Life. Part Two.

Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by Rapha, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    Thanks @fcjl8 for the words of encouragement.

    This is my third night of being weed free (it feels like a LOT longer). I have to say, the withdrawals have not been as bad as I expected. Plus my mental clarity is already returning and it feels amazing to wake up in the morning without brain fog. My productivity has noticeably increased - I've intentionally kept myself active and busy throughout the day so sleep comes easy as night. There's no doubt in my mind that making this decision will also help me fight the battle against PMO / my compulsive behaviour.

    I'm finally back in the gym and have been spending the last 3 evenings cooking fresh food instead of lying zonked out in a daze on the sofa
  2. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    Pleased to report I'm still weed free and in general terms I'm feeling more positive than I have in a long time. I'm dressing better, eating better, looking healthier and having smoother mood transitions. Now that's out the way I can turn my attention towards fulfilling my potential in various areas of life., i.e. regaining control of my finances (a source of anxiety), being better prepared in my career (another source of stress) and ultimately focusing on health and relationships. This last point is critical because as @Saville once pointed out to me, that's perhaps the primary reason why we are here. In recent years I haven't given my relationship with my wife the respect or attention it deserves.
  3. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    I'm spending some time learning about and practicing a fundamental skill today, i.e self control. I had to make a decision today which required a tremendous amount of self control. Given my history, it's something I've lacked in the past but it's an attribute I wish to develop and strengthen within myself. It's definitely a trait I admire in others - I know my father has it because he never ever drinks alcohol to excess even though many around him frequently do. I read that self control is a form of emotional intelligence - it gives us the ability to curb our behaviours and choose long term fulfilment over a short term buzz. It aids us in achieving longer term goals.

    The basic premise of self control is use of reason to control instinct

    Around lunch time today I was seriously tempted to do something that would have been immensely pleasurable but would also have had negative consequences in the long run. On this occasion I was able to filter the decision and weigh up the pros and cons before deciding on a course of action. This is a skill I aim to develop further - it doesn't have to mean cutting everything out, it means maintaining balance, knowing my limits and enjoying things in moderation. I also came across a great quote whist doing some reading earlier, it said "self control is just empathy with your future self".

    I have a pretty serious work project to deliver in a few days time, since the client is a close friend, I really don't want to let her down. I feel anxious about it but I know the only way to overcome that anxiety is to be as prepared and focussed as I can possibly be. In the coming days I am aiming to immerse myself into this project to deliver the best work I can.
    Saville likes this.
  4. fcjl8

    fcjl8 The only path for me

    "self control is just empathy with your future self". this is a great statement that would serve us all well, Thank you.
  5. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    Still on the theme of self control, I'm well aware that simply reading and learning about self control is not enough. I need ways of implementing it into my life. It needs to be 'installed' in my mind as a value. I know that addiction goes deeper than just willpower but there's no doubt in my mind that learning self control can play a part in active recovery - not purely in terms of PMO but in other areas of life too e.g. eating, drinking alcohol, using substances etc. Having done a little digging around on the web I've found a few practical (mostly measurable) things I can try to do put self control into practice.

    A life vision and goals can help to guide our choices, e.g. I want to stay healthy and have a clear mind so I won't go back to my old ways of smoking weed. Whenever I'm tempted I can filter my decision making and determine whether it is aligned with my goals. Another method is to define what it is I'm trying to control and set myself targets - e.g. to do 30 minutes of work without any interruption at all, no email, no checking WhatsApp or flicking between tasks. I could also delay gratification as per the marshmallow test. Finally I could spend a few minutes meditating each day as this will aid my general awareness. And just the act of being self disciplined enough to follow through with 5 minutes of meditation each day in itself is an act of self control.
  6. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    I'm in a steady phase at the moment, things are ticking along nicely and I feel as if I'm making progress in a few areas. I'm taking real pride in some home improvement projects and also had a fairly good month in terms of my career. Life has felt so busy lately that I've barely had time to even think about things like PMO. In fact I've been so busy that in order to engage in PMO I'd have to set aside some time! In other words I'm learning that there's always something productive that I could be doing with my time, whether it be learning new skills, spending time on hobbies, working on my career, home improvement, on personal development, health etc. I'm now over 4 weeks of being weed free and I can say with certainty that I'll never go back to that lifestyle.

    Still no improvements on the relationship side of things. My wife and I are just like friends who live together.

    One thing that I am contemplating is whether I should try to introduce some form of masturbation (for specific purposes, rather than just for release of sexual energy). Those purposes are:

    a) to practice some form of ejaculatory control - I suffer badly with PE and have done so on every occasion in the past. I've never really taken the time to learn how to control the sensations and learn about my body in this way.

    b) in order to 'rewire' my tastes to regular, healthy sex (instead of fetish type content).

