A Pilgrim's Progress

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Squire, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    A couple of days ago I stopped listening to my self-hypnosis audios for anxiety all night. My anxiety issues are actually in good shape now, but I think the headphones are irritating my ears and that together with the constant talking all night are disturbing my sleep. Some level of sleep deprivation may have contributed to the feelings I was having before my last relapse.

    Since I stopped listening to them I've been sleeping better and feeling better during the day. I will still find opportunities to listen to them at work as I do enjoy them very much and find them relaxing. But I think this is a good adjustment. And I'm glad to have made enough progress on anxiety that I feel comfortable scaling back on this particular tool.
  2. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    This is outstanding. Wonder what you will do next paint you're toenails ? :DUh........Daniel-san.Ok :p
    Squire likes this.
  3. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    I'm loving your energy, Squire.
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  4. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Things are on track-ish right now. Getting a lot done. I mean a LOT. Huge progress on everything on my do do list. Feeling exhausted and accomplished. Things with Mrs. S. are actually kind of good at the moment. Really making the effort to reboot the whole relationship, make her a priority, communicate better, etc. Just basically saying anything as long as it isn't personally insulting and she feels good being noticed. The bar is kinda low, which means at least superficial-level improvement can happen fast with relatively little effort.

    Having a bit of a chaser effect though, just noticing the summertime clothing or lack thereof more than usual. It's kind of like how a little dog looks at a big dog and thinks they are equals and can fight with him. So I see these nice looking younger dudes and feel attracted to them and then catch a glimpse of my paunchy pale self in store window and think what an old perv I am and how that even if that guy is 20 he is young enough to be my son and furthermore if I were a cannibal that guy would just be a snack. And then I think not only are you a perv, you are a demented freak to even think hypothetically about being a cannibal.

    Actually though as my kids get older the young adults are less and less interesting to me sexually because I do see them more like my kids. I would say my ideal is more in the 30's or early 40's now. So I guess as my kids age one day I will find 70 year olds attractive?! :eek:

    Ok this whole post got weird and I should delete it. But here it is along with every other ridiculous thing I think and do. LOL
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    So it's weird, so what? You seem to be happy and feel accomplished . That's real good.
    Squire likes this.
  6. dig deep

    dig deep must stop wasting my life on porn

    Having a slipped once every now and then does give us a boost and re-energize our growth in life away from artificial sexual stimulation and I'm not talking about days clean but the bigger picture about reclaiming what we have lost to porn.

    Turning a negative into a positive.:)
    Squire likes this.
  7. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Truckin' along dudes, just truckin' along. Energized, deeply absorbed in projects and activities that are making the time go lightning fast, somehow seem to have fast-forwarded to 5 days on my counter, as if that matters.

    Actual harmony and affection with my wife is happening. o_O Utterly confused as I don't think I'm doing things THAT much different. We had conversations about money and furniture and vacations and psychology and work and children that have not turned into fights or even raised my blood pressure. What is happening? :confused: The best I can figure is that I've decided actually to TRY and am determined to MAKE IT WORK. And I told her I want to reboot this whole relationship with her and put the energy into making it better so I think she is actually noticing and giving some credit to the effort now and reciprocating with effort of her own. We're starting to get a positive feedback loop going I guess.

    I feel sorry for you guys who are following my journal--it is like a yo-yo. I don't think I show this much instability to people in real life. But I pour out here what is inside me, which is very much up and down. I wonder if most people actually are like that? Much of my life I've been depressed and anxious. My parents did not allow me to express anger, though they could, and to some extent I carried that unspoken rule for myself over into my marriage. Now I realize that most of my life I've allowed myself to express only a narrow emotional range and forced down every feeling that didn't conform to the image I felt I needed to project. Maybe this is part of the reason I've felt so disconnected and empty, I haven't allowed myself the freedom to express a full spectrum of human emotions.

