Discussion in 'Ages 40+' started by A New Man, Jul 23, 2014.
Everything going well?
Yeah. Thinkin' of ya...
Thanks for checking in. I've been avoiding posting lately because i find my own posts irritating... so just reading and liking.
Been busy with work for 2 weeks- haven't had time to scratch my own arse (is that even a saying?). Delivered a big project at 2am last night, then got woken up by my 4 year old at 4am and have been dozing in my office chair today, catching up on emails and YBR.
Reboot-wise i'm going pretty well, focusing on the present moment and immediate concerns (kids, wife and work) and not escaping into fantasy or regret (not that i'm big on regret anyway).
The organized house thing is beginning to morph into more self-care- brushing teeth 2 times a day, showering every day. I'm stacking the dishwasher during the day instead of letting stuff build up, and scrubbing the shower walls at the end of a shower to stop soap scum. These little rituals are important to me because they reinforce to me that i am changing. They also make the place a lot nicer to live in, which reduces stress all round.
Had successful sex about 2 weeks ago, without the emotional rollercoaster that often follows an O. Tried not to celebrate it too much in my mind, just acknowledge it, and continue doing what I'm doing. Great sex is not a goal for me anymore. If anything it will be a side effect of getting my life back. I've done long stretches clean before, but i feel this one is different somehow- maybe because the focus is taken off sex.
The other day I was out with my youngest and we overheard an elderly lady talking to some acquaintances of hers. At first i wasn't paying much attention, but after a while I realised everything she said expressed empathy and built the other person up. She was obviously highly intelligent and knew just the right thing to say to put people at ease and make them feel understood. And she did understand. It was a masterclass in how to treat others and I could see my youngest paying close attention to the way she spoke. When she walked into view (she was behind us) I saw she was about 80, hunched and pushing a frame. Later I thought she is likely one of the most amazing people i have ever encountered and i would have walked right passed her.
One thing she said that stuck with me- she was telling an old guy he scrubbed up well and had a good heart- he said he wasn't all good, and that he sometimes had dark thoughts.
She said "We all do darlin'- and that's where the fight is."
Take care guys.
Wow, man. Wow...that made my day, thanks for that!
My reboot is changing too, I'm putting less and less pressure on the 'final' outcome and the time it takes -- I just know I will be better one day, and my expectations about being super man every single day are just simply gone.
Porn really warps our sense of self.
Last few weeks have been a bit mad, with family visiting, work pressure and kids pushing new boundaries. When YBR went down 2 weeks ago I was bummed at first, but as the week went on and I couldn't read or post if I felt like it, I began to feel the stress of everything more intensely. YBR is a pressure valve for me mentally- i appreciate that more now- also I realize I am dependent on it for continued sobriety, and maybe need to start weening myself of it, building more resilience into the system. For one thing i'm going to keep posting on other NoFap sites in case YBR does go down permanently. I'm also going to start contacting realworld friends more often, and make an effort to turn acquaintances (mainly made through my kids' school) into friends. Of course i think i'll probably always have to use NoFap forums because you can't talk about this shit to friends (at least i can't).
The first thing i did when it came back online was download my journal. The longer this process goes on the more data i have- recently i went back and read the first few pages- and realized the profile of my first ever relapse fitted the profile of every relapse since- at the time i totally misinterpreted it as return of libido, when it was stress driven. I hope to gain a bit more detachment from my own life and thought patterns to consolidate the reboot for the long term.
The second thing i did was go and download all Wabi's journal pages. I read it start to finish in January and it helped me a lot. I was really bummed when YBR went down, because who knows what other gems can be found on this site if I keep reading. I'm gonna try to download the whole thing somehow and back it up on a hard drive- harnessing the compulsive collecting aspect of porn addiction for the reboot! Brilliant!
I reckon we should try to maintain a presence on the other sites, as a public service. It won't take long to copy paste posts across 3 sites, and it will leave the information for others to find.
Great to be back. Just knowing it is here makes a big difference right now.
Peace to you guys.
When YBR went down it tipped me into a slump that i'm trying to get out of. Before that i'd been cruising, feeling kind of untouchable, not in the sense of having superpowers, just stable and generally doing OK. Based on previous experience days 180-250 can be tough, not with the intensity of days 120-150, but still a slog. I thought i'd skip it this time round because the last reset was so minor- just one PMO to youtube last October- but dopamine is dopamine and the brain fog was just as bad as previous relapses.
Libido is still very patchy. Very horny when ive got morning wood, but otherwise nothing. Still having to be vigilant on the street to not leer.
The one positive right now is my brain is functioning well for work and socializing.
I've cut out caffeine this week, which seems to be helping.
Oh.... great. Just what I needed to hear!
Actually, it is good to be reminded that I'm not out of the woods, yet (keeping in mind that we are all different, of course). In what way(s) did you find this period a slog, previously?
That's good to hear. And great also to see you doin' well, generally.
It's funny, but I don't always feel horny when the wife agrees to sex. But, once under the covers and seeing her naked I start getting some wood. It's the intimacy that is a turn on. I seldom feel like just fucking. Keep 'er rolling!