    If course I could try the masturbation without any form of P at all. Not even sure I could manage it.
  7. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    Aaarghhh, took my eye off the ball lately and have really suffered the consequences, ashamed to admit I'm in the midst of a binge. The furtive, compulsive behaviour is back.

    Perhaps posting here is a cry for help but ultimately I know I can't rely on others to do this for me - the motivation and commitment (and continuity of positive actions) must come from within me.
  8. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    And the others are here to witness your journey. Listening ears. Knowing what it is like to find yourself in the midst of a binge.
    Cheering you on to find the commitment. Our journeys on here might give you the insight on where to find the motivation within.

    Good to see you here brother. (-:
  9. bobjes

    bobjes Active Member

    And the others are here to witness your journey. Listening ears. Knowing what it is like to find yourself in the midst of a binge.
    Cheering you on to find the commitment. Our journeys on here might give you the insight on where to find the motivation within.

    Good to see you here brother. (-:
  10. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    I'm stressed and confused at the moment. Part of the problem is that I'm not putting in the required effort on a consistent basis plus I don't entirely trust the process or have enough belief that I can do it.

    The current strategy simply is not working, I need a major rethink. Since starting this journal I am literally no further forward. I know we're supposed to take our time and treat this as a journey but I'm worried at the current rate this could be a lifelong journey without sufficient progress.

    I think my new focus ought to be not towards what I don't want but more of what I DO want. i.e. I'm currently trying to avoid PMO (and failing) - but maybe that's a lousy goal in the first place. I need a new objective, something that is worth striving towards i.e. the goal of achieving a level of 'healthy' sexuality. To me, that means establishing sexual intimacy with my wife. Up until now I have never been able to achieve any kind of sexual intimacy - a few failed attempts is all it took to make me retreat into a world of PMO and compulsive behaviour and then we stopped attempting to have sex at all.

    As ludicrous as it may sound I've never really considered myself as a sexual being or imagined myself in a healthy sexual relationship. I've always thought of myself as weird and different.

    Perhaps I need to employ the same strategy to this new goal like I do some other things in life. For instance when I want to learn a new skill, I study, I plan, I research tirelessly until I know what I'm doing. I feel like such a novice, it's kind of embarrassing but I feel as if I have to learn the absolute basics about sex and intimacy, still, better late than never.
  11. HowToKapow

    HowToKapow Turtles smell nice

    In regards to attitude towards sex and intimacy, theres often more to unlearn than to learn(often with life in general) Emotional trauma unrelated to sex can impact our attitude towards it ( nevermind trauma directly related to it)
    The book in my signature can help a lot with that, give it a go if you want and i wish you good luck
  12. 100DaysMission

    100DaysMission Active Member

    Do you have a desire to be intimate? Or just feel you should be?
  13. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

    @100DaysMission That's a good question. And to be honest, the answer isn't clear cut.

    The latter part certainly rings true, i.e. I feel as if I should have a desire to have sex and be intimate because it seems like that is the 'normal' thing to do.

    In fleeting moments I may yearn for sexual connection and closeness but generally not so much. I've become accustomed to treating sex as a solo activity and I've never really known it to be different. Failed attempts with my partner in the past have effectively paralysed me and made me retreat to the safety/comfort of PMO where failure doesn't seem to exist.

    Thinking back to the times I did attempt intimacy with my partner, I undoubtedly felt closer to her. Now it feels like there is a chasm between us.

    Getting back to the question, I'd say I partially have a desire to be intimate. I like the notion of having a special, unique connection that I share with just one person and I think it would be hugely beneficial for my self esteem to feel loved and desired. It frightens me that I can't outright say "yes, I'd rather have sex with a woman than keep things the way they are". So even of the latter part currently holds more truth true (I feel as if I should be intimate) I think it's worth striving towards sex/intimacy with my partner due to the aforementioned reasons.
  14. Saville

    Saville Well-Known Member

    Yep, that's what happens when we self-serve. Rapha, you just have to take a chance that there's a better way. I know you already know this, but fear of failure is what creates the chasm. There are still times where I think that just taking of care of myself would be so much easier; this is the demon talking, the addict. And, even though I've had sex with the wife once-a-week for over a year and a bit, I still feel some trepidation, wondering if everything will work. Years of habit, years of being swayed by the addict, is not undone quickly. However, if we are brave, and I know you are, we can start upon a wonderful path, a path that is transformative on many levels. No time like the present to put the fear and lassitude aside, and reach out.
    Billy B. likes this.

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