    My feeling right now? Impatience. The day is getting away from me with a bunch of tiresome IT troubleshooting issues at work. There's a lot more I want to do today. So I'll talk to you guys tomorrow.
    A New Man, Saville and Libertad like this.
  8. Libertad

    Libertad Well-Known Member

    Dont feel sorry, I find your honesty actually refreshing and encouraging. You are doing great! You awareness has grown a lot. Keep it going. All the best.
    Squire and Saville like this.
  9. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    I chose for no reason to relapse yesterday, I was feeling fine, just felt like doing it and chose not to resist, applied my brainpower to circumventing my filters and acted like a pig that dug under the fence and got into the vegetable garden. Got into a video chat room, got told I looked like a grandpa, have a small dick, and got the finger. Several times. For no reason but for my appearance. So I feel like crap. A bunch of shitty, shallow people judging each other based on appearances. And I'm doing the same thing, not saying mean things to people, but moving on without comment if I find them too fat or skinny, young or old or ugly under the particular amateur lighting or angle they happen to be at. It's bad enough to do it with static pictures or recorded videos but with live people, it's even more cruel and dehumanizing. Like some kind of slave market. I don't want to be treated that way and I don't want to treat others that way. I'm so truly sorry I did this. And yet it is not the first time and there is this part of me that feels like I deserve to be abused and punished and humiliated. And yet I hate it at the same time.

    So I didn't want to be honest about this. I was thinking about giving myself a free pass this time and not reporting this relapse at all, certainly not in any detail. But dang. If I can't be honest even with this group of anonymous strangers, how pitiful is that? And although I post for my own healing primarily, secondarily I do want others to be able to learn from my journey and they can't do that if I only post the good things. And yet maybe being honest and sharing some humiliating details is also a way of fulfilling some kind of desire for punishment.

    This masochistic tendency is somehow celebrated in a way in culture as just being another kinky variety of sex, "to each his own," that sort of thing. But I think it really is actually sick. Not everything we do sexually is normal and healthy. Not everything that may feel good to a person should be done. Can you imagine for example a woman who might say she enjoys getting beaten up and coming out of sex covered in bruises? Would that be normal and healthy and good for her? I don't think so. I think she has a psychological issue that is causing her not to have a healthy level of respect for herself or healthy sense of self-preservation. Maybe the equivalent of an eating disorder, where a person for psychological reasons starves themselves. We don't think that is just a healthy alternative choice. That's something that requires psychological healing.

    So I think my sense of masochism comes from not being really able to grasp and accept any ideas that I am a good person, as good as other people at least; that I am worthy of respect and acceptance and don't have to earn it; that God knows everything I have done and still loves me and forgives me without my having to earn it; and that (at least some) other people will love and accept me unconditionally. I think at some level this is rooted in conflicting childhood messages -- the females in my family gushed over me like I could do no wrong while the males were indifferent or rejecting and did not express affection. At the same time, my mother was the disciplinarian and was harsh to the point of mental abuse and even occasionally physical abuse. I think this has contributed to my creating a marriage in which I have given emotional abuse in order to bring it back on myself. My wife wasn't like this when we were dating. She became this after spending time with me. I helped make her into this. And she went along with it, so we are both responsible for this dynamic. Somehow that is what seems normal to me, that a female I love would alternate between kindness and cruelty. And that males would reject me and not consider me adequate as a man. So the ability to receive normal love in normal ways is lacking.

    I didn't know when I started writing this entry that it would go this direction. I was just going to report my relapse. But it has sparked some new insights. I have not put a lot of thought into my masochistic tendencies in the past. This seems meaningful.

    Where do I go from here? Now that I know how to circumvent my filters I'm going to stop using my personal computer and just work from the phone and my work laptop. I have a lot of trouble syncing things from my Mac to my PC anyway so as much as I hate PC I'll just go back to that, as that is all my workplace will provide or give adequate tech support for. Going from Mac to PC feels like going from a futuristic high speed magnetic levitation train back to some kind of old west steam engine that stops for stray cows on the track. But if I just do everything on my work computer that will be powerful motivation with or without filters to guard my internet habits. I just don't do bad stuff on that computer because it is monitored and administered through our IT department.

    But beyond that. I need healing of my concept of love, including self-love, and this is really only going to come through experience with God. I don't mean just more head knowledge about God, but seeing God's love expressed through other people, and expressing that love back to him by expressing it to them. I don't know if this makes a lot of sense. What I am saying is that I have spent most of my life studying God like a species and being resentful that he is not mystically, supernaturally making me feel like he is here and doing miracles in my life without me having to work for them. I need to notice more how he is manifesting his love for me through other people in my life and learn to accept that it is real. And I need to express love back to him by loving other people in concrete ways in my life, not to prove that I'm a good and worthy person or accumulate some good deeds, but just to be a loving person. Because that's the kind of person I want to be and was made to be.