I just felt flat, with no motivation for my new healthy activities (monetizing my hobby). It was a kind of flatline i guess because libido was not there for me either. I don't recall feeling particularly down or angry during this time though- just bleh as kids say. Positive changes continued during this period, stuff started tasting even better (i am noticing this again) and i started reaching out to my wife more, touching her spontaneously, sitting closer to her on the couch.
Thanks for the encouragement Saville Interesting you say you don't feel horny when she agrees- means you ask even when you don't feel like it. I need to do that.
I'm trying not to take the long view right now, i.e. "100 days from now I'll be doing xyz", but trying to focus more on the present and think about the week just gone and the week coming up. Thinking about years gone and career prospects/superannuation, all that crap, just stresses me out and makes me unavailable to the present.
Thanks for your support guys.
Thanks, man. I momentarily forgot that I have positive changes to look forward to, also!
I totally hear, ya. At the moment it's more or less just today and tomorrow for me... it's as much as I can deal with (though I suspect that will improve over time).
I've gone through some manic phases where all I could think about was having sex; which isn't surprising given the addiction. But, my wife has made it pretty clear she's good with once-a-week and no more. She is in the driver's seat, in the sense that we have sex on her schedule. She's thinks I'm horny all the time, because I tell her every day that I'm game for it, if she is. I do this so she doesn't get lax about it and think that I have just been in a phase. I also realize that it is easy for me to not have sex, because for decades I pleasured myself. It definitely does take energy to engage with another person. For this reason I am ready anytime to hop in bed, because for my own health I need it.
I also don't take the long view. I've slowed down my thinking process and just get through the day in front of me.
Kudos on all that's happening for you!
Thanks for the clarification. I think once a week/every 10 days would be ideal. Going by the wife's desired frequency is how i'll do it also (and what choice do I have lol). Interesting that you express interest every day to not let her off the hook- it affirms your desire for her on a daily basis and probably makes her want it more frequently that she otherwise might. My wife is only up for it 1/month atm and with the slowburn flatline i'm in it doesn't really bother me. Things worked out well in 2014 after I hit around 350 days- over halfway there now...
Don't plan on walking this stretch ever again.
I'm getting close to 350 days, and my libido in my marriage is still pretty low. I think I wired to way too much novelty over the years, it will take time for me to get back to a more normal libido for a committed relationship. It sucks, but I'm not worried about it because I know I'll take more time than most.
I have no idea what my libido will be like when my brain has done all it's rewiring, but it was always very high.
Last night i had my first (remembered) porn dream in a long time. I knew the stress was getting to me, with the kids on school holidays, work being busy and a virus that just made me want to sleep for hours and hours midweek- there it was waiting for me, like an Easter egg made of shit. Been feeling down today- largely due to above factors, but going out tomorrow to do something hobby-related for myself, so hoping that will recharge me a bit.
Read jebu's journal from front to back last night. Wow. Really very inspiring stuff. I noticed a lot of the successful rebooters from the 2013 vintage like Omega Man, imout, LTE, were quite active on his journal- i am not surprised- his optimism is magnetic. His approach is lighter and he finds the joy in it. He's right- what we're doing is hard, but it's also amazing and inspiring. He's also a funny fucker- he equates PMO to smacking yourself in the head with a hammer, and goes on a rant about just stopping smacking yourself in the head with a hammer. I don't often lol on the subject of porn addiction but i was chortling away, hoping my wife wouldn't ask what was so funny.
There's a danger i find in reading journals also, especially investing yourself in them- you can relive some of the stuff vividly, and it can take you back mentally in a way. I'm not going to blame jebu for my porn dream last night (that would be a stretch), but it's something to be mindful of- what we consume effects us- i'll try and take jebu's optimism and leave the details of his early struggle there.
Thanks for your comment 40. I'll try to reply properly soon.
I agree with you, in part. There can be a certain fatigue in reading about addiction over and over. I guess there's a balance in there of engagement and detachment.
I don't know if you'd recall, but I had a porn relapse dream a few weeks ago...however, all sex related dreams lately have been of real sex. I'm not going to necessarily take that as a sign I will never have the relapse to porn type dream again, but I will take it as a sign there is learning going on.
It's crazy how deep the wiring goes, but is it really after so many years?
Made my morning, that one. Cheers!
Had a good day yesterday. I needed to get out, change of scenery, change of energy.
One thing i realized as people walked past my spot is that the first thought that comes to my mind about complete strangers is often unflattering. "Pastey", "Old", "Musclehead". It doesn't even have to be a fully formed thought- it can just be focusing on something different about them in a critical way. I don't know why i do that. It's weird, now i think about it, probably tied my negative self-talk and thought habits associated with the addiction.
I also had the experience yesterday of feeling quite low and approaching people in that way, not really moping, but internally just feeling a bit raw. People reacted warmly to me. I thought "I prefer who I am around people when I'm in a bad place to the person I am when I'm feeling up and full of myself". Made me think of TED talk about vulnerability i saw. Then I read Wabi's latest post about Start Where You Are and found this quote from Pema Chodron:
“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
So it's a thing. Need to figure out a way of staying in that space without actually feeling miserable- try to bypass ego or egotist thoughts and be truly humble. And develop positive thought patterns about people I meet.
I've reserved the Chodron book at the local library- it's an ebook, so i guess it will be emailed to me when it's my turn?
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