically a slip. But not really a relapse. I mean you haven't PMOed for around 10 days now and that still matters for something.

    This is where counting can hurt us sometimes cause all of a sudden you are ''Day 0'' again. But let's say that last night, instead of M'ing, you would have gone down to your computer and had a 4 hours PMO binge. Then this morning your counter would be exactly the same : ''Day 0''. But yet there was a big difference between what happened in reality and if this would have happened, something the counter reset does not accurately represent.

    Regarding looking at the past, I also think it's a tricky thing to do. I agree there is much to learn there and somehow there is something to process about it. To feel those emotions. I do think there is some truth to that kind of thinking. On the other hand, it can also bring about a lot of confusion and difficult emotions and at times despite all these we don't really gain any clarity and it remains for a big part speculations. I find the past reveals itself to us in due time when we're doing good - rather then we actively go back and seek it. Sometimes when we actively go back and seek it, we're basically getting lost in the past and wallowing in regrets. This being said, sometimes perhaps that's what we need to do so still important not to beat ourselves up in the end.
     
  18. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Day :oops:

    Yesterday I felt terrible whole day until in the late afternoon I did some yoga and meditation. Nonetheless I kind of porn-binged at night. Well, I just porn-binged. When I woke up this morning I thought 'oh %^&*$'. When I was going for a shower I didn't dare to look into the mirror. But I did. And then I thought I want to commit to never watch porn again. To never act out again. Then I thought 'this is not the right moment'. I am not thinking clearly and it is just a way to deny my addiction: the black-white addict attitude. But why wouldn't I? I have never, in all those 8 years on this board, dared to say 'I am never watching porn again'. I have never dared to commit. This has always been a struggle. But now I dared to do so and I did. I looked myself in the eyes and told myself that I am committing to never watch porn again or act out in any other sexually addictive way. SO, there it is.

    Dear @Saville and @Thelongwayhome27, on the one hand I agree that it may be better to leave the past for what it is and to concentrate on the here and now. Whatever has to surface to be dealt with, will surface when it is time. On the other hand I realize how much I have denied a part of myself and tried to be someone else for most of my life. It feels I have been acting. Maybe it is partly regret-driven, regretting certain choices I have made in the past. Maybe it is partly fear-driven, the fear of making the wrong choices in the future (ending up like my dad), but I am happy where I am now and grateful to the universe for filling my current life with so much beauty and love. I think I mainly want to clear things up. To understand certain emotions and behaviors and be able to let them go. And also to be congruent with the choices I am making now. I want to use this period to dig things up, understand them, feel them and let them go. To give things a place. It feels good (even though it can feel overwhelming). But thanks so much for your posts guys, and, the cycling to the top of Sweden (or alike) is really something I want to do. For such a long time I have been thinking of going for a long hike on my own or with a friend. That is really something to look forward to.

    About the counter, I am taking it a bit lightly. I don't think that not-resetting would have helped last night. The train to binge-station had already left I guess. I could and should have turned it around, but I think I had just made the decision to act out already at an earlier point. The counter is merely an indicator for me and a bit of extra motivation. What really counts are my thoughts, intentions and actions.
     
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  19. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Day 1, hooray

    Yesterday turned out to be a really good day, eventhough I expected brainfog, fatigue and regret. I connected well woth the family and had a great upper body workout. Today I started with a core workout and I am feeling so good again. I really want to keep this up. The combination of workout, yoga and breathing exercises is really magic to me. It also helps that I sleep so good and (since I decided to leave work for what it is until March) my stress levels are really low.

    I still feel congruent with my commitment to never watch porn again. I realize that it might seem ridiculous to hear from someone who is struggling on this board already for so long, but it feels good. It feels right to me and thats what counts.

    @NewStart19, every post feels like a warm support. No platitude at all. Thanks!
     
  20. Gil79

    Gil79 Seize the day

    Day 2 :cool:

    Again told myself in the mirror that I will never watch porn again or act out in any other sexual way. Acting out is fantasy for more than 2 seconds, masturbation with fantasy, ogling for more than 2 seconds and ofcourse things like cheating, and walking through prostitite areas. To not focus on the neagative I state here that I commit to health and making value-based choices.

    Also told myself in the mirror that my sense of approval, acceptance and value comes from my core and is independent on others or circumstances.
     
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