    After I have done a bad thing I feel this desire to say "yes, but." Yes I did it, but here are the circumstances, so don't be mad at me. This time I am saying yes, I did it and there is no excuse for it, but I have learned new things from it so don't be mad at me. I feel like a dog who got in the trash and then rolls on his back and wags his tail so the owner won't be mad at him. I also feel kind of trapped, where whatever action I take there is a way to interpret it as being healthy or unhealthy.

    So what do I want from you guys? I don't want to hear that chat rooms are risky and dangerous, I know that perfectly well. I don't want to hear that my recovery plan is shit and I need to throw it all out because that's not true. I don't want to debate the morality of various sexual proclivities. I don't want to hear that I shouldn't make excuses because I know that too. And I am fine with my thoughts about filters and computers. Controlling internet access is just a tourniquet, and the real healing happens in finding the psychological cause of the bleeding and stopping it. I get that. I'm saying all this because we've already spent a lot of time on this forum talking about those things and they are tangents for me that distract from core issues.

    If you have specific experience and thoughts about the masochism issue that would be helpful to me as I haven't processed it much and don't understand it very well. And the same for learning to give and accept love unconditionally, how to grow in that area.

    I love your kind notes of encouragement every time I fall and don't want that to stop, but I also wonder if we are enabling each other? If the encouragement is a sort of reward for bad behavior? What do you guys think about that?

    Thank you brothers. I appreciate you all.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018 at 8:33 AM
  10. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    My last post has already gotten long but I remembered another topic that seems significant to discuss.

    I often have dreams about houses, usually my grandma's house, which felt like my true spiritual home even though I never actually lived there long-term at any point. It's like where my taproot was. Sometimes I have had dreams that it was surrounded by water or burning down. Sometimes I dream that its being sold and we are trying to fix it up and decide what to keep and what to throw away. Sometimes in my dreams I open up a door and discover it has a whole other gigantic wing, or extra floors I didn't know about. I think these dreams have to do with my sense of identity. That I'm sorting through my heritage and trying to transcend its limitations and discover new possibilities. And in my dreams this feels scary and exciting at the same time.

    Last night I had a similar dream with an important difference. Instead of it being at my grandma's house, it was in some foreign country in Central America or someplace. I was staying in a temporary place I was visiting for a few weeks before moving to a new house. I had already sorted through my possessions and sent some of them there. But it was close to time to leave on a plane and I couldn't take all that stuff with me, so I was going through it again and making harder decisions about what to take and what to leave behind. There was this older guy there who was asking me to do him a favor and take some things with me on the plane for him. It was for some kind of Christian ministry. I said yes but then regretted it because then I didn't have as much room for my own stuff. There was another guy, a younger one, who was supposed to help me get change for some kind of machine or fee but he took off with my money instead of sticking around to help me.

    I think there is a lot of significance in last night's dream. Let me say first that I don't think dreams are usually some kind of mystical revelation from God, though I do believe that has happened and can happen. I think more typically it is just our brain processing loose strands of thought at night and sorting them into bundles and making them neat for storage. But they can give us some idea of what our subconscious minds are working on.

    I find it significant that my starting point was not my home/grandma's house but a temporary place in a foreign country. To me this says that I've moved beyond some of my pervasive childhood issues and now find myself in a place mentally that is strange, different, and transitional. I have not arrived yet at a permanent destination. My recovery is still in process. But I find this to be a hopeful detail because I am seeing myself definitely in a recovery process, not just still stuck at the starting point.

    Secondly, I notice that in the dream I've already done significant work removing the baggage and getting down to essentials, but there is still a lot more baggage to sort through to get it down to the level that I can keep moving forward. I need to make some choices about what to focus on and "travel light" so I can really make some progress.

    Thirdly, I notice the contrast between the older guy and the younger guy as helpers. One is loading me down with extra baggage, the other is removing resources that are necessary for my journey. One represents unhealthy religion, the other represents godless materialism. One represents tradition, the other represents change (hence, in the dream, I needed him to get "change" for me for some kind of machine to work). One represents the past, the other represents the future. I feel like my past involves living someone else's agenda and not being fully myself. But the future represents something untried, untested, unreliable. I don't know if I can trust that change. So I think the answer for me is not in either extreme but in a balance between my past and my future; tradition and change. And I was feeling in that dream like I need to take control of my own life and not depend on others too much as they may have different agendas than I do or just not be reliable.

    I like this dream and feel good about it. I'm sorting myself out.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018 at 4:17 PM
  11. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    There is always a perceived pay-off for relapsing. We always choose for a reason.

    I look older, uglier and have a smaller dick than you. :p

    I'm not sure if I would call what you did masochism. I think you are seeking to validate your deep-seated feeling of unworthiness. Masochism is getting actual pleasure from pain. There may be elements of masochism, but the driving element is not one of wanting to experience pain, but rather to keep yourself stuck. Anyway, let's not quibble over definitions. What you experienced, my friend, I know well. Both of my affairs did the same thing. The first few times I was with these women I was unable to maintain an erection, let alone cum. The women played their humiliation card, which placed me in the spot I wanted and needed, that being the person responsible for making them feel better; a job I was eminently skilled at. Basically, I was checking off my "nice guy" card. Deep down I knew (you know, that little voice?) what was going on, but I couldn't stop myself from being a balm to their injured psyches, a salve to their souls. I was responsible for all the bad stuff that had ever happened in their lives. Of course, I didn't realize this until I found this forum and started my journey of recovery. I felt humiliated too, but my concern was more that they feel should feel good and worthy. I wanted to feel unworthy, because this had been my narrative from the time I was young. That's why I now aim to conquer, because I don't allow that mother fucking addict to dictate how I'm going to live my life. Remember how I said it has to become your new religion?

    JS said this awhile back and it's something I agree with: "You have to blow it all up." We have to be willing to throw all our former ideas out the window and set them on fire. The mind that got us into trouble isn't going to get us out, it's only going to fool us into thinking we're doing something. I decided I was going to be all about me, glorious me. I don't try to make love to my wife anymore, I fuck her. Why? Because I have spent my life trying to please others. But wait, my wife is enjoying getting fucked, because it makes her hot when I'm in charge, even though all her programing says that she should be the one in charge. It is tempting to want to keep all those lovely parts of us that we think are good and nice, stuff like: I'm a good dad, I help out in the community, etc. These things are tools the addict uses to justify staying stuck. I found out through this journey that I wasn't a good dad and that shocked me. Shit, the one thing I thought I was amazing at! But, how could I be when I was jerking off to every kind of P imaginable and being a physical and emotional cheater? Unconsciously I was sending terrible messages. My kids think I'm a great dad, but that doesn't mean much to me, anymore; I don't need their validation. See what I mean?

    You have a deep desire to be faithful to God's word, the word you understand as a Christian man. Let me utter the words of the great German mystic and Christian, Meister Eckhardt "God is greater than God." It took me awhile to wrap my head around that. Blowing everything up doesn't mean we become a Buddhist, or Atheist, it just means that every single thing has been stained with the addict. It isn't enough to simply scrub a few sections clean, we have to immolate it all and start fresh. The good stuff will rise up, but this time it won't be cluttered or stained by the slime we waded through while being addicted to P.

    Today is the day. Action is what's called for.

    As always, I believe in you.
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  12. dig deep

    dig deep must stop wasting my life on porn

    when I used webcams that's when I felt my worst after any pmo session and with the humiliation stuff been there but it's not the real me it is a porn induced fetish I developed to get more dopamine, because I desensitize to normal porn and that happens after a person uses porn for so long.

    I have two filters on my computer the first one is from my broadband provider so I have all adult/sexual content blocked and about forty website addresses blocked as well, the second one is Qustodio which is pretty much the same as K9.
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  13. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Member

    As I'm sure you read in my book, my solution to the webcams was just to become someone else. I won't let this be a how-to guide though. People can buy my book for that. I ran from the masochism. I think in some strange way, getting complete strangers to tell me I was awesome, whether it was for the magazine or because I was a City Councilor was a form of masochism. I think a lot of my masochism masqueraded as narcissism. They really are a fine line if you think about it. I hated myself. When people I knew said I was good, I thought they were just being ignorant and/or condescending. When strangers told me I was great, it helped me feel good about my manipulative skills because I knew I wasn't great, but it was a barometer for how well I was keeping up the ruse.

    I'm not going to go over the areas you asked us not to, but I would ask if you have given thought to seeing a therapist again. Some of these written breakthroughs you're making are fantastic and the right person could be almost like an administrative assistant for you, helping to flesh out these concepts and file them into folders and put everything in order. You're clearly doing the hardwork, relapses be damned. The PMO isn't the problem and you know it. It's all the other stuff you wrote about. To be able to have those revelations about masochism and the interpretation of the dream....it's not OK, but understandable that you needed to resort to a fall-back soothing technique. Some of the people with the longest streaks have actually made the least progress. You've made leaps and bounds.

    I believe in you, too. More than I believe in God. I can go bowling with you.
    Squire likes this.
  14. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    It is spice and flavor in a mind-numbingly bland routine life. It gives me heartburn and acid reflux and nausea afterward and might be laced with rat poison but it tastes better than a good-for-me life made of cauliflower and kale. I'm just so tired of a nice perfect little life sometimes I think I enjoy unleashing some chaos into it. Kicking the doors open on this nice passive-aggressive little old church lady tea party of a life I have, flipping the table and telling the old ladies to get the fuck out before I lose my temper...:mad:

    LOL if that is true how/why do you even get out of the bed in the morning? :D jk

    Yes. Following a script. The script is: "Mom/wife works hard, sacrifices so much, is a real saint and martyr. Dad/husband is a jerk. He occupies himself outside the home and marriage, is not really there for the family. She and the kids could do fine if it weren't for him and the problems he brings to the family."

    So my "role" in my mind is to be unreliable, to introduce problems, then ask for forgiveness. The fact of the matter is I'm extremely reliable and stable in performing my roles superficially. I keep a job, pay my bills on time, keep the family running. I'm absolutely better at being a "nice guy" than my dad or any other male relatives were. But I have this unspoken script that says a real man is UNreliable. Being a nice responsible Christian man -- at least in the way our culture understands it -- is about as manly as being Mr. Rogers. I don't want to be Mr. Rogers I want to be Rambo. Even though Mr. Rogers is a vastly superior human being to Rambo in every way that actually matters. I think these relapses are in some way me grasping for manliness. I am trying to destroy the "perfect child" image my mom crushed me into, or the "perfect husband" image I now crush myself into. I'm sabotaging myself because I don't want to be perfect. Being perfect means being different, because other guys are not perfect. I want to be like other guys. I don't want to be different. I don't want to be held to a higher standard than other guys. I want sex, drugs, and alcohol.

    Either-or thinking is not helpful. I can be both. I don't have to be Mr. Rogers or Rambo. I can be Indiana Jones working in a suit and paying the bills and ALSO Indiana Jones having adventures and winning the girl. Adventure doesn't mean I have to be a slime ball.

    I think I don't want to recover. I don't think my wife and I will have a satisfying sex life. We can build a successful companionship in non-sexual ways, we can learn to communicate constructively and not argue and manage our lives together and find common interests, but deep inside I believe recovery means no sex for me, being an asexual being. In my mind, sexuality with a woman is an essential key to masculinity and I feel like I'll never have it, never really be satisfied by it. Somehow in a twisted way it seems to me the closest I can come to male sexuality it is vicariously through gay porn. Orgasms feel good. I want to keep having them. Having no more orgasms is like saying I have to be a vegan. I don't care if it's good for me, I don't like it.

    Maybe the key thing I want under it all is just to be a man. To be recognized by others as a man and to recognize myself as one. Not just biologically and not just fulfilling traditional male roles, but actually being a man who other men--"manly men"--would respect and who at least some women would desire. I need some real life male friends. And orgasms. But not together at the same time. :p

    This is terrifying. I appreciate your clarification that it doesn't mean giving up being a Christian.

    You guys like it when I am transparent. Let me be totally transparent here. Nobody in this world knows for sure what comes next. We all have to discover it when we leave this world -- is there anything else or not? Some people claim to have some knowledge and we have to look at what they say and see if it seems to make sense of most of what we see, are its claims credible, is it empowering and constructive, does it produce good results in people's lives? But I think in the end if we are all honest we have to be sort of agnostic. We can take our best shot at what we think is true but we don't know for sure. I guess instead of agnostic another way to say that is that we have to all be people of faith. We don't know for sure, so we decide where to put our faith. Including atheists, who decide to bet everything on the proposition that there is no God, even though they don't know that for certain. That, too, is a faith position.

    I have lived 50 years as a Christian and cannot give that up to go experimenting with this and that religion or worldview. It would literally drive me insane with guilt. It would be like a demolition crew blowing up the very foundations of my entire life. Which is maybe what you guys are saying I need. But I just can't wrap my brain around such a thing. It is like blowing up your house when there's a flood coming and every house around is a shack. My house isn't the greatest, but there just isn't a better one anywhere in sight, from my perspective. I'm willing to learn from other perspectives to develop what I have, I'm willing to destroy some ideas that are more tradition than a core element of my faith, but the foundation has to stay. But I see from your post that you are not saying to reject my faith, but it has to be rebuilt from the ground up because it has been damaged by the addiction.

    This is the core. This is the engine room. This is where the energy is turned on or off to everything else in my life. My core belief system is my faith. That's where positive change needs to happen. And there are lots of ways to approach a 2,000 year belief system like Christianity. Lots of flavors of it.

    Today in church the preacher encouraged everyone to repent for their sins, which means turning 180 degrees and going the other direction, and I was so exasperated to hear that again. Because they make it sound so simple. It's like telling an overweight person "all you need to do is eat less and exercise more." Well thanks a lot, genius. Why didn't I think of that. "Sin's a problem in your life, just stop sinning." Problem solved. Next? The reality is we have a lot of motivations for what we do and it's a bitch to try to change the way we've programmed our brains for decades. Yeah I know, get over being a baby and man up. Damn this is not just a matter of knowing what to do, it's a matter of even wanting to do it in the first place. How do you even get to the place where you want it bad enough to make the sacrifices for it?

    So Saville you also have said several times that "thinking is the enemy." Can you help me figure out in a little more detail what it looks like to do this recovery without overthinking as I do? You've said in the past to move slowly. This means just do everything I do at a slow pace, right? Like not having a frantic pace of life? You've advocated cold showers. I can force myself to do that. :( I know there is not a magic formula. But if I just follow this kind of advice to a T do you have confidence that it would make a difference?[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018 at 4:30 PM
  15. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    Thanks man I appreciate your wisdom and support. I am unfortunately not finished with your book yet, I'm still in the part about the publishing industry which is actually very interesting by the way, a window on a whole different world. I've been curious about whether you think print magazines have any future now as it seems the net is driving so many out of business.

    DUDE. THIS ^^^ RIGHT HERE. YES! Exactly. We have this in common. So words don't communicate much to me. I had my mom telling other people I was this perfect boy, then yelling at me and spanking me at home, then telling me she was sorry and she loved me and crying so I would feel sorry for her and comfort her for abusing me. So what people say to me doesn't mean a lot to me, because I have found it doesn't always match their actions and it isn't affected by how hard I try or don't try. And so I keep up an image for other people, I share controlled information with them to create a particular picture of myself, and I enjoy their praise for the limited area of my life they can see -- my work, my family, etc. Like you said, it means I am doing a good job acting that role. But it does nothing for my inner sense of being a worthy person. I feel like a magician. Other people are amazed, but I know how the tricks are done and that I'm not as magical as they think.

    I would be open to going back to therapy if I felt it could help. I'm not quite there yet. I do feel I'm making quite a bit of progress. If I go back to therapy I want it to be for a short term and with a specific issue or goal in mind, not an open-ended thing that ranges all over the place.

    Wow man, that means a lot to me. That is a huge affirmation. Thank you sincerely.
  16. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Member

    Not telling you how to do it, because that's how I did therapy through my 20s and part of my 30s. Now, I'm in a place where the nice men with the black robes and the men with the badges say I have to be in therapy until my probation is done. I would have left a year ago. But, recently, we got into some very deep shit that I never would have otherwise begun to deal with. It's been worthwhile, even if half of our sessions are just chitchat check-ins at this point. The other half make it worth it. Of course, I also work at home and have little-to-no human interaction in real life, so it's just nice to have someone to talk with. For the first time, I'm thinking about continuing after probation is done. The a-ha! moments are still worth it, even if they get fewer and further between.
    Squire likes this.
  17. Joshua Shea

    Joshua Shea Member

    I just saw the Mr. Rogers documentary that's out the other day.
    We should all try to be like Mr. Rogers.
    Squire likes this.
  18. Squire

    Squire Well-Known Member

    That's a good word.

    How much longer is probation? I imagine the end of that is going to bring some changes or different possibilities to your daily routine.
  19. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Because I like getting out of bed and I don't mind my small penis, anymore. :) I'm also fat and bald. :D I've been told by two people that I have a weird smile, as well. But, I smile a lot now. I like watching the children scatter. ha ha

    I would like to clarify something. When I say "blow it all up" that's just what it feels like. It isn't as though we walk out on our families, or sell our houses, etc. The work is always done inside our head. However, everything must always be on the table at all times. What's the point of being conscious if we can't ask ourselves simple, important, questions? So, it feels like we just had a big bonfire of all the things we held sacred, because our mind is open, wide open, to any and all things. We don't just want to become dry drunks, do we?

    Yes, I move slowly. Everything becomes a sort of meditation, if you will. I take cold showers to shock me out of the rut. Once you start taking them you'll know exactly what I mean. I take care of the stuff that needs looking after, because I was terrible doing it before. I wash the windows, paint bits that need attention, attend to the yard, etc. I'm not the first one, obviously, to discover that the real joy, the real meat in life, is in the minutiae. Brother Lawrence, who lived in Paris in the 17th century, wrote: "It is not necessary to have great things to do. I turn my little omelette in the pan for the love of God." Reverence for the mundane. Here is another quote from Brother Lawrence that I love: "the most holy and necessary practice in our spiritual life is the presence of God. That means finding constant pleasure in His divine company, speaking humbly and lovingly with Him in all seasons, at every moment, without limiting the conversation in any way." The last part is the most important, imo. We mustn't limit the convo, because that limits God, which limits us, which leaves us right where we started. We've made a habit of limiting ourselves our entire lives. This is why it is so important to feel no limits, to be a selfish cunt, to take what you want, when you want it. Trust me, you won't suddenly start streaking in church, even though you want to. ;) It takes time to flex our muscles, to learn who we actually are.

    Yes, also be simple. Be single-minded. Remember, always remember, that you don't know anything. Rebooting means when the door swings open to your prison you step over the threshold and look with awe at all the things you thought you knew before. Flowers, leaves, air, humans, everything will look and feel different. This is why many men experience what they term as super powers. It is heady stuff, my friend.

    Squire, you are a gay man. You don't watch gay porn to feel like a man, you watch it because that's what turns your crank. No, you will never desire your wife like I do mine. Even with my wife's saggy tits and out of shape belly I still find her attractive and want to fill her up. At some point, when you have put enough distance from yourself and P, you will know what to do about this seeming conundrum. It is probably something you and your wife are going to have to discuss in depth, because your attraction to men isn't going to ever go away. Your wife probably deserves to know that you will never want her for anything other than friendship. As an adult she should get a say in whether she wants to stay with you knowing that she is in no way sexy to you; more than any one thing this is probably your biggest barrier to getting healthy, at least that's what I think. But, there is time for that.

    Don't PMO/don't MO
    take cold showers
    move slowly
    don't over think anything, not even if you work at NASA
    the most powerful thing you can do is change your mind
    God is bigger than God.
    You are bigger than yourself...except your penis. ;)
    do the shit around your house that needs doing and smile a lot.

    That's all I've got.
    Libertad, Squire, Bobo and 1 other person like this.
  20. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member

    Squire.... nobody said this would be easy. If some said that they are full of shit. An endeavor of this nature requires many hours and days of pain confusion and at times regret. I for one have experienced almost all the emotional trauma and alienation one could imagine. You will make it believe me. I want to continue and will but I can t do it now.
    Libertad, Squire and Saville like this.